The Kula Urban Farm is open to customers in limited numbers on Fridays between 11am – 4pm. Customers should place orders in advance through our online store and wear masks/practice social distancing.

Workshops and school classes are back for small groups and in compliance with CDC guidelines.

Click here to visit the Kula Farm Online Store

Rooted in Community

Kula Urban Farm opened on Atkins Avenue in Asbury Park in 2015. The social enterprise provides on-site job training, educational programs and free fresh produce to neighbors in need. The team also transforms vacant lots into urban farms and manages a hydroponic greenhouse. Our hydroponic produce is sold to local restaurants.

The Kula Farm Experience

The Kula Farm Experience is a temporary job program designed to reinforce basic workplace skills for local members of the community who have been in between jobs for a while. We hope to take away barriers to future employment by offering a positive work environment with room for personal goal achievement. Participants can obtain a certificate and/or a reference letter upon completion of the program.

We welcome candidates to come fill out a job application at the farm.

Since there is more work available during the outdoor growing season, some enthusiastic participants will be offered a seasonal part-time position.

There are also a few long term promotion options for excellent participants as managers. We hope to empower these participants with management experience and bigger responsibilities.

Farm Design

Inside our greenhouse, vegetables are grown hydroponically, allowing us to create a year-round high volume growing environment. Outside, produce is grown organically and intensively in raised beds with a focus on annual vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs and edible flowers. In our gardens, we strive to create a biodiverse and ecologically balanced growing space with plants for pollinators, beneficial insects and birds applying concepts such as permaculture and succession planting. We recycle and compost all of our waste, including compostable waste from the cafe and other local establishments.

Commercial Growing Space

This is the source of revenue that sustains operations. A 20′ by 84′ fully automated greenhouse. The produce in the greenhouse is grown using several different hydroponic techniques to create a year-round growing environment. We use organic methods to control pests such as hand removal, water, neem oil, and biological control. What we grow is sold to the neighboring Kula Cafe as well as restaurants on the East side of town. We grow over 7 varieties of lettuce, kale, endive, mustards, and Asian greens, chard, basil, edible flowers and tomatoes. Microgreens are seeded and cut weekly for our customers.

Please contact us if you are a local restaurateur and would like to use microgreens grown locally and delivered on day of harvest.

 

 

Our customers:

 

The Farm Without Borders

The Farm Without Borders was started in the spring of 2017 on a vacant lot on Springwood Avenue. Hiring local residents, we converted what was a parking lot to a large garden, the produce from which was given away to residents. In 2018 we were granted access to even more land on the block expanding the garden 3 fold. The produce on the Farm is accessible to residents 24 hours a day through a large majority of it is distributed during working hours. We estimate over 4,000 pounds of produce was grown in 2018. The farm is supervised and managed by participants of our job program who demonstrate empathy and a good work ethic. The beauty of this garden and its proximity to the street help Kula to engage with community members, as it generates interest in passersby and opens a dialogue about urban farming. This garden space is also used during educational programs like Green Thumbs and is open to community residents. This section of the farm focuses on sturdy vegetables that can be easily harvested by local residents. We grow Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Strawberries, Hot Peppers, Cowpeas, Radishes, Spinach, Calaloo, Raspberries, Herbs, Greens, Cabbage and have 10 varieties of fruit trees growing. The farm is also the site of our compost operation that includes food waste from Juice Basin, Pulp AP, High Voltage Cafe, Booskerdoo, Nitro Brewing as well as local residents and other businesses.

Bethel AME Food Pantry Garden

In 2019 we began cultivating the vacant lot next door to the greenhouse on Atkins Ave. The lot, owned by the Bethel AME Church, manages a food pantry on the site (open Wednesdays and Fridays). Working alongside the Bethel YPD (Young Persons Department) we cultivated and planted a garden on the lot, the produce from which is donated to its food pantry and directly to residents. Here we planted Collard Greens, Heirloom Tomatoes, Okra, Shishito Peppers, Cantaloupe, Watermelon Radishes, Christmas Beans, 4 varieties of apple trees, strawberries, herbs and began building the soil with mulch and compost for the years to come.

Community

One of the most rewarding aspects of helping to grow the Kula Urban Farm is the sense of community. Participants have the opportunity to take this project and make it their own. From job training, to visiting a workshop or dinner, it can feel very rewarding to be a part of this amazing community.

 

 

 


The Interfaith Neighbors Network