Dufresne, Meat Hook, Greenpoint Food Market, and Others Celebrate Urban Farming

Photo: Courtesy of Brooklyn Grange

Le Fooding isn’t the only Frenchified festival that’ll take over New York this fall. Over the course of three weekends in September, the folks partly responsible for last year’s Four F***ing Dinners (the French Institute Alliance Francaise) will celebrate urban farming during their Farm City festival. There’ll be a fair featuring Brooklyn food producers, film screenings, food-inspired performances, farm tours, discussions, and more. Check out the full schedule below.

Farm City Fair
September 12, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
The Invisible Dog Art Center and on Bergen Street, Brooklyn

The fair is a wild, new take on the traditional county fair, a daylong celebration of art and food grown in Brooklyn! Festivities engage all the senses: hear live music performed by local Bang on a Can marching band Asphalt Orchestra; taste delicacies prepared by local chefs inspired by ingredients from Brooklyn farms; view specially commissioned work exploring the culture of agriculture by local artists; get a feel for materials needed to produce your own food in workshops by Brooklyn Food Coalition; participate in a blue ribbon competition hosted by GreenThumb; and browse a marketplace with some of Brooklyn’s small-batch artisanal food purveyors, curated by Greenpoint Food Market. Cap it off with The Food Experiments’ live cooking competition — Brooklyn Roots — featuring savory samples and refreshing drinks from Brooklyn Brewery, Six Points Brewery, Red Hook Wines, Brooklyn Oenology, Kings County Distillery, and others.

Participants include:

Asphalt Orchestra, Brooklyn-based, 12-piece, next-generation, avant-garde marching band, will open the event on Bergen Street and in the neighborhood between 11 a.m. and noon.
Andrew Casner, compost painter, demonstrates his acclaimed, agrarian work — the community process of developing a viable compost with an acid-etched canvas underneath created as a natural by-product.
Mathilde Roussel-Giraudy, a Brooklyn-based artist, presents Ça pousse! (It’s growing!), human-form sculptures made from material such as wheatgrass that change as they grow.
Miwa Koizumi, Brooklyn-based ice cream maker of “NY Flavors,” will create a geographically inspired new ice cream flavor based on Bergen Street and the festival.
Tattfoo Tan, the vibrant urban farming visionary artist, launches his new bike-based S.O.S Mobile Classroom as the next installment in his two-year-long public art project titled S.O.S. (Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship.).
Wylie Dufresne, renowned chef of wd-50, creates a new downloadable recipe based on reimagining local ingredients, to be sampled at the fair.
Christina Kelly, Brooklyn-based artist meditates on loss and possibility, growing blue corn in monumental street planters in a public art project called Maize Field, located where Lenape Indians planted in the 1600s.

Events and activities throughout the day:
Farmstands from Brooklyn farms such as Added Value, Rooftop Farms, and Bk Farmyards will sell their produce and explain its provenance.
GreenThumb will host a Premium Blue Ribbon Contest for gardeners to show off their produce and reveal the range of possibilities for home growing in the city.
Brooklyn Food Coalition will present a daylong series of workshops on how to make or grow food at home, from canning to under-counter compost.
Greenpoint Food Market will curate the best of Brooklyn’s small-batch vendors, including Anarchy in a Jar preserves and Brooklyn Kombucha.
The Food Experiments, created by Theodore Peck and Nick Suarez, will select competitive chefs to respond to their Brooklyn roots, using one or more ingredients grown or made in Brooklyn in a cook-off.
A Bar of Brooklyn Brews, Wines, and Cocktails will offer Brooklyn-made libations during the fair.
Chefs from The Meat Hook, Marlowe & Sons, Ted & Honey, Egg and otherswill serve up delicious eats made in Brooklyn in collaboration with urban farms.

Farm City Film
Sunday, September 12, 7 p.m.
Moviehouse at 3rd Ward, Brooklyn
A sneak-peek screening of the film American Meat, hosted by Moviehouse, including a Q&A; with filmmaker Graham Meriwether.

Graham Meriwether, 2010. Color. 70 min.
With Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. In English.

A look at farmer Joel Salatin’s small but growing movement to raise free-range animals without the use of antibiotics. To enhance the film’s flavors, Umami: People + Food presents a collectively prepared, locally sourced BBQ meal.

September 14, 7 p.m.
FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, NYC
A screening of The Gleaners and I, (Les glaneurs et la glaneuse)

Agnès Varda, 2000. Color. 82 min.
With Agnès Varda, Bodan Litnanski.
In French with English subtitles.

In this stirring cross between documentary and personal reflection, legendary filmmaker Agnès Varda explores the hidden value of discarded foodstuffs as a metaphor for making art and savoring life: gleaners who pick knobby potatoes left behind by farmers, chefs that forage — rather than buy — herbs, and dumpster divers who seek fruits and bread loaves amongst Paris trash. A Q&A; will follow the film with Madeline Nelson, moderator of NYC Freegan Meetup, reflecting on her personal and political experiences with gleaning and foraging in New York City.

Farm City Tour
September 18 and 19, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 2–6 p.m.
Red Hook Community Farm, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, Bed Stuy Farm, East New York Farms!, BK Farmyards, and more

Explore bold agricultural projects in contemporary Brooklyn through this special tour, offering a view of current practices in urban farming, ranging from beekeeping and composting to caring for laying hens, and rainwater harvesting. A 28-seat bus running on compressed natural gas (CNG), the cleanest fuel available, will shuttle guests to each site. The Tour will conclude at Old Stone House in Brooklyn, one of the last surviving structures from the borough’s impressive agricultural past. There, guests will view a display of provocative, small-scale urban farming projects, and enjoy foods made by Communal Table with ingredients from the farms.

Farms include:

Red Hook Community Farm (A project of Added Value) features the largest and most varied compost operation in Brooklyn. Beekeeping. Chicken keeping. Youth farmers on its 3-acre site grow 12 tons of produce each year for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and weekly Farmer’s Market
Bed Stuy Farm supplies fresh produce to adjacent food pantry, serving 1,000 people per week.
BK Farmyards, a scattered site farming enterprise, features Egg CSA at Imani Gardens and an innovative chicken coop design.
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm features a beehive, a chicken coop, raised beds, special light soil mix, CSA, restaurant supply, youth programs, cooking classes, compost from restaurants and a pickle plant.
East New York Farms! engages youth and community farmers in composting, rainwater harvest system, culturally appropriate planting and running a Farmer’s Market.
Secret Garden Farm has a unique mushroom farm, an extensive compost facility, teaching programs and hosts the Bushwick Farmers Market.

Artists Include:

Communal Table-brings art, ideas, activism and food right to the table.
Ian Cheney & Curt Ellis-Truck Farm is a Wicked Delicate film and food project: a mobile community farm, a documentary about urban agriculture and a public art and education project-from the team that created the acclaimed documentary King Corn.
Bryony Romer- “nanofarming” demonstration projects, including miniature container farms and associated interpretive materials, serve to underscore nanofarming’s real potential to grow food while transforming public awareness of urban space
Hernani Dias-Refarm the City builds bridges between software and hardware to link urban farmers through special technology highlighting local gastronomy in a concluding transformative meal that forges new communities.
Brooklyn Utopias-Guests may visit the related exhibition opening 9/17/10 in the 2d Floor Gallery of Old Stone House investigating utopian agrarian visions for the Borough of Kings, featuring artists WORK.AC (New Ark), Mary Mattingly (Waterpod), Eric Sanderson (Mannahatta), Hugh Hayden, Kim Holleman, and several others.

Farm City Forum: Imagining the Future of Urban Agriculture
September 25, discussions at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.
FIAF, Le Skyroom, NYC

Farm City concludes with an “unconference” of lively participant-driven discussions in collaboration with Eyebeam Art + Technology, exploring how to shape the future of urban agriculture. Sessions will bring together artists, farmers, urban planners, architects, food activists, and authors envisioning the transformative possibilities of urban agriculture as a means to generate new thinking and experimental action for a more sustainable future. Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, will be a featured speaker.

The Forum will investigate how artistic interventions transform and illuminate urban agricultural endeavors and vice versa. Participants include Majora Carter, MacArthur Fellow and founder of Sustainable South Bronx; Nevin Cohen, NYC Food Systems Network; Mary Mattingly, Waterpod; Jacquie Berger, Just Food; Adrian Benepe, NYC Parks, and many others.

Three sessions will feature dynamic open meeting methods engaging the audience in active, outcome-oriented experience, such as Pecha Kucha, presenting pithy introductions to 10 Innovative Urban Agriculture Projects, Lightning Skill Share, and Crowd-Sourced Panelist Questions. In advance, we will deploy a WIKI-a web-based knowledge sharing tool-so attendees can preview proposed topics and pose comments about the upcoming Forum.

What: Crossing the Line 2010: Farm City Fair
When: Sunday, September 12, 11a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: The Invisible Dog Art Center and on Bergen Street, Brooklyn
Admission: Free
Information: | 212 355 6160

What: Crossing the Line 2010: Farm City Film
Graham Meriwether’s American Meat
When: Sunday, September 12 at 7 p.m.
Where: Moviehouse at 3rd Ward
195 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)
Information: | 212 355 6160
Transportation: L to Morgan Avenue

What: Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners (Les glaneurs et la glaneuse)
When: Tuesday, September 14 at 7 p.m.
Where: FIAF; Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues), NYC
Admission: Free for FIAF Members; $7 Students; $10 Non-Members

Crossing the Line [Official Site]

Dufresne, Meat Hook, Greenpoint Food Market, and Others Celebrate Urban Farming