Added Value began in April 2000 by gathering community stakeholders and outside experts to discuss the lack of meaningful educational activities and employment opportunities for Red Hook teenagers. In the spring of 2001, Added Value convened a group of local youth, neighborhood leaders, community-based organizations and regional institutions to form our Community Advisory Committee. Guided through a participatory planning process by Heifer International, the Committee outlined a three-year plan to address food insecurity, unemployment and the alienation of youth from the Red Hook community.
In August 2003, Added Value partnered with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Cornell University Cooperative Extension to transform an entire city block from a dilapidated playground into a center for urban agriculture. Red Hook Community Farm has become a vibrant community resource where young and old work, study and grow together as they sow, nurture and harvest plants on a 2.75 acre urban farm. The Farm is an intergenerational space that serves as an experiential educational environment for youth, adults and senior citizens. It provides sustenance to residents, creates meaningful work for neighborhood teens, generates thousands of dollars of economic activity and improves community food security.