Grow to Learn's How-To Gardening Series

Grow to Learn helps New York City schools to build and expand school gardens that are sustainable, responsive to their communities, and transformative for student learning. With over 500 schools in our network across all five boroughs, Grow to Learn has been thinking hard about how to continue to grow new gardens while still providing the hands-on technical assistance that existing school gardens need.

Our amazing staff have been planning, filming, and editing these short instructional videos for school gardeners. We plan to have a full suite of instructional ‘how-to’s’, addressing everything from building basic gardening structures to safe tool use to seasonal organic gardening practices.

Check out our first two installments: How to Build a Raised Bed and Best Practices: the Power Saw and make sure you check back for more in coming weeks!

Happy Birthday To Us!

GrowNYC, the city's essential environmental resource, is celebrating 45 years of service with a birthday party at our most iconic project - the Union Square Greenmarket - one of 50 Greenmarkets we operate.

Why should you care?

Free cake and cool t-shirts!  Check out our new limited edition t-shirts featuring a throwback design by Robin Willis. This t-shirt could be yours for only $20 bucks at our 45th birthday part in Union Square Greenmarket on Monday, May 18 at Union Square Greenmarket! OR if you donate $100 or more today.

Big thanks to Robin Willis for his fab design. Check out more of his work here.

The Season Begins at Governors Island Teaching Garden

A new season of garden-based programming for public school students has begun on GrowNYC’s Governors Island Teaching Garden.  From April to November, we'll teach thousands of kids about where their food comes from and how to cook simple and nutritious recipes using garden-grown produce.

Among our newest additions to the garden is a solar cooker, made by our friends at GoSol, a Finnish social enterprise devoted to spreading the knowledge of how to build low-tech, high power solar concentrators. 

GoSol is currently crowdfunding to publish free construction guides, launch projects and create an online hub where people around the world can participate in the open development of these sustainable energy technologies. Read more about their great work at www.gosol.org/FreeTheSun.

Last week in the garden, we had a spectacularly clear day and were able to use the solar cooker with a group of high school students. We chopped green beans and mixed them with oil and spices in a frying pan. We then placed the pan on the solar cooker and asked two students to help use the cooker’s lever to move its giant wall of mirrors into place.  

Within a few seconds of aligning the mirrors, enough light from the sun was reflected to the cook surface to cause the beans to start to sizzle!

Wholesale Greenmarket Opens for 2015

The Wholesale Greenmarket is now open for the 2015 season! Buy fresh, affordably-priced plants, flowers, and produce direct from farmers from New York State and New Jersey.

The market is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 2am-8am: the early morning hours are tailored to buyers such as food retailers and restaurants, but the Wholesale Greenmarket is open to the public. Whether you are a business owner or a home gardener, a community organization or just cooking for a big family, join us bright and early for great deals on produce and plants in wholesale quantities.

290 Halleck Street (at Viele Ave)
Open Tuesday through Saturday
April 4 – Dec 31, 2015
2 AM to 8 AM

Please note that mainly plants are sold from April-June, with produce starting in July. Please see the Wholesale Greenmarket page for individual farmer contact information.

Watch GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen's TEDx Talk

Watch GrowNYC's Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen take to the stage to deliver a TEDx talk about scaling up local food distribution through Greenmarket Co., New York City's first and only food hub dedicated to supporting regional food producers by making their products available to wholesale buyers throughout the city.

 

Greenmarket Winter Weather Schedule Changes

Inclement weather in the city or in the greater region does effect markets;  markets may close early, or snow-bound farmers may not be able to make it into the city.

No anticipated changes.

Get real-time, up-to-date information on our Facebook pages: 
Union Square Greenmarket Facebook
Manhattan Greenmarket Facebook
Queens Greenmarket Facebook
Brooklyn Greenmarket Facebook 

 

Heritage Wheat in the Hudson Valley

GrowNYC & Greenmarket's Regional Grains Project, in partnership with NOFA-NY and The Culinary Institute of America invite you to join us for Heritage Wheat in the Hudson Valley, Saturday, February 21 at the Danny Kaye Theatre in the Conrad Hilton Library on the campus of the CIA in Hyde Park, NY.

The afternoon will feature a consumer preference tasting of heritage wheat from the Value-Added grains variety trials at 2 pm, followed by a panel discussion at 3 pm on the history of grain production in the Hudson Valley, the science underlying the culinary functionality of heritage grains, and how we can use these breeds to address health and wellness issues and environmental imperatives.  Panelists include: Steffen Schneider, farmer at Hawthorne Valley Farm, Maureen Costura, anthropolgist and food historian at the CIA, and Elizabeth Dyck from the Organic Growers Research and Information-sharing Network (OGRIN) and will be moderated by Chris Loss from The Culinary Institue of America. 

Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for CIA students with ID.

February is Local Spirits Month!

February is Local Spirits Month at SingL Lounge
 
GrowNYC’s Regional Grains Project is co-hosting a month long tasting series on Tuesday evenings in February at SingL Lounge. SingL Lounge’s popular two year-old Tuesday tasting series run by Master Sommelier Roger Dagorn will spend the month highlighting distilleries making their spirits with local, Northeast-grown grains.

Tickets are $25 and include samples of three spirits and snacks. There will be two tastings per evening, the first at 6:30 pm and then again at 7:15 pm. The tastings will offer attendees the opportunity to learn about the distilling process of each spirit directly from the distillers, as well as how these distillers are helping to spearhead the current renaissance of grain growing in the region. Staff from GrowNYC will also be on-hand to discuss the organization’s Regional Grains Project and sell a selection of local grains. 

Tickets are available on Eventbrite here. Proceeds from the tastings will benefit GrowNYC’s Regional Grains Project.

February is Local Spirits Month
SingL Lounge & The Fourth Restaurant
132 Fourth Avenue at 13th Street
Tuesdays in February
6:30 pm & 7:15 pm
February 3 – Orange County Distillery
February 10 – Breuckelen Distilling
February 17 – Hudson Whisky/Tuthilltown
February 24 – NY Distilling Company

Clothing Recycling Gets Legs in Chinatown Co-op

The weekend before Thanksgiving, residents in one Chinatown complex took time to “unstuff”—closets and drawers, that is—bringing 2,500 pounds of unwanted clothing to a special collection in their building. 

In 2012 GrowNYC hosted an Earth Day textile collection as part of a larger community event in Chinatown, attracting residents from the nearby Confucius Plaza Apartments, who asked for more convenient opportunities to recycle unwanted clothing, shoes, linens and other textiles.  With the help of our Manhattan Recycling Outreach Coordinator, the co-op held the first of what is now a bi-annual collection at the 762-unit apartment complex.  GrowNYC advised management on the logistics of setting up a collection, connected them Wearable Collections (who also collects materials from Greenmarkets) and provided outreach and education assistance, from promoting the collection to educating residents about recycling with the help of bilingual volunteers.  In the past two years the building has hosted six events and collected over 6.5 tons of material that will be reused or recycled into new products. Plans are underway to establish more frequent collections as resident demand for this service shows no sign of slowing, and building staff appreciate the lighter loads they must manage when taking out the trash. 

Want to recycle textiles in your apartment building?  Check out refashioNYC to see if you are eligible for a free collection bin, contact Wearable Collections about in-building programs or find a Greenmarket drop-off site near you.   

GrowNYC's garden program profiled on BBC Radio

GrowNYC's Marcel Van Ooyen, Lenny Librizzi, and Shawn Brody were interviewed by BBC Radio's Food Programme. As part of a larger audio piece, GrowNYC contributed comments on the role that a urban agriculture and community gardens play in promoting healthy eating in NYC.  

Listen to the piece on BBC Radio.

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