A Farm Grows in Manhattan

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So you and the kids are farmers’ market veterans. You are down with kohlrabi, know how to spot a ripe melon, and can pickle beets like the best of them. But have you grown your own carrots or harvested your own zucchini? Didn’t think so. Believe it or not, you can actually try on your farmer’s hat smack in the middle of Manhattan at Battery Urban Farm.
Get inspired and a little dirty at this hidden gem, a one-acre educational farm within the historic Battery Park. Look for the bamboo fences that look more like modern art than organic farm, and you’ve found the spot where over 80 varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, grains and plants grow. 

Harvest Festival on October 13th
There is no better time than now to check out Battery Urban Farm, it’s harvest season! The 2nd Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 13th this year is the ideal event to introduce your kids to organic farming and celebrate some amazing vegetables with fun activities, delicious tastings and more. If you don’t make the festival, be sure to visit before early November, when the farm closes for winter. 

Seek Out…
A friendly farmer or apprentice on the farm. They are happy to chat with you about what they are working on or what vegetable is in season – so long as you don’t ask while they’re covered in a pile of weeds on the way to the compost bin or in the middle of teaching a farm class.

Insider Tips…
Leave Fido at home when you visit the farm. Dogs are allowed in the Battery, but not on lawns or gardens. Keep him on a leash and on the asphalt paths, and all will be good.

When the kids need a potty break, the closest option is actually outside the park across the street at Starbucks, on the corner of State Street and Pearl Street.

Better yet, expand your trip on the tip of Manhattan (and build in a potty visit) at the nearby South Ferry Terminal, where you can snag a free ride to Staten Island with great views of Lady Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, or a free visit to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian across the street from the farm.

Get On the Waitlist
Yes, autumn just arrived but it’s never too early to start thinking about next summer! Don’t miss the City Seedlings program next year, where children ages 3-6 (accompanied by an adult) can get their hands dirty and learn about everything from worms working in the garden to planting green beans.

Battery Urban Farm
Farm entrance on State Street (at Pearl Street)
Open to the public April through November
Mondays – Fridays, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Online: thebattery.org

Did you know there’s a farm in Manhattan? Tell us about your visit to the Battery Urban Farm!

–Sarah Choi

Photos courtesy of The Battery Conservancy

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