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YPC Presents First “Building Blocks” Speaker Series Event

On Thursday, October 20th, Breaking Ground’s Young Professionals Committee kicked off their Building Blocks speakers series with a panel on urban farming and gardening at our Christopher residence in Chelsea.

The evening began with tours of the Christopher’s rooftop garden, which has undergone a transformation this year under the watch of our partners at Sprout By Design. Including new planters designed to accommodate people in wheelchairs or with other mobility challenges, the garden is tended by tenants, with guidance and programming from folks at Sprout By Design. Whether tenants are ready to get their hands dirty or not, there is plenty of programming around growing, harvesting, and using produce fresh from the garden.

Christopher Rooftop

Following tours and an intro from Breaking Ground’s President and CEO, Brenda Rosen, panelists discussed the challenges, successes and future of urban farming. Moderator Kenneth Monroe of North Brooklyn Farms introduced his organization and fellow panelists:  Ilona de Johng of Sprout By Design. Gwen Schantz of Brooklyn Grange, and David Vigil of East New York Farms.

Each panelist spoke about the origins of their companies, how they personally became involved in urban gardening,and the growth of urban gardening over the past decade in New York. Ranging from small businesses to nonprofits, each organization has carved out a piece of urban turf on which to grow and practice the art and science of farming. From working with school children and low-income residents, to determining the best and most profitable crops to grow in limited spaces, each organization is making a difference in the lives of New Yorkers from all walks of life.

For more from the YPC, and to learn about the next Building Blocks speakers series, be sure to follow Breaking Ground’s YPC on Facebook and Instagram.