Annie Novak is founder and director of Growing Chefs, field-to-fork food education program; the Manager of the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden, and co-founder and farmer of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in partnership with Goode Green and Broadway Stages. She is the author of The Rooftop Growing Guide: How to Transform Your Roof into a Garden or Farm, published by Ten Speed Press.
A passionate educator, Annie teaches locally & nationally, and has spoken at conferences around the country on the connections between people, food and ecology, and the benefits of urban agriculture. Annie writes in her own words for The Atlantic, Rodale’s Organic Life Magazine, Wilder Quarterly, and Diner Journal.
Annie’s work in agriculture has been featured in The New York Times, Modern Farmer, WNYC / NPR, New York Magazine, Edible Brooklyn, the Martha Stewart Show, Grist, the Huffington Post and the Cooking Channel, among other publications. Annie has been candidly interviewed on multiple blogs and locally in her own Brooklyn neighborhood paper The Greenpoint Gazette (twice!). In 2012, Annie was recognized by the Audubon Society’s Women in Conservation Program for her work in New York City. In 2016, Annie’s work at the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm was recognized by Martha Stewart Living’s American Made Award.
In 2010, Annie was voted the Cutest Organic Farmer in the country by the readers of the Huffington Post and photographed by Todd Selby. She was a 2013 Tastemaker for Marie Claire, and featured in the 2016 September Issue of Vogue Magazine.
A lifelong vegetarian, Annie’s passion for agriculture began while working in Ghana with West African chocolate farmers. She has since followed food to its roots has taken her to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Turkey, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Fiji, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Alaska, Tanzania, Jamaica, Australia, through the West and Midwest; her adventures are cheerfully blogged at www.GrowingChefs.org.
In her free time, Annie has run a dozen marathons as well as a 50 – mile race along the Appalachian Trail, built and raced her bicycle, and birdwatches. Her work with the Meerkat Media Collective has been screened in New York City and in festivals across the country (including award-winning felt animation Wee Dark Hours, My Felt Bike; award-winning documentary short Every Third Bite, and narrative feature length film A Little Death.) A big fan of space, she has high-fived an astronaut. Her Chicago-based family includes sisters Caroline and Cat, and mother Rita Ryan-Novak. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.