The UN Food Gardens is a voluntary UN staff initiative that is establishing food gardens on the premises of the UN Headquarters. Our aim is to help the UN translate global priorities related to sustainable food systems and greener cities into action and lead by example.
The first garden was officially opened by the UN Secretary-General in July 2015. A wide variety of edible plants from around the world have since been grown in the garden. UNICEF’s and the UN Secretariat’s caterers have turned some of the garden produce into super-local, healthy food for UN staff. Native pollinators have returned to the area. Garden and food waste is being turned into healthy soil for the garden.
The initiative provides opportunities for UN staff, delegates, and other members of the UN community to grow and share vegetables, herbs, and fruit from different parts of the world; to share knowledge; and to relax under a tree and enjoy the sight of a beautiful, diverse edible garden. Info panels throughout the garden will describe the various plants and communicate the work that UN partners of the initiative are doing to promote sustainable small-scale farming.
The UN Food Gardens are managed by the UNSRC Gardening Club, which is open to staff from the United Nations, UN delegations, their affiliates, and community organizations from the New York City area. Outreach activities give NYC youth and the greater NYC community the opportunity to visit the garden.
We are thankful to the following collaborators and supporters: William Gates from Architecture Making Studio, Gwen and crew from Brooklyn Grange, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation GreenThumb program, Claudia Joseph from New York Permaculture Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Company, Organic Mechanics Soil Company and Gardener’s Supply Company.