First hydroponic farm inside a NYCHA Queens community center

Young people in one Queens community are getting a special hands-on after-school lesson in farming at the first hydroponic farm inside a New York City Housing Authority community center. 

The Astoria Houses have a very special urban farming program for elementary and middle school students. A room inside the NYCHA community center has been converted into a place where children can grow their own fruits and vegetables. Blessing Byrd, 9, said she looks forward to checking in on the progress of all the seeds she has planted.

The new lab was built in December thanks to nonprofit HANAC, the NY Power Authority, and nonprofit NY Sun Works. There are 18 hydroponic labs like this one across New York City, but this is the first one of its kind in an NYCHA community center.

Claudia Coger, an 87-year-old longtime resident and community activist, said she was thrilled to see children learning about their environment and sustainability. The kids are even teaching her a few things. 

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