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Sam Berenstain, Shanti Nagel, Michael Barron

Urban Farming: Horticultural Challenges and Employment Opportunities

Each speaker will present a taste of what’s happening in the NYC Tri-State Area

Sam Berenstain, Riverpark Restaurant Farm
[Note: this portion of the presentation did not occur because the speaker was unexpectedly detained.]
Riverpark Restaurant is surrounded by a very large patio which includes this full scale farm. Adjacent to the NYU Medical Center, the farm was originally formed through a partnership with The Alexandria Center for Life Science. Sam will explain how he and two summer interns use this container & greenhouse farm to grow a year-round supply of produce for the restaurant. Sam Berenstain has a degree in Environmental Sustainability from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg VA. After completing two summer internships with NYC farms, he spent seven years as the Farm Manager of Project Grows, a 10-acre Community Farm in Virginia whose goals are food production, food access, and food education. At Riverpark Sam is the full time, year round Farm Manager.

Shanti Nagel, Design Wild Inc.
Shanti Nagel is the founding partner of Design Wild Inc., a collaborative landscape design firm in New York City. She is passionate about developing useful and beautiful green spaces that bring the wild beauty of nature to the concrete jungle, improving ecosystems, and inspiring peace of mind for clients and communities. She will illustrate how growing food influences design, people, and our food system, and integrates agriculture into the fabric of our city. Shanti is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, a trained horticulturist and skilled garden designer. She has been creating agricultural and horticultural gardens for 10 years in New York City for diverse populations including community groups, affordable housing tenants, the formerly homeless, as well as for private individuals. The Edible University installation is particularly noteworthy.

Michael Barron, AeroFarms
AeroFarms® was founded in 2004 to address the world’s increasing need for safe, dependable and nutritious food. A mission-driven company, setting a new standard for controlled urban agriculture, they are building and operating indoor farms in cities across the United States and around the world using their state-of-the-art aeroponic growing system. This patented technology allows them to grow food indoors without sun or soil, using 95% less water than in the field and a fraction of the natural resources. It is their focus and expertise to grow safe, fresh, nutritious, delicious produce all year round and make locally-grown food accessible to all consumers. | Michael Barron is the Leader of Research and Development and Senior Plant Scientist at AeroFarms®. Previously, he worked at the Economics Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. and at Ingleby Farms & Forests in Denmark. He holds a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University, Plant, Environmental Management, and Soil Science from Louisiana State University, and Data Science from Indiana University. He was recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Science.

Meeting Details

Date & Time:
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 , 6:00pm