History and urban agriculture come together at the Queens County Farm Museum, and it’s incredible and inspiring. Spanning 47 acres, this magnificently preserved working farm is the biggest undisturbed agricultural area in New York City, and it has been operating without interruption since 1697! The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation owns the farm, and it’s protected as a member of the Historic House Trust of NYC. And guess what? You can go visit 7 days a week!
Focusing on sustainable agriculture, the farm is most important to me because it offers kids a chance to learn about what food really is and where it comes from. Many children that grow up in an urban environment like New York, especially those from low income areas, have never seen a farm and have a difficult time conceptualizing how the food they eat at home gets to their plate. Sure, it came from the store, but what happened before that? The Queens County Farm has everything a parent, teacher, or caregiver needs to explain what healthy food is, how it’s made, and how fun it can be to grow it! And it’s FREE, FREE, FREE! (Unless you come with your school or another large organization.)
Here’s a list of all the amazing things you can check out if you go visit!
- Herb Garden
- Chicken Coop
- Cow Shed
- Bee Hives
- Planting Fields
- Duck Pond
- Sheep Pastures
- Cow Barn
If you can’t make it to the farm itself, starting June1st you can buy fresh foods grown on the farm from their vegetable stand at Union Square Greenmarket every Friday. There’s a corn maze in the fall, and they constantly have cultural events open to the public, like the 34th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow. This farm is a gem, and an invaluable community resource. Take advantage of it.