The RYTF Urban Farm and Community Garden offers growing space for youth in our program and community residents. The Urban Farm is one of the largest youth run growing spaces in New York City and is also used for monthly community events and a seasonal farm stand in the Summer and Fall. It is also one of the only youth run spaces to utilize a greenhouse. Other features include:
The farm produces tens of thousands of pounds of fresh produce to the Rockaway community each year. The RYTF Urban Farm and Garden is open May through September from 11am to sundown.
RYTF’s food justice work began as a response to the widespread damage to the Rockaway peninsula after Superstorm Sandy, resulting in the shuttering of many small stores and supermarkets. Lack of healthy food options in the wake of this destruction – particularly for lower income families and individuals in the community – prompted RYTF members to develop sustainable solutions for access to locally grown, low-cost, fresh produce that could be easily accessible to residents. The result was the successful launching of the RYTF Urban Farm and Community Garden on a half-acre lot, secured through the NYC Parks Department. To date, it is one of the largest youth-run Community Gardens in New York City.
Every week from May through September, RYTF hosts a weekly farm stand to sell fresh produce from our urban farm. What began as a partnership with GrowNYC in 2013, has evolved into our own self run and supported farm stand. Each summer, we produce over 20,000 pounds of produce for the community and our farm stand attracts shoppers from all over the Rockaway Peninsula. Our produce is very accessible and residents may purchase food using EBT, Credit, Cash, WIC, or FMNP checks. Our farm stand gives our youth the opportunity to learn valuable entrepreneurial and customer service skills, while deepening their knowledge of healthy living and eating habits. Each week, our youth lead cooking demonstrations using fresh produce from our farm and all unsold produce is donated to local food pantries.
We pride ourselves on being able to provide an open community space for rockaway residents. We many events at the farm including open mics, barbeques, farm dinners, composting events, and more. Check out the calendar to find our next upcoming event!
Every month during our growing season, we host Farm Dinners for the community. Each dinner features a fresh, farm to table meal made with our produce along with music and opportunities to fellowship with members of the community. Our dinner series provides our youth with employment opportunities in addition to event planning and management experience. We utilize local caterers and chefs to give back to the community and to ensure that our unique Rockaway flavor is in every bite. Check out the calendar to find the next dinner.