Free Public Education Classes on Raising Backyard Hens at NYC’s Oldest Working Farm Highlight a 2023 Robust Public Education Program
Cluck-clucking at egg prices lately? New Yorkers can now flock to Queens County Farm Museum to get cracking with Raising Backyard Hens, an essential primer for those looking to establish their own coops and maintain established ones. With the cost of eggs surging, Queens County Farm Museum is offering this course at no cost to help improve community access to fresh, hyper-local food. This free seminar is being offered four times to meet community demand: Saturdays, March 4 & March 18 and Sundays, March 12 & March 26. It is presented as part of Queens Farm’s public education series sponsored by Northwell Health, Queens Farm’s Health & Wellness partner.
Taught by Queens County Farm Museum’s Director of Agriculture Danny Morales, Raising Backyard Hens will cover methods for maintaining a healthy flock of laying hens and collecting fresh eggs straight from the yard. The course explores the benefits of raising hens, New York City rules and guidelines, flock management, an introduction to different breeds, housing and outdoor space requirements, health maintenance, disease prevention, and cost considerations. A visit to Queens Farm’s chicken coops is included providing program participants a visual, hands-on experience of the concepts explored.
“With the recent surge in the public buying hens to raise at home along with the price of eggs more than doubling, Raising Backyard Hens is an important resource for New Yorkers,” said Jennifer Walden Weprin, Executive Director of Queens County Farm Museum. “Working with our partner Northwell Health, we are proud to have expanded the program dates and offer the seminar at no cost to all New Yorkers.”
Queens County Farm Museum has been raising hens as part of its livestock program since the organization’s inception in the 1970s. This past year Queens Farm produced over 3,500 dozen eggs. It is in the process of expanding egg production to support community demand for farm-fresh hyper-local food and reliable protein. Queens Farm’s hens are free-range and are raised using organic methods.
Raising Backyard Hens is part of a robust schedule of public education programming that Queens County Farm Museum will offer in 2023. Details can be found online at queensfarm.org.
The 2023 Public Education Program Lineup includes:
- Raising Backyard Hens (March 4, 12, 18, 26), which will explore the ins and outs of raising a healthy flock of laying hens and collecting fresh, delicious eggs straight from the backyard. This class is appropriate for beginners and established hen caretakers alike. FREE
- 18th Century Hearth Cooking (March 4, 11 & November 4, 11), which takes place in the historic Adriance farmhouse kitchen and introduces students to original 18th-century recipes, seasonal ingredients, and traditional cooking utensils as the embers of the hearth fireplace bring history to life. $48/person
- Planning Your Veggie Garden (March 25), which helps attendees build the skills they’ll need to start growing their own food. Topics like backyard layout prep, choosing crops, propagation, seedling care, pollinators and more will be covered, with an emphasis on organic methods. $48/person
- Art on the Farm Series: Watercolor, Pen & Ink (June 1, 8, 15, 22), This series of four classes will guide visitors through themed instruction as they experiment with different drawing and painting media on the farm’s bucolic grounds, which serve as inspiration. $170/person (full series); $45/person (single class)
- Cheesemaking 101 (June 7, 14), a hands-on introduction to the science and history of curds and whey. Guests will learn to make two types of delicious soft cheese and leave with samples, recipes, and clear instructions to confidently make cheese at home. $55/person
- Root to Rise: Farm Yoga (June 3, 10, 17, 24), guests of this free 4-part wellness series will relax and unwind as they flow through 60 minutes of Vinyasa yoga on bucolic farmland. Guided breathing and movement through dynamic poses will leave participants feeling refreshed and de-stressed. FREE
- Urban Beekeeping (June 24), a workshop designed for beginners that covers the basic biology and anatomy of honey bees as well as apiculture essentials such as colony care, honey extraction, parts of the hive, beekeeping equipment, and disease prevention. $40/person
- Milk & Honey Month, which takes place throughout the month of June in honor of National Dairy Month and National Pollinator Month. Programming includes Sunday Apiary talks, after-school milk & cookies, story time at the Con Edison Reading Room, and more. FREE
- Wild Edibles (August 10), an outdoor guided tour of wild edible plants in Queens Farm’s woodlands, pollinator gardens, and pathway edges. Guests will learn to safely identify and sustainably harvest wild seasonal ingredients and explore the evolving ethics of foraging. Led by renowned plant expert and author Marie Viljoen. $55/person
- Adriance Farmhouse Tours (select weekends year-round), where guests can learn all about the oldest surviving structure on Queens County Farm Museum’s property. Visitors will be guided through the restored Adriance Farmhouse, the centerpiece of the farm complex which was first built as a three-room Dutch farmhouse in 1772. FREE
“Northwell Health is excited to partner with Queens County Farm Museum in the 2023 educational programming they will be offering our communities to promote health and wellness. The educational topics are relevant, timely, and geared towards healthy behaviors, particularly for our youth,” stated Deb Salas-Lopez, MD MPH, Senior Vice President, Community and Population Health for Northwell Health.
About Queens County Farm Museum
Queens County Farm Museum showcases the 300-year history of agriculture as a way of life in New York City. It is a New York City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. Queens Farm offers free admission 354 days per year and hosts a wide variety of acclaimed education programs and public events. It is the most visited cultural institution in Queens, serving as a vital resource connecting people to agriculture and the environment through the lens of the historic site. For more information, visit queensfarm.org.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals, about 900 outpatient facilities and more than 12,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 83,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,900 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.