Farm School NYC Faculty - Molly Culver
Farm School NYC Faculty
Propagation/Growing Soils Instructor
Molly’s farming career has taken her on a journey from the east to the west coast and back again. After a stint in urban agriculture in the South Bronx, she went to California and completed the farm apprenticeship program at UC Santa Cruz. “I wanted to learn how to drive a tractor and work on a field scale,” she says. Later as an intern at Live Earth Farm, she tended thousands of seedlings in the greenhouse and, once put in charge of a couple of acres, tried soil management on a field scale. She learned to drive a tractor.
Flowers had been part of the production at Santa Cruz, but at Live Earth Molly began to focus on them more. When she got back to New York, she was excited to work with them. For Molly, flowers “provide another lens for looking at social justice issues, workers’ rights, women’s issues, environmental issues. The same issues that plague our food system.” The Youth Farm at the High School for Public Service in Brooklyn, which she manages, runs the only flower CSA in New York City, and she and Deborah Greig of East New York Farms have their own floral design company. At the Youth Farm, Molly is back to hand tilling. The Farm employs youth, trains adults, and holds classes for the high school students.
Molly been a Farm School instructor from the beginning. For her, the power of the program is its focus on social justice. “Farm School is unique in its philosophy of farming as a tool for social change. Its horizontal rather than hierarchical approach resonated with me,” she says. She wants to go beyond food justice to do more anti-oppression and anti-racism work. She looks forward to fall and winter when she’ll have time to find the next thing.