For over a decade, the Randall’s Island Park Alliance’s Urban Farm has encouraged visitors to explore sustainable agriculture and the environment in a space designed for teaching and learning.
The Urban Farm Edible Education Program offers a formal opportunity for local K – 12 students, prioritizing public schools in neighboring East Harlem and the South Bronx, to engage in topics not often addressed in school: their food, how it is grown, and how it contributes to their health and well-being, as well as to their communities and the greater food system.
Our experienced team of Urban Farmers and Educators guide students through age-appropriate hands-on classes focused on the environment, planting, composting, and cooking. Through these classes, students deepen their understanding around topics like soil biodiversity, plant anatomy, urban ecosystems, and healthy eating.
Lessons adapt to seasonal changes and classes can be tailored to the needs of teachers. All classes are developed to align with what students are learning in the classroom and adhere to New York State Scope and Sequence along with Common Core Standards.
Compost Your Food Scraps at the Randall’s Island Urban Farm
Why should you compost food scraps at Urban Farm?
RIPA welcomes thousands of visitors to the urban farm each season to participate in hands-on edible education classes and free public programs. In honor of Earth Day and our 32nd Birthday, we are launching a community compost collection initiative. In 2023, we’re aiming to collect 2,023 lbs of food scraps (twice the amount we typically process) to double our ability to engage visitors, feed our soil, and feed our community.
What is compost?
“Composting is the process of creating the ideal conditions for the rapid decomposition of organic materials. Compost suppresses diseases, provides vital aeration to plant roots, and is a source of minerals and nutrients that are essential to plant growth and health.” — DSNY
When can I compost?
Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM – 4 PM
Where do I put my food scraps?
You can put your food scraps in a green bin located next to our farm kitchen. Please toss plastic bags into the trash can nearby. Paper bags are okay to include in the green bin!
What can I compost?
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Rinsed eggshells
- Meat, fish, dairy products
- Compostable cutlery and plates
Edible Education Field-Trips
In-Person Field Trip: In a 2-hour visit, students get a broad introduction to the farm by rotating through activities that engage their fives senses in learning. They explore the diversity of fruits and vegetables available on the farm during a “walking, talking, tasting tour,” and prepare a simple farm-fresh dish with their harvest. They also get their hands dirty, learning about compost and the important role worms play in growing our food. Along the way, students explore the relationships of vegetables within different families of crops, plant anatomy, pollination, and the relationships of animals to plants within the ecology of the farm.
Virtual Field Trip: In this 30–45-minute experience, students participate in a live virtual tour of the Urban Farm. During the tour, Farmers and Educators will introduce students to a range of topics while engaging in a Q & A along the way. Students will learn about composting and discover the fruits and vegetables growing in our urban environment. Tours can be tailored to all ages and designed to align with the desired focus of the teacher. Groups are also invited to submit post-trip questions for our Farmers and Educators to answer in a personalized video!