Queens Farm converts ‘summer kitchen’ into newly opened Con Edison Reading Room

The inside of the new Con Edison Reading Room at Queens County Farm Museum. (Photos courtesy of Queens County Farm Museum)

Last week, Queens Farm announced the opening of its Con Edison Reading Room, allowing visitors to do even more at the outdoor locale.

The reading room was converted from the farm’s “summer kitchen,” a small structure that was previously used for tomato storage and had not been open to the public for the past several years. Queens Farm collaborated with Con Edison to develop this new programming, with help from Queens Public Library and Penguin Random House Foundation.

“We are very thankful for Con Edison’s support,” said Jennifer Walden Weprin, executive director of the Queens County Farm Museum. “Con Edison’s charitable contributions facilitate meaningful community development. As a site of environmental stewardship, arts and culture, and education, Queens Farm and Con Edison have a shared vision of sustainability and vibrancy for New York City. The Con Edison Reading Room will expand Queens Farm’s capacity to reach new audiences and engage farm visitors in a new way.”

Inside the 12’2″ by 16’2″ structure, guests can enjoy over 250 toys and books that are “thematically tied” to the farm’s mission and include topics like cooking, gardening, the environment, health and wellness, animals, farming, science and NYC history.

“The Con Edison Reading Room will offer visitors a great way to learn more about topics such as the environment, sustainability, farming and cooking as part of their experience at the only continuously farmed land in New York City. We’re proud of our long-standing partnership with Queens County Farm Museum, adding the new reading room to our long-standing sponsorship of the annual corn maze,” said Stuart Nachmias, president and CEO of Con Edison Transmission.

Queens Public Library Chief Librarian Nick Buron added, “It has been a pleasure to work with Queens Farm to support a collection that reflects its mission and inspires its patrons to understand and appreciate the borough’s agricultural heritage and its history. I congratulate Executive Director Jennifer Walden Weprin and Con Edison on the completion of the reading room, and look forward to becoming a regular visitor.”

The Con Edison Reading Room will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for some holidays and special admission days.

Access to both the farm and reading room are free. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only one pod at a time will be allowed into the reading room and additional outdoor seating is available.

As the city continues easing COVID restrictions, the farm will launch preschool programming in the reading room.

Visit Queens County Farm Museum and the Con Edison Reading Room at 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy. Visitor information and COVID-19 guidelines can be found at queensfarm.org.