Agri [Cultural] Konbit

Stewardship of Land to Build Social Resilience andCombat Climate Change | Kingston, NY

Columbia University, GSAPP, Urban Design Studio II, Sping 2021
Collaborators: Ahmed Al Yazeen, Jil Shah, Mariana Majima
Advisors: Kaja Kuehl, Anna Dietzsch, Shachi Pandey, Lee Altman, Thaddeus Pawlowski

Historically the land in Hudson Valley was predominantly cared for by the Wappinger Munsee Lenape tribe of native Americans who practiced different forms of sustainable agriculture. However as land was taken from them, the practice
of intercropping was lost.

Our project seeks to revive the lost cultural farming practices and promote communal stewardship of land. Within the framework
of the Green New Deal, a KONBIT or cooperative labor model of regenerative farming will incorporate educational, celebratory and community components that will bring be tools to bring back low-carbon farming and increase community resilience in the region starting from Kingston.

KONBIT system

The Hudson Valley Region has endured a decline in small family farms and BIPOC farmers. The lack of federal support for all but monoculture farming continues to prohibit new farmers who want to start small and serve their communities.The

KONBIT system is a framework for communal regenerative farming in Kingston and is based on the five historic cultural farming practices found in the Hudson Valley. The system has three components that additionally facilitate urban programs and increase access to fresh food in the City; The Seed Hub along Esopus creek, Active Linear Farming Corridor in Midtown, Kingston and Community-based programs.

1. Seed Hub

The first component of the system is the Seed Hub where the journey of learning begins on a communal farm. This Seed Hub acts as an anchor which connects the regional farm network to the active farming corridor in the city. Its location at Esopus Creek acts as a threshold between the farmlands outside Kingston and the city fabric.

2. Active Farming Corridor

The second component of the system is a linear farming corridor located in the Midtown neighborhood of the city. This active farming corridor offers several shared resources for the community and celebrates people who grow our food.

Through the Kingston Land Trust, the corridor occupies the abandoned railroad and aims to create a public space that educates residents about regenerative farming practices.

3. Community-Based Programs in the City

The third component of the system is the Food Co-Op, an open Gallery, Artisanal Foods Center, Culinary School and a Community Kitchen. The food co-op located between the farming corridor, Broadway and residential area, aggregates and distributes produce from the AGRI[CULTURAL] KONBIT system.