A Garden Without a Gate

A volunteer-run community garden open to all

History

In 2011, a group of Long Island neighbors created a “guerilla garden” on a set of abandoned railroad tracks. That’s a nice way of saying we didn’t have permission. When we got caught, we worked with the MTA to secure a lease and become a real-live non-profit.

Today, Smiling Hogshead Ranch is an agriculture farm and community garden by day, and a social club and cultural venue by night. Through our events and outreach, we strive to create a safer, green space within our urban jungle to grow with others, get dirty, and smile into the sun.

Whether you want to learn about composting, hear a band in a garden, or breathe in some of that sweet plant-made oxygen, visit us soon.

Meet Your Directors

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Gil Lopez

An environmental educator and landscape designer, Gil helped establish the garden in 2011, he enjoys riding his bicycle in the city and his favorite crop are the white raspberries.

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Mia Vlah Roy

Ranch co-founder and advocate of planting things that bloom; her favorite crop is whichever one is ready right now.

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Geoff Brock

Geoff moved to Astoria in 2012 and quickly realized his new building super wouldn’t allow a fire escape garden, so he fortuitously joined the early pioneers of the Ranch instead. Now, in addition to growing plants, his wife and he are growing 3 children.

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Kelsey Ripper

Community economic development lawyer by day; master weeder and aspiring orchardist by weekend.

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Colin Samuel

Colin joined the ranch in 2012, but only after realizing being called a “black thumb” wasn’t as offensive as originally thought. Now he teaches, coaches, tells jokes and helps grow community and solvency for the Ranch - all while exhibiting horrific time management skills.

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Jennie Plewka

Jennifer is an experienced and innovative educator whose passions for gardening and teaching about food have combined with her background in environmental science, horticulture, and sustainability to enrich the lives of countless children, seniors, international refugees, and people in need.

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Rose Moon

Stumbled upon the Ranch shortly after moving to NYC from FL in 2012; a failed academic, Rose now spends her days homemaking, child-rearing, and community organizing. Her favorite things to grow are flowers & herbs.

Safer Space Policy

We would like Smiling Hogshead Ranch to be welcoming and engaging and we encourage everyone to be proactive in creating an atmosphere where the safety of others is valued.


We are in the process of developing a safer spaces policy.


People who have perpetrated inter-personal violence, assault and/or harassment will be asked to leave.


Everyone entering Smiling Hogshead Ranch is asked to be aware of their language and behavior, and to think about whether it might be harmful to others. This is no space for violence, for touching people without their consent, for being intolerant of someone’s religious beliefs or lack thereof, for being creepy, sleazy, racist, ageist, sexist, hetero-sexist, trans-phobic, able-bodiest, classist, sizist, or for using any other behavior or language that may perpetuate oppr
ession.

Our Partners

queens
susty
snap
NCA
596acres
MOS
moma
citizens
leaves
laguardia
cropmob
MTA
hourchildren
horticulture
harborlab
grownyc
greenthumb

Green Thumb

greenphoenix

Green Phoenix Permaculture

fluxfactory
gothamorchards

Gotham Orchards

bard
kickshaw
soilandwater
lins
cityfarmandfish
singlecut
justfood
asla
farmingconcrete
greenguerillas
fortunesociety

Jan Mun

NYRP
nyms
treesnewyork
trees