Wagner Houses Harvest Festival

November 17, 2016  |   Posted by :   |   Blog   |   Comments Off on Wagner Houses Harvest Festival»

On October 29th Green City Force Corps Members celebrated our final Harvest Festival of the season at Wagner Houses Farm in East Harlem. Despite being the smallest Farm at NYCHA, this Harvest Fest drew crowds. Over the course of the day over 540 people came to celebrate the success of our first farm season at Wagner. Over 300 local children carved and took home 250 pumpkins.

Pumpkin Parade

A pumpkin parade makes its way through the raised beds at Wagner Houses Farm. Credit Green City Force

With the entire Urban Farm Corps and lots of GCF staff on site to help run the show there were too many people to thank for making the day happen. The crafts table and face painting stations were popular all day, with Team Leader Renee Whittick and others painting non-stop for hours. GCF’s Carpentry Specialist Justin Yockel refereed the potato sack race while Urban Agriculture Director Jen Tirado provided color commentary. On the other side of the farm Corps Member Paul Philpott called on skills from a former job when he set up a giant bubble blowing station for kids.


How could you go wrong with giant bubbles? Credit Andrea Mata.

Corps Members Will Mendez and Kedar Hawkins staffed the kitchen all day, whipping up omelets with farm-fresh ingredients for visitors throughout the festivities. Harlem Grown Farm Manager Chance Brown, Wagner Resident Leader Katie Harris, Jen Tirado and Corps Member Ayanna Bynum set a high bar on the dance floor with their Electric Slide.


Resident Leader Katie Harris, Corps Member Ayanna Bynum, Urban Agriculture Director Jen Tirado and Harlem Grown Farm Manager Chance Brown get down to the Electric Slide. Credit Tonya Gayle.

Thank you to all the local leaders who showed up to celebrate this special day with their remarks. We were honored to host the New York City Council Speaker, and representative of Wagner Houses, Melissa Mark-Viverito. Thank you to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington for visiting the farm to see GCF’s impact. We were delighted to have the New York City Housing Authority General Manager Michael Kelly address Corps Members and Wagner residents with his boundless enthusiasm for GCF’s work. We too are working toward the day when we have 40, not just 4 farms at public housing Mr. Kelly.


Corps Member Quaming Boatwright was busy painting faces all day. Credit Green City Force.

Thank you to our local partners for everything they did to realize this festival and the Wagner Houses Farm. Lew Zuchman, SCAN NY’s Founder and Executive Director shared his praise for the Farms at NYCHA initiative and the benefits it opens to local residents. Tony Hillery, Founder and Executive Director of Harlem Grown even stopped by during his organization’s own Harvest Festival to help us commemorate the day. Finally we have to thank Wagner Houses Tenant Association Resident Leader Ms. Katie Harris for her ongoing collaboration and unwavering support for the farm at her development.

Click here for more photos from Wagner Harvest Festival on our photo gallery.

Click here for more information about the Farms at NYCHA.

Group shot

Thank you to all everyone who came out to make Wagner Harvest Festival an amazing day. Credit Green City Force.


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