GrowNYC throwing open house for new community center Project Farmhouse

GrowNYC has an official home — and you’re invited inside.

The organization, which runs greenmarkets and gardens throughout the city and hosts programs on environmental issues like recycling, will celebrate the opening of its new sustainability and education center with an open house on April 29.

Project Farmhouse opened its doors late last year, hosting private events and school programming. At the open house, visitors can get a sense of what kinds of public programming will be on offer down the line, with tours of the space and cooking demos by Peter Hoffman, Gaggenau’s Eric Morales and a chef from Brooklyn’s Olmsted, as well as composting demos, nutrition workshops, recycling games, take-home DIY planters and more.

“We really built this space to be a community center for people to come together around sustainability and healthy eating and all of the programs that GrowNYC is already involved in, in the community,” said Laura McDonald, events director at Project Farmhouse.

Much of GrowNYC’s existing programming focuses on teacher training and student education. The organization anticipates hosting 500 teachers and 2,000 children each academic year at Project Farmhouse. Hands-on programs for students include GrowNYC’s Healthy Food Healthy Bodies series, which features field trips to greenmarkets and discussions with chefs on nutrition and health, as well as programs on renewable energy and farming.

The state-of-the-art space is a lesson in sustainability itself, from a farm-inspired entry archway made using repurposed wood beams to sun tunnels to let in natural light and a kinetic hydroponic wall. A centerpiece is its induction kitchen, donated by kitchen design company Boffi Soho, for cooking demos.

McDonald looks to ramp up public events in the summer, with potential programming like lectures, movie nights and demos from cookbook authors. Having the Union Square Greenmarket just steps from Project Farmhouse is also an advantage.

“There are lots of tie-ins with the market,” McDonald said. “We’re trying to get the farmers in here, doing some demos or talking about what their lives are like. It’s awesome that it’s just a couple blocks away.”


Project Farmhouse will host an open house April 29 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | 76 E. 13th St., projectfarmhouse.org | FREE