Brooklyn —

On the corner of Columbia and Sigourney streets, directly across from Ikea, lies land filled with crisp produce sprouting from the soil. Hip-hop music plays faintly in the background as community volunteers push wheelbarrows and snip freshly grown okra at the stems. A small attentive crowd is gathered for a cooking demo taking place next to the farmers market selling bright red apples, purple plums, eggs, green tomatoes, and hot peppers.

Established in 2001, the Red Hook Community Farm was awarded $25,000 by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets two months ago. “These grants will go a long way in providing the boost that many need to maintain or expand their growing sites and continue to serve the needs of their communities,” Commissioner Richard Ball said in a release announcing the awards.

The grant will also help promote healthy eating and increase neighborhood residents’ exposure to different fruits and vegetables, according to an article published by Empire Farm and Dairy (NY).