school for the visual arts & sciences

New Partnership with North Brooklyn Farms

Michelle Schulz has facilitated a partnership with North Brooklyn Farms. Our first graders are going to visit first, and Thursday, the folks from North Brooklyn Farms are going to meet with our science teachers to plan for our partnership going forward. 

From Ryan Watson, of North Brooklyn Farms: 

North Brooklyn Farms converts vacant land into publicly accessible urban farms where people can connect with nature and access organic, sustainable produce. We provide good food, green space and hands-on garden education to people of all ages.

Our mission is to improve the lives of urban dwellers and demonstrate the transformative potential of urban agriculture to all people. We believe urban farms are a vital part of a sustainable city and deserve the attention of the political and economic forces that shape our future.

Who we are -

Henry Sweets is an urban farmer and landscaper who trained at Stone Barns and managed vegetable production at Battery Urban Farm in Manhattan. He has a bachelors degree in philosophy and years of experience teaching art and gardening to children and adults.

Ryan Watson is a garden educator and community organizer. A former teacher, Ryan is the founder of Brooklyn Seed Company and has worked for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden integrating garden and environmental education to teach the next generation about the importance of sustainable living.

What we offer -

Pick Your Own Farm Stand - Purchase vegetables harvested while-you-wait, or venture on to the farm to pick your own seasonal produce. Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m.

Farm Dinner - Three-course dinners featuring produce from our farm and other local growers served every Sunday evening around sunset. Buy tickets at

Volunteer Hours - Get your hands dirty and hone your gardening skills with both novice and experienced gardeners under the guidance of our staff. Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m.

School Visits - An integral part of our mission is to raise the next generation of urban farmers and teach them why urban farms are an essential component of a sustainable city. Contact us at to plan your school's visit.

Garden Consulting - We consult with homes, businesses and community organizations to build beautiful, productive growing spaces. Contact us at to set up a consultation.

Our story -

After meeting at Battery Urban Farm in 2012, Henry Sweets and Ryan Watson dreamed up the idea of converting vacant lots in Brooklyn into a network of public urban farms. In March 2013 they gained access to the former parking lot of the Domino sugar factory in Williamsburg. Over the next three months they built a farm there with the help of community volunteers, and opened their first farm site in July.

How you can help -

The farm relies on community support to sustain itself. Join us for dinner, purchase produce from the farm stand, or donate. 

Address: 329 Kent Avenue. Brooklyn, NY 11211 Entrance along S. 3rd Street between Kent and Wythe Avenues.
Questions? Email us

See Ryan, Henry and Quinn from North Brooklyn Farm visiting our hydroponic classroom.


"This is the most advanced school garden with a hydroponic system that I've seen!" -Ryan Watson


Here's an update from the Garden Committee head, Jasmine Astronomo, and also Susan Golub:

It's been some months since we've been able to garden, but the winter has passed, and the green area weathered Sandy with success. The spring brought the little garden Daffodils, Tulips and Irises. We hope you were able to stop and enjoy them the past couple of months.

We also planted the themed garden boxes with the help of our Kindergarten and Pre-K classes. It was so fun, and the plants and flowers look beautiful. Please drop by and see them if you haven't yet.

Its been very rainy, so the boxes have been lucky, but if a box(es) looks dry, don't hesitate to water it. All you have to do is ask one of the teachers if you could use one of their watering cans or plastic pitchers and fill it up in the classroom. That would be a great help especially because the boxes see so much sun in that little area. 
Caring for them in anyway, even if its adjusting a plant while you walk by is exactly the type of help the K and Pre-K classes need for this project to be successful.

ALSO, we need an artist or someone with good penmanship to help with painting/writing each theme on the sides of the boxes. Please contact me if you can help. We are trying to make these boxes interactive and more accessible to all who see them and want to learn!

This coming month is our busiest. As the children planted new crops in the boxes, we had to take out the "winter plants" and re-pot them. They are temporarily living in the little gated garden until a bunch of us can get together and have some planting fun. We hope to plant them in the front and side areas of the school. This can happen during a couple of school days or on a saturday morning when the school is open for other activities. Please write to me (Jasmine Astronomo <>) if you are interested. List the days + hours when you are available to plant. It's not too many plants, so the more people that help the quicker this can get done. We need to be finished in time for the Garden Party On June 22nd!


Susan and Jasmine



The lower school playground area and garden has been transformed by a true community effort. This month we completed the first phase by planting the winter plants that were generously donated by Jungle Design. Please visit the lower school area to enjoy the planter boxes and sit on one of our new benches!


Check out the long list of people who helped us out along the way:


1)  We won a grant from Build it Green for 240 feet of untreated reclaimed cedar wood.


 2)  A group of parents (especially Andrija Djordjevic) built benches and boxes out of the wood!


3)  We got a grant from Caster City for 24 casters.  At this point we had very rough boxes and benches.


4)  In October, some more parents came and helped sand the boxes and put the wheels on.


5)  A super neighbor of the school, landscape designer Benjamin Landers, gave us lining material to line the boxes.


6)  Steve, our indomitable custodian gave us the gift of soil and mulch, and even took us to Home Depot in his truck to pick it up!


7)  Build it green gave us compost and threw in a persimmon tree for good measure.


8)  Parent Marie Pesquet donated sand (thanks to Mathieu for bringing it over)!


9)  Jungle Design gave us loads and loads of incredible plants!


10) THEN! 11th Street Workshop gave us paint to use to paint the boxes and also donated ANOTHER beautiful bench.


11) Finally, a parent bought a Larch Tree, which is very Dr. Seuss-esque and just so fantastic.


We are nearly are the final steps.........


Come Spring, each K and PreK class will paint and work on a theme for their respective box. Some themes being discussed are Habitat boxes, Herbs, Pizza Box ,etc..(more to follow!) A big thank you to the teachers who have/will make this a part of their curriculum.


We will need parent volunteers to assist the children on those "painting" days.   We will also need to sand, paint and varnish the 11th Street Bench AND build a wooden container for the Larch Tree.   Please contact Jasmine if you are interested in helping with any or all of these mini projects.


Should be a lot of green fun and something to look forward to in 2013!


Molly Findley, Jasmine Astronomo and the Garden Committee



PS 84 Wins Grow to Learn Grant


Thanks to Parent Heather Langsner, PS 84 is the proud recipient of the Grow to Learn NYC Mini-Grant.  We will get $2000.00 to use toward our school garden.  PS 84 beat out 42 other applicants!


This grant was made possible by the Grow to Learn NYC program.  


If you visit their site, you can learn how creating a garden is the first step towards the ultimate goal -- teaching students and helping them learn through the unique activities of building and maintaining a school garden. 


The benefits of a school garden include:

A change in eating habits

Improved academics

Connection to the environment

Fighting obesity

Promoting physical activity

A change in attitudes toward learning.


Congratulations to Heather - thank you so much!


Glad to announce that through the efforts of parents Molly Findlay, Stella Metzner and Jasmine Astronomo, PS 84 has just won a grant from Build it Green NYC!.

We will receive 240 linear feet of reclaimed scaffolding boards to be used in our continuing greening of the school - in this case, probably in our garden areas. 

Build it Green NYC! collects old scaffolding and through their BIG!Blooms grant program, makes it available to school gardens.  As they say on their site:

"Ever wonder what happens when the ugly scaffolding in front of your favorite corner store comes down? Well, after the scaffolding has been used for construction purposes, it is retired and sent to a landfill. Build It Green!NYC saw an opportunity to help divert the wood from the waste stream and provide free materials to local gardens...

BIG!Blooms began last year, and has already diverted 3,000 boards of scaffolding lumber to be used as raised garden beds, tree guards, and compost bins for local community and school gardens".

Great news and thanks to the parents who made this happen!


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