For the season premiere of The Farm Report, host Lisa Held sits down with New York City Council Member Rafael Espinal. Born in East New York, Espinal is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn and currently represents the 37th district, which includes Bushwick, Brownsville, Cypress Hills, and East New York. As a Council Member, Espinal has taken on urban agriculture as one of his primary issues.
In August 2018, with the support of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, he introduced a new package of legislation that would create a comprehensive urban agriculture plan to promote and support farming across the five boroughs. Together, Held and Espinal discuss the community, economic, and environmental benefits of urban farming, what city government can and should do to encourage it, how to balance the interests of different players—from community gardens to venture capital-backed hydroponic farms—and how New York City’s path towards urban agriculture legislation fits into a larger trend of local governments across the country figuring out how to manage, support, and grow farming and gardening within city limits.
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