A Brooklyn Barn-Raising; Watch the Building of the UrBARN at the Great GoogaMooga

With help from NY1, we’ve got a sneak peek video tour of the construction of the Ur-BARN being raised at the Great GoogaMooga, two-day food and music fest produced by Superfly Presents that’s taking over the Neathermead in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

The outdoor shindig features more than 70 city food vendors, as many wineries and breweries, demos or lectures from more than a dozen celebrity chef and food experts, 20 live bands and a big red building called the UrBARN. It’s being built by Just Food, a city non profit that supports urban agriculture and access to farm-fresh food.

“It’s where the farm meets the city,” says Just Food Executive Director Jacquie Berger of the barn, whose pitched roof slowly morphs from front to back to form skyscrapers. “You can see in the foreground it looks like a barn,” she says, “and as you walk through it, it turns into the New York City skyline.”

The idea for the UrBARN itself came from Pratt University, where students entered a design contest run by Just Food and GoogaMooga visual designer Russ Bennett. “The group that did this one really listened carefully to everything that we said, which was local food, farming, the urban environment,” says Bennett, “and hence the idea for the UrBARN, which is what it’s now called. We just thought it was a brilliant idea.” This weekend their vision will host cooking demos and Iron Chef-style contests where cooks receive a CSA box and have to make a meal from the contents. It’ll also be a real live greenhouse. “Just Food does a lot to support people who are growing food in New York City,” Berger says. “So here in the UrBARN there are cold frames, or basically raised beds that are gonna be throughout the UrBARN area with seedlings that are grown on farms throughout the city.” Why have a barn at this bash? Because good food is just as important as good bands, says festival co-organizer Kerry Black. “For us it’s like, ‘Why do you have to go to a concert and there’s hamburgers that taste like cardboard,’ you know? And why do you have to go to the best restaurant and listen to Musak. Why can’t we get all this good stuff together at once for the best of everything? So that’s what we’re trying to do.” (Watch the video about the UrBarn right here.)

For those of you headed to his grand experiment this weekend, be sure to go hungry, and be sure to check the roster of what’s happening in the UrBARN here. If you can’t make it — free general admission passes are sold out, but there are still VIP “ExtraMooga” passes available — check this nice list of similar seasonal cooking and gardening workshops and special events from Just Food curated by Amy Blankstein, Just Food’s Grants and Communications Manager:

Get Dirty

Just Food offers free workshops to help people grow food right here in New York City. Check out our calendar at www.justfood.org, or join our City Farmers NYC Meetup group for information about upcoming workshops on a host of urban farming topics!

Dig Deeper For New Yorkers looking for professional training in urban farming, Farm School NYC is the place to be. Courses are held year-round at locations throughout the city. www.justfood.org/farmschoolnyc

Dine Out NYC’s most talented chefs and artisanal purveyors highlight the season’s bounty to support Just Food at these premier events: A City Farmer, A Chef, and A Host: A Dine Around Event to Benefit Just Food and The Sylvia Center

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One night of exclusive dinners in NYC private homes prepared by star chefs, with produce sourced from local urban farms. For more information and to reserve tickets, go to http://cityfarmerchefhost.org/

Let Us Eat Local 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Our annual tasting benefit featuring seasonal food from local farms prepared by New York City’s top restaurants, artisans, wineries, and breweries.


Dine In

Join Just Food and partners Whole Foods Market (Bowery Location) and Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center (Park Slope) for local, seasonal cooking classes to inspire the whole family. Proceeds from both series support Just Food.

Silk Road Spring

Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, $25

At Whole Foods Bowery.

Chef and author Louisa Shafia will provide her healthy, contemporary take on Persian Cuisine.

Feeding the Whole Family on a Budget

Monday, June 4, 2012, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, $65

At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center.

Top Chef Alum and author Andrea Beaman will demonstrate how to cook healthy, delicious, and budget conscious meals.

How to Boil Water: An Evening with Tamar Adler

Tuesday, June 26, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, $50

At Whole Foods Bowery.

Reviving the inspiring message of M.F.K. Fisher, Tamar Adler will show the home cook resourcefulness as a path to better eating.

Better School Lunches Monday, July 9th, 2012, 6:30 to 8:30 PM, $65 At Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center. Nissa Pierson will inspire you with simple and delicious recipes and techniques that will elevate your fresh, affordable and tasty ingredients to appease even the most stubborn Lunchables enthusiast.

About Just Food  Just Food is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects communities in all five New York City boroughs with fresh, locally grown food. Just Food provides regional farmers and food producers, CSA organizers and everyday eaters with the resources and support they need to establish and experience healthy food systems—in every neighborhood. Since 1995, Just Food has pioneered the sustainable food programs on which many CSAs, farmers’ markets, and farm-to-food pantry programs are built today. Just Food serves thousands of New Yorkers by providing urban communities with a framework for growing, and knowing, healthy food.  For more information: www.justfood.org, like us on facebook: facebook.com/justfood.org and follow us on twitter: @justfood.

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