Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dig this new farm festival

By Meredith Deliso

Green’s the thing this month.

During the festival Farm City, urban agrarians — from artists to farmers to activists to foodies — will be celebrated, and founder Derek Denckla couldn’t have found a more perfect launch site than Brooklyn.

“Every great culinary trend and idea comes from Brooklyn, even if Manhattan exploits it later,” said Denckla. “It’s a thought leader in this area.”

The month-long festival highlights trends in urban agriculture — from rooftop farms to locavorism — kicking off with a fair on Sept. 12 at Invisible Dog in Cobble Hill.

The day-long affair is a great introduction to the borough’s food scene in all its glory: You’ll eat Brooklyn-grown food; attend workshops on foraging, pickling, and sausage making; eat victuals prepared by the Meat Hook, Marlowe & Sons, Ted & Honey, Egg and other restaurants; browse flowers, vegetables, and artwork made by Brooklynites; and even get to sample baked goods at a cook-off produced by The Food Experiments.

On Sept. 18, you can visit some urban agriculture centers, as Farm City will feature a tour of Red Hook Community Farm, which also features chickens and bees; Eagle Street Roofop Farm in Greenpoint (pictured); and Bed Stuy Farm, among others. Other elements of the festival include such indoor activities as film screenings and lectures.

Whether you’re a locavore, or never met the word’s acquaintance, Denckla looks to engage a wide array of eaters and increase our involvement in food production by highlighting the fervent farm activity and activism in Brooklyn’s backyards.

“It’s not some finger-wagging lesson, that the environment is going to hell in a handbasket — which it is — but that there is pleasure in resistance that is palpable when you see the work that people do in this fair,” said Denckla.

Can you dig?

Farm City will take place at several locations and times from Sept. 12-25. For info, visit


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