Sustainable agriculture is the practice of growing food in a way that balances environmental stewardship, community development and economic viability.
Sustainable farms recognize the connection between environmental health, human health and community health. The Queens County Farm Museum has started a four-season growing program using our passively-heated cold frames and our historic glass greenhouse in order to provide fresh produce year round to residents of the city. We are integrating grazing and browsing rotations into our livestock management in order to improve soil quality, animal health, and restore a healthy ecosystem on our farm.
The History of
The development and diffusion of many of the concepts that guide organic and sustainable farmers today were generated during the early 20th century, the most productive years of farming at the Queens County Farm Museum. The era being re-vitalized by the Farm Museum is the one in which important historical figures such as Sir Albert Howard, Lady Balfour and J.I. Rodale were farming, researching and writing.
practices reflect our belief in making connections between historical
and environmental preservation as well as healthy food and healthy
communities. Our evolving composting program is critical to
closing the fertility loop and improving the quality of our
soil. The Farm Museum is the only farm in New York City with
livestock and we are developing new pasture-based management systems
for heritage breeds. We also feature heirloom varieties in
our two acre vegetable field.
Rather than depend on chemical fertilizers or insecticides we practice crop rotation, timed planting, catch crops, companion planting, and cover cropping to reduce weed and pest pressure.
Our fresh, nutritious farm products are sold only in New York City; our honey, eggs, herbs, and vegetables travel no farther than fifteen miles. Our most important selling location is our greenhouse gift shop. We also sell at the Union Square Greenmarket every Friday. This year we added several restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan that focus on local, seasonal food to our distribution model. Our overflow produce is distributed to City Harvest and community food banks.
The development of our agriculture program is critical to our local, sustainable food system. The transmission of traditional farm knowledge and skills is important in preserving the history of farming for future generations. We find ourselves at the center of some very important issues for the city—poverty, nutrition, food security, climate change, biodiversity, humane animal treatment, and preserving local history. As farmers and educators, we hope to play a role in shaping the future while contributing daily to our community in a positive, measurable way.
The mission of the Queens County Farm Museum is to preserve, restore, and interpret the site. Through educational programs, events, and museum services, we educate the public as to the significance of Queens County's agricultural and horticultural past and heighten awareness of present-day agricultural and horticultural practices.