NB Politicus

Summer Farm Report: Crops Are Coming In At Urban Oaks

Posted in Parks and Agriculture by nbpoliticus on July 8, 2007

Living in the city and organic farming/shopping are not mutually exclusive thanks to the Urban Oaks Organic Farm on Oak Street.

“We’ve started picking our own summer crops including French round zucchini and regular zucchini, and, of course, we’ll have more of our first picking of basil,” reported our friends at Urban Oaks on June 28th. “We also have some yellow summer squash from Massachusetts. We’re picking greens – including our glorious kales. Keep the kitchen cool by cooking up some greens rather than using your ovens.”

Oak Street New Britain may seem an unlikely place for a working farm that practices sustainable agriculture and produces lettuces, salad greens, tomatoes, fresh herbs and eggplant that chefs at fine restaurants favor. In 1999, however, Tony Norris and Mike Kandefer made Urban Oaks Organic Farm a reality. In the 1990s, mobilizing environmental clean up funds, grants and volunteers, Tony and Mike reclaimed the former Sandelli Greenhouse property at 233 Oak Street and created a working city farm utilizing their skills as certified organic farmers. The restoration of 15,000 square feet of greenhouses has allowed the farm to offer fresh greens and produce.

The nonprofit farm has been an urban revitalization success story second to none in New Britain. The presence of Urban Oaks is a positive force in a city neighborhood struggling with blight and safety issues. It’s been a gathering place where city residents and students can learn about sustainable and environmentally friendly farming. It proves that farming is not just an enterprise for the open roads and lower density of rural Connecticut.

Urban Oaks Organic Farm, 225 Oak Street , New Britain, CT 06051
Phone or Fax 860-223-6200, Email: urbanoaks@earthlink.net

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