NFDP Graduates 13 Immigrant Farmers

On the ten-year anniversary of the New Farmer Development Project, the project completed another successful farmer training class, La Nueva Siembra. Designed specifically for immigrants with agricultural experience who are interested in starting their own operation, the course concluded a successful run with 13 graduates. These future farmers hailed from Guatemala, Mexico, Taiwan, Haiti, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the U.S., and learned to develop business plans as diverse as their backgrounds. From an online mushroom CSA to urban aquaculture, their ideas are now entering the new planning phase, with individual assistance from the NFDP staff for the 2011 growing season.

Offered Tuesday evenings from October to December and concluding with a weekend intensive, La Nueva Siembra covered a wide range of topics including Goals and Skills Evaluation, Finding Land, Finances, Labor and Development Laws, and Marketing and Production Plans, to name a few. To increase the effectiveness of the curriculum, many students took advantage of workshops organized by NFDP and its partners throughout late summer and early fall – Marketing in the Market, Seed Saving, Farm Tour and Tractor Safety. Participants also had the opportunity to attend various conferences with the NFDP staff and current farmers throughout the fall and winter, and will continue to do so as 2011 progresses.

As “real world” complementary elements to the class, four guest farmers gave presentations, advice, and answered the multitude of questions for class participants. The NFDP sincerely thanks Martin and Gaudencia Rodriguez, Sergio and Paz Nolasco, Jorge Carmona, and Nestor Tello for sharing their precious time and invaluable experience with the LNS class of 2010!

Congratulations to all the graduates and best of luck! We all look forward to following your stories as your farming plans unfold!

Green Grades: NYC Schools Recycle!

NYC public schools have a goal to double their recycling rate by 2012. With around 1,600 schools in NYC, there needs to be model recycling programs for schools to emulate. Green Grades is a short film that highlights the efforts of two NYC schools that make recycling easy.

GrowNYC’s Recycling Champions program is helping multiple schools in each borough become model recyclers. For Green Grades, Recycling Champions partnered with the NYC DOE Sustainability Initiative, videographer Pamela French, and the NYC Department of Sanitation’s Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling to demonstrate how a successful recycling program is a team effort.

Governor Cuomo features GrowNYC

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo released A Transformational Plan for a New New York, a 31-page plan designed to "fundamentally transform New York State’s government and economy."

The plan included a section entitled Expand Fresh Food into Urban Centers: Urban Markets meets NY Produce, prominently featuring the Greenmarket program, our new Wholesale Greenmarket at the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market, and our extensive EBT/SNAP/WIC program at Greenmarkets.

Read the Transformational Plan for a New New York.

Community garden survey released

In 2009 and 2010, GrowNYC hosted Compton Mentor Fellow Mara Gittleman. Mentored by Open Space Greening Assistant Director Lenny Librizzi, Mara's first project was updating the community garden information on OASIS, a powerful GIS-based online map that allows users to view details about every block and lot in the five boroughs. This was the first full-scale update to the community garden information in many years.

This updated information gave us the opportunity to collect and analyze data and create charts and maps highlighting all the benefits of community gardens. Nearly half of the city's 500 community gardens responded to the survey, answering questions like:

How many community gardens are there today?
How many grow food, and which crops?
How does one join a garden in my neighborhood?
What kinds of partnerships with schools and community groups do gardens have?
What types of events take place?

The results are astounding! 80% of responding gardens grow food, 65% compost, and 43% partner with at least one local school.

Read the report (PDF 6.92 mb).

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NFDP's 10th Anniversary

 

This past Saturday night, more than 40 graduates of the "La Nueva Siembra" training program celebrated the tenth anniversary of GrowNYC’s New Farmer Development Project.

“There were 75 total guests, with 8 current farmers and more than 40 graduates from La Nueva Siembra, including 5 participants from the most recent 2010 class," reported Chris Wayne, NFDP Coordinator. Special guests included both the founding director of the project, Rachel Danifer, and the previous director, Kate Granger. Also in attendance were long time Cornell Cooperative Extension agent and NFDP training specialist John Ameroso and his wife Linda.

Nestor Tello, an egg and chicken producer from Dutchess County, was the winner of the evening’s raffle and took home a broadcast seeder and a 50lb bag of cover crop seed. He hopes to use the seed on a new piece of property that he is in the process of acquiring in Greene County.

Greenmarket holiday schedule

All Saturday Greenmarkets will be closed on Saturday, December 25 and Saturday, January 1.  The schedule for Sunday Greenmarkets, effective December 26 and January 2, is below.

77th Street – closed Dec 26, open Jan 2

Carroll Gardens – closed Dec 26, open Jan 2
Columbia – open Dec 26 and Jan 2
Cortelyou – open Dec 26 and Jan 2
Jackson Heights – closed Dec 26 and Jan 2
Tompkins – open Dec 26 and Jan 2

There will be no textile collections at any market on December 24-26, December 31, and January 1-2.

 

Dreaming of a Green Holiday?

As we slow down to celebrate another year with friends and family, the flow of waste seems to speed up. Egg nog cartons stack up on the counter, wrapping paper litters the living room, ugly sweaters spill out of drawers and not-so-obsolete electronics are transformed into pricey paperweights. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips to help you reduce waste and clear out clutter without clogging a landfill. Even Grandma’s greeting can go to a good cause.

Go to tips.

Recycling Poster Series

Ever wish you could do more to educate your neighbors or tenants about recycling and waste prevention?  Check out this series of recycling posters from GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education.  Download the poster of your choice in black & white or color, print and post in recycling rooms, lobbies or other common areas of your building.  A new poster is issued each month in OROE’s NYC Recycling Updates e-newsletter.

Junk Mail Poster Junk Mail Poster Check the Neck
Million Pound Challenge
Paper Recycling Tip
Paper Recycling Tip

Where to buy a Christmas tree & other holiday decor

Farmers at several Greenmarket locations harvest a variety of evergreen trees. Here's a list of markets where you can get a locally grown tree, wreath, or garland for all your holiday decorating needs:

Manhattan

77th Street Sunday
Abingdon Square Saturday
Union Square Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Boro Hall Saturday
Fort Greene Park Saturday
Grand Army Plaza Saturday

Thanksgiving Produce Bags

GrowNYC's Thanksgiving Produce Bags were a big hit this year, distributing close to 2,000 lb of fresh, local produce to Harlem residents for the holiday. $4 produce bags filled with 5 pounds of seasonal vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and collard greens were sold at four locations throughout Harlem.

Thanks to all our partners and volunteers who made it possible! See you next year.

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