June 2011

Grow to Learns kicks off Dining Out for School Gardens week

Today, GrowNYC and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City—co-founders of Grow to Learn: the Citywide School Gardens Initiative—were joined by Deputy NYC Parks Commissioner Larry Scott Blackmon, Chef Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern and staff and families at PS 154 in Windsor Terrace to highlight the critical nutrition lessons gardens provide and kick-off a week-long promo, Dining Out for School Gardens.

Students at PS 154 were outside participating in a cooking demo with Chef Michael Anthony and Whitney Reuling, Garden to Cafe Coordinator for the Office of SchoolFood, as part of Harvest Day, where students serve up what they’ve grown in the garden in their cafeteria.

PS 154 was recently awarded a Grow to Learn mini-grant to amend garden beds, purchase composters and lights so they can grow seeds indoors. After registering their garden on www.nyc.gov/growtolearn, they received donated plant materials and technical assistance from Grow to Learn Partner Green Thumb, and their Harvest Day and other nutrition curriculum comes from participating in Garden to School Café, another partner in Grow to Learn.

From June 24 – 30, you can visit participating restaurants and help NYC youth gain better skills, habits and knowledge about growing, eating and preparing food. All of the Dining Out for School Gardens restaurants, will donate a percentage of the sales of one or more menu items towards supporting school gardens.

A new farm for the Tellos

It’s been almost twelve years since Nestor and Alejandra Tello first joined the New Farmer Development Project in 2000 as the project’s first farmers. They’ve now become one of the project's true success stories, growing from modest beginnings with a few hundred chickens to a flock of 4000 lay-ers, on-farm honey production, and some diversified vegetables to boot.

Most recently, after 10 years of renting land, Nestor and Alejandra were finally able to purchase their very own 25 acre farm in Coxsackie, NY late last year.

Tello's Green Farm keeps its loyal customers happy at 8 Greenmarkets and 3 CSAs throughout New York City.

Click here for more info about the Tellos and the New Farmer Development Project.