Ryan Watson and Henry Sweets had plenty of experience in urban farming before founding North Brooklyn Farms in Williamsburg. Ryan, who originally hails from Venice, California, worked for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and helped organize the 61 Franklin Street Garden in Greenpoint; Henry trained at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture before managing vegetable production at Battery Urban Farm in downtown Manhattan. Both men had tremendous vision, dedication, and passion (three of our favorite words!) when they started NBF in March 2013.
A little over a year ago, NBF submitted a winning proposal and earned access to the former parking lot of the Domino Sugar Refinery, which had become a vacant parcel of land. NBF began working the landscape and preparing it for vegetable and flower production. Neighbors came out to help and soon a group of volunteers became vital members of the farm team.
One of these members was Andrew Kluger, a photographer and actor from Pennsylvania, who we had the great pleasure of photographing alongside Henry and Ryan. Over the past months, Andrew took some amazing photos of NBF as well! Check out his website for the photos he took:
NBF hosted farm stands, farm dinners, and educational programs for local students. There’s no better way to learn about farming in science class than to sink your hands in the dirt at a neighborhood urban farm!
Though NBF celebrated its last day at its Domino Sugar location on September 30th, Henry, Ryan, Andrew, and the rest of the NBF team have big plans in store. They’re currently looking at other vacant lots in North Brooklyn, as well as satellite farms upstate. Soon, they hope to have multiple locations in the city for more neighbors to help cultivate and enjoy.
Photographing these three gents on a beautiful Brooklyn day wearing new pieces from our Fall/Winter 2014 collection was a wonderful experience. Something about the stunning greenery, our utilitarian design, and the industrial Williamsburg Bridge in the background made for images that were highly textured and wonderfully composed.
It’s apparent that NBF and Kai D complement each other well: both are labors of hard work, passion, and a love for creating something to be shared.