Rise & Root Farm is a 3-acre vegetable farm at the Chester Agricultural Center. We plan to grow our operation to 25 acres over the next few years. We are run cooperatively by an all-star team of four veteran urban farmers and community activists: Lorrie Clevenger, Jane Hodge, Karen Washington, and Michaela Hayes. Based in New York City and Chester, NY, these talented women are connected by their passion for food, food justice, hands-on education, and farming.
Our lives have been intertwining in various ways for nearly a decade – through our work with the nonprofit food justice organization Just Food; helping to found Farm School NYC; working in various community gardens and farmers’ markets in Brooklyn and the Bronx; founding the Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference, and then going all the way to the other coast, at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Finally, we decided that it was time to unite and collaborate on a larger farming venture and scale up our mission to bring healthy, affordable, locally grown food to New York City residents, particularly those living in low-income communities.