Our Projects

Soil Start Farm

Where we think, “Table to Farm.”

Urban composting has dual purposes: diverting organic waste from the landfill and amending existing soil. Earth Matter NY demonstrates how gardeners can use readily-available materials to create compost to grow plants in urban soil conditions.

Dye Garden

Upon entering the Compost Learning Center, you will encounter a warm welcome from a patch of herbaceous and plants.

Row-style Crops

We are using a lasagna-style composting method to create a growing medium. We make three layers using sand, burlap sacks, food scraps, cardboard, leaves, wood chips, and finished, sifted compost. We plant directly into this medium.

Community Garden Beds

A group of 4’ x 4’ garden beds provides growing spaces for Earth Matter core friends and Governors Island food vendors.

Mini Greenhouse

comm-garden We have constructed a 10’L x 10’W x 16’H greenhouse (that doubles as a chicken tractor) for starting plants from seed and growing microgreens (baby salad).

Interested in being a farm cooperator?

Learn more and view application.

Support Soil Start Farm


Soil Start Farm

Follow our Flickr page for progress updates!


The Lavender Field Project on Governors Island is a healing space for the community, for the bees, and for the Earth.

Visitors are welcome to de-stress amongst the rows of lavender though yoga and meditation programming and hands-on workshops to bring home fragrant sachets and wands. Our hope is that lavender plants will become pollinator favorites for the Island’s bees, to help support the bees to thrive in the face of climate change. Finally, we want to heal the Earth using compost to enrich the soil, demonstrating another way how continuing to close the loop for organic waste is important.


Thanks to all of you, we’ve reached our Ioby goal, but you can still donate to the project.

Lend a hand!

A few hours or a few days, it all helps the cause.
View schedule of volunteer dates.


We’ll be sharing our progress on the Lavender Field on Instagram.
Follow along @earthmatterny, #SoilStartFarmLavenderField.


Join us for a series of classes with yoga and meditation instructors. Previous instructors include, Iraimer Ruiz and Marie Heffernan.

Please bring a mat, towel, and water bottle.
Suggested donation: $15
Pre-register hereMore classes will be posted as they are available. 

Upcoming workshops

Lavender Field Project

Follow our Flickr page for progress updates!


We are excited to share that we have been working with the Island Bee Project as part of the Soil Start Farm.

The Island Bee Project’s mission is to educate and inspire those interested in knowing more about honey bees and their importance to agricultural ecosystems, such as pollination. As a partner project of the Earth Matter’s Soil Start Farm, we hope to maintain healthy hives and to further our knowledge of all the benefits the hive has to offer.

We love beekeeping. It’s as simple as that.

Learn more about the Island Bee Project and follow our Flickr page for progress updates!

Bee Inspections

Fulfill your buzzing curiosity and join the Island Bee Project to take a peek inside the bee hive.

View dates and register.

Note: space is limited.

No events available...

Soil Start Farm Newsletter Updates

Winter 2016: Soil Start Farm

Winter 2016 at Soil Start Farm by Anna Cassell Last week, after a month of gradually decreasing temps and some cold rain, a chill -- and the first few flakes of snow -- settled over New York City. Soil Start Farm is ready for the winter; cooperators, new apprentices...

Summer-Fall 2016: The Soil Start Farm

The Soil Start Farm by Sharonne Caullychurn Imagine a whole lot of volunteers getting their hands dirty: raking, digging, sowing, irrigating… and all that with a smile on their faces. This is what the Soil Start farm has been this season, ever since the steering...