When we when reached farmer Ryan Watson on the phone, he was in the middle of planting a grove of crabapple, pin oak and chokecherry trees…in the shade of the Williamsburg Bridge.
That’s because Watson has the pleasure of working the land at the new North Brooklyn Farms. This 35,000 square feet strip of highly coveted and highly unlikely urban farmland has to be seen to be believed, with its views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
The all-organic North Brooklyn Farms is a place to walk your dog, stop by the farm stand (check the Facebook page for rotating hours) for kale, volunteer or sit down for a three-course Sunday Supper where the distance between farm-to-table is less than 20 feet. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming tickets to a cider dinner with Aaron Burr Cidery, or rent the space for a bash of your own.
Or sign up for The Magic Box ($45 a week), a CSA that includes what’s fresh from the farm (last week included a bouquet of flowers, cucumbers, purslane and okra) along with curated picks from local producers like Northern Farmhouse Pasta.
Watson was as unlikely to become a farmer as it would be likely to find a mini orchard of 15-foot-tall apple trees in Brooklyn. He came to New York intending on studying law, but found himself entranced by the idea of creating a public farm that could also function as a community space.
The farm sits on the old blueprint of the Domino Sugar Factory. “Maybe we will grow stevia leaf next year in homage,” Watson says.