Chicken tenders flying the coop

The Brooklyn Paper
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What the cluck!

Urban farmers are being kicked out of their flagship plantation in Bushwick by a landlord who says he wants to build, leaving them to sow the earth at only one, less-noticeable location.

The all-volunteer Bushwick City Farm is packing up its original home on Broadway between Belvidere Street and Arion Place for the bigger pastures of a lot it already controls around the corner on Stockton Street, but farmers say the move will hurt its ability to attract volunteers and neighbors.

“We are disappointed to lose that spot, especially because it has so much visibility there on Broadway,” volunteer and organizer Jason Reis.

Reis said the farm, which has never paid any rent at either the Broadway lot or the lot around the corner on Stockton Street, was supposed to be out by August, but that the volunteers are taking their time moving the chicken, bees, cats and plants to the other space.

Bushwick City Farm opened on the Broadway lot back in 2008. Since then, volunteers have helped neighbors learn how to grow produce and raise fowl, as well as given away food, throw kids’ parties, and teach English to Spanish-peakers.

Reis said the volunteers are not angry with the owner, who had promised the space to the organization for at least three years and ended up giving them five, for kicking them out.

The farm opened its second location around the corner in late 2012. Having that spot makes losing the Broadway lot a little easier, said Reis, but the volunteers are still sad about it.

“The Broadway lot was especially important because there was so much foot traffic on Broadway, so it gave us a lot of exposure,’’ said volunteer Aneta Bujno. “That dramatic shock that the residents had the first time they saw us felt like accomplishment. We have less of that on the other lot.”

Neighbors said they will miss the excitement of walking by the lot on a daily basis.

“It gave the kids something to look at instead of just another apartment building,” said Evelyn Williams, whose three children all volunteered at both lots. “It teaches them how to go out in the community and do something for the environment.”

Reis said the organization is looking for other lots in the area, and that volunteers are also talking to the city about installing flower boxes on the grounds of the Marcy Houses and Sumner Houses, which are both city-run housing projects.

Jeff Hiller, the owner of the lot on Broadway, could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
“We are disappointed to lose that spot, especially because it has so much visibility there on Broadway,”

Oct. 16, 2013, 4:05 am
Pat I. from 70's Brooklyn says:
I'd like to see the owner sell the lot to KFC.
Oct. 16, 2013, 5:22 am
o3 from bk says:
what the flock?
Oct. 16, 2013, 7:30 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Stupid question: why don't these hayseeds move out to the open spaces to do their thing...
Lack of an audience?
Oct. 16, 2013, 8:45 am
jjm from c. hill says:
What the hell is this guy doing raising chickens in nyc? Go to freakin iowa if u wanna get into agriculture.
Oct. 16, 2013, 10:50 am
jjm from c. hill says:
i cant wait for bushwick to be BUSHWICK again. Run all of these hippy looking weirdos outta here asap. They're making brooklyn look softer by the day.
Oct. 16, 2013, 11:09 am
bkmanhatinvader from bkbrokelyn says:
Ok jjm. we gonan return to days of thuggery and beatings?
I ratehr have hipster vegans milling about waiting for their trustfund checks than homeys in saggy pants standing around the corner.
Oct. 16, 2013, 11:43 am
Ronald from Slope says:
Man, you people are retarded.
Oct. 16, 2013, 11:51 am
jjm from c. hill says:
@bkman, i never said that. Im just saying that they're tarnishing bk's image & driving up people rents. But dont worry, de blasio's coming so dont get too comfy.
Oct. 16, 2013, 3:21 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
The hipster is the plow that breaks the plain for the gentrifier. Never more true than here. What do you suppose is going up in the space hipster chicken beta male occupied? Time to pack up the chickens and clear the brown people out of another "cool nabe".
Oct. 16, 2013, 5:26 pm
Farmer from Bushwick says:
That lot was a trash-filled cess-pit before Bushwick City Farms cleaned up the lot (notably without permission). If anything, they postponed development by 2 years. Also, can someone explain to me how it is gentrification if it serves the community that has been there for generations? Really, a few white people finally did something for the community and you call 'em out?
Oct. 17, 2013, 8:49 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Miners, lumberjacks, and farmers form the triumvirate of manly professions. They are tough, tough jobs and you must also be tough or you don't last. So reading a bunch of brooklyn "native" pansies dish on farmers doing real physical labor to produce real goods for real people instead of strutting around with fake tans and wife beaters and gold chains, uttering sentences whose content consists 90% of "Yo," well, it just makes me laugh with derision. You try and go out and do hard, physical labor, you nancies, and then come back and spit on those who hack that work every day. And while you're at it, try learning a little about what it means to be an American who works hard and takes risks, no matter what derogatory ne'er-do-well pansies like you have to say. You're a disgrace to our country.
Oct. 18, 2013, 9:42 am

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