EcoStation

SUMMARY: Rooted in social and environmental justice, EcoStation:NY is exploring the intersection of the two through innovative, interrelated "community food" and sustainable urban agriculture projects that educate, inspire, and empower. By taking a “Big Picture” approach, we are fostering important dialog and action around food, the environment, society, and sustainability.

PROBLEM SPACE: Our planet is facing several interrelated problems. We are imperiling ourselves by not addressing the negative impact our food system is having on our health and environment. EcoStation seeks to build resilient, responsible, united communities that will bring about real change in our food system.

At a local level, the problems are both insidious, and personal. In economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, limited access to fresh food has rates of preventable, diet-related illness soaring. Due to agricultural government subsidies, the convenience foods full of soy and corn-derived additives end up being alluringly inexpensive: a true mark of a broken food system.

Introduced to the world of seeds, soil, and compost, and the growing and harvesting of vegetables, people gain respect for food production, and grow more curious about what goes into their bodies. Preparing food together completes the reuniting of people with their food, and is a great opportunity for cultural expression.

Food has been monetized, and as conglomerates control more and more of all aspects of food production and supermarket shelf space, our food options shrink. Through our integrated and innovative (and often FUN!) projects, EcoStation is spurring awareness and action, and changing lives and communities for the better.

SOLUTION: EcoStation is based in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a community with new cachet but with poverty rates as high as 38%, and some of NYC’s highest rates of preventable, diet-related illness. We are working to change these health statistics by promoting food access, environmental awareness, and community empowerment.

EcoStation operates five weekly seasonal Bushwick Farmers Market locations, where our local farmers and entrepreneurs find an outlet for their goods. Friendly conversation, cultural events, and free cooking workshops (for adults and kids) have aided in growing a health-positive culture.

Bushwick Campus Farm & Greenhouse is an organic farm and living classroom serving the 1500 staff and high school students of Bushwick Campus. It offers myriad educational opportunities, a summer youth employment program, an apprentice program, public events, community composting, and the NYC’s first Youth Food Policy Council. It is also the site of our Food & Social Justice workshops.

The focus at Farm-In-The-Sky, our rooftop farm, is on easily replicated, inexpensive Do-It-Yourself solutions and ecologically sound methods.

Through our integrated programs we are raising the level of discourse around food in our neighborhood, bringing topics of social, racial, environmental, and economic justice to the table as well.

CONTACT PERSON: [email protected]

Images: