Guide to Urban Farming in New York

Image from New York Times.
While the bulk of our focus is admittedly on backyard gardeners and amateur farmers in rural settings, much of the training we provide at Better Farm is for people who live in settings classically considered less-than-ideal for DIY-ing your survival. Rainwater catchment systems appropriate for the 'burbs, vertical gardens, and green city living are just some of the topics we've broached in the past—so you can imagine our delight when we discovered the brandy-new "Urban Guide to Farming in New York State" recently released by the Cornell Small Farms Program.

The 105-page resource guide is designed to inform urban farmers on a myriad of topics, including tips for advocating for urban agriculture, engaging communities, dealing with contaminated soils, intensive growing techniques, urban composting, site security, urban livestock, direct marking options, accepting food stamps, grant and financial opportunities, and many more!  Also included is an appendix listing services and resources available from several urban farming organizations throughout New York State.

Whether you’re looking to grow food on your rooftop, keep chickens in your backyard, learn more about hydroponics or start an urban CSA, the "Guide to URBAN Farming in NYS" will provide or direct you to the information you need to know.

Download the entire Guide to Urban Farming in NYS here (PDF). The Guide is available as a free download [PDF] or you may view individual fact sheets online (good for dial-up or band-width restricted users). Check it out at For more small farm news and events, visit  For beginning farmer assistance, visit

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.