NY Times covers GrowNYC S. Bronx Garden

August 7, 2017
Posted in Community Gardens

The New York Times recently profiled several Bronx community gardeners as part of an article about immigrant gardeners and their influence on the increasing number of community gardens being built across the City.  

The Bronx gardeners profiled are all from United We Stand Community Garden, a garden GrowNYC rebuilt in 2016.  

The State of Seafood with Paul Greenberg and Blue Moon Fish

May 31, 2017
Posted in Greenmarket

Join GrowNYC and Greenmarket for a conversation with Paul Greenberg and Stephanie Villani about the current state of seafood and politics surrounding the fishing industry.

Paul Greenberg, sustainable fisheries expert and New York Times bestselling author, is featured in the PBS Frontline special, "The Fish on My Plate," airing April 25, 2017.  Stephanie and her husband Alex own Blue Moon Fish, a family operation that catches wild, local fish off the coast of Mattituck, on the North Folk of Long Island. 

Sustainable Seafood Q & A and Cookbook Release Celebration
Thursday, June 15th
4pm-6pm, $15

Earlier in the evening, eventgoers will grab a drink and seafood appetizer prepared by Bowery Road restaurant before participating in a Q & A with Paul and Stephanie, and celebrate the release of Stephanie's new cookbook, "The Fisherman's Wife." 
Tickets here

Summer Seafood Dinner
Thursday, June 15th
7pm-10pm, $300 or sponsorship table of 10, $5000 
(Table host recognized at event and featured in electronic event materials)
Dinner ticket holders will enjoy cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a seated four-course dinner, featuring local and sustainably-sourced seafood and shellfish, prepared by Bill Telepan of Oceana, Melissa Rodriguez of Del Posto, Howard Kalachnikoff of Gramercy Tavern, Kerry Heffernan of Grand Banks, and Ron Paprocki of Gotham Bar and Grill. Spirits have been generously donated by New York Distilling Company and beer by Brooklyn Brewery
Tickets here
*The non-deductible portion of each ticket is $150, as this reflects the fair market value of goods and services to be provided at the event.

This fundraiser is the first in the Greenmarket Seasonal Dinner Series at GrowNYC's Project Farmhouse and will allow GrowNYC to continue working with partner organizations to offer Project Farmhouse as an educational space used for panel discussions, film screenings, and networking events focused on a just and sustainable local food system.

New Garden Build at a NYCHA site in Harlem

May 8, 2017
Posted in Community Gardens

 

GrowNYC's garden program recently built a new garden at the New York City Housing Authority's PS 139 Conversion senior housing development in Harlem.

With help from volunteers from Helmsley Charitable Trust, we built 30+ garden beds and moved 20 tons of topsoil, giving the residents of PS 139 Conversion an accessible garden that they'll be able to use for many years to come.

Check out a timelapse of the build below - and let us know if you're interested in organizing a build day of your own!

 

Photos from the Project Farmhouse Open House

May 1, 2017
Posted in GrowNYC

Project Farmhouse Open House

Photos by Vitaliy Piltser

Project Farmhouse opened its doors to the public on April 29th, with festivities that included cooking demos, garden workshops, recycling games, and lots of environmental education.

Thanks to everyone that came out, and we hope to see you all again soon!

Project Farmhouse Open House on April 29th!

February 16, 2017
Posted in GrowNYC

Join us for the official opening of Project Farmhouse, NYC's newest center for sustainability and education!

Festivities begin at 11 am with the ribbon cutting of the Boffi Soho Teaching Kitchen, followed by cooking demos by Gaggenau Chef Eric Morales, and Chef Peter Hoffman; refreshments donated by Whole Foods, Cava and Bread Alone; raffle for goodies from Breville and WÜSTOFF; a Greenmarket photo booth; take-home DIY planters; recycling games; environmental action center; and much more!

Saturday, April 29
11 am - 4 pm
GrowNYC's Project Farmhouse
76 East 13th Street (Manhattan)
NY, NY 10003

 

An Interview with Efrain Estrada from United We Stand Community Garden

January 4, 2017
Posted in Community Gardens

United We Stand selects

On East 137th and 138th Streets in the South Bronx, four contiguous community gardens flourished for more than 25 years. Hundreds of Mott Haven residents tended to flowers, grew food, and met one another. Then, in 2015, a fire broke out in the neighborhood, burning infrastructure across the garden block. The City was forced to close all four gardens and the site lay dormant.

Starting in February of 2016, the NYC Parks Department’s GreenThumb program began the gargantuan task of rebuilding the entire site. With help from the Department of Sanitation and the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation, the site was completely cleared, including thousands of pounds of debris and all the internal fences, and a fresh, vacant lot appeared.

GrowNYC joined the effort in May to restore the space to its previous horticultural glory, building more than 100 garden beds, a performance stage, murals, dozens of tables and benches. In September, we finished work on the new United We Stand and 138th Street Community Gardens. You can see the transformation in the before and after pictures, but let Efrain Estrada, a community garden member, tell the story:

“After the fire, the garden was closed. It was very bad: we had nowhere to garden, nowhere to hang out. It looked like a jungle, with a burned casita, and then people started throwing junk in there.

I felt bad that the garden was gone—I felt like a piece of myself was gone. The garden community is a family and the family didn’t have any place to go. I was close to crying. It was 25 years that we had made that garden and then it was gone. But then I thought, let’s go. It was spring and it was time to go again. Let’s start again. And that is where GrowNYC stepped in.

Working with the community and volunteers, we started rebuilding the entire site in the spring and we finished in fall.

People from the neighborhood say it’s beautiful now. We are proud. The people from the neighborhood see this whole new space on 137th Street and 138th Street. They see the flowers and all the vegetables and they love it.”

Handy tips for a sustainable holiday

December 1, 2016
Posted in Recycling

Making a list of how to green your holidays? Here are some of our favorite tips and events to cure the post-holiday blues.

Green Your Holidays

Sending cards?

Try e-cards or look for greetings made with recycled content (the more post-consumer content, the better). Include a note with your cards that they can be donated for reuse by sending to St. Judes Ranch for Children, where they will be repurposed into greetings for 2017. Other types of occasions are needed as well, so save those December birthday cards!

Giving gifts?

Show some style when shopping by bringing your own reusable bags. Choose minimally-packaged items made with recycled content and give items that will be treasured, not thrown out before the next holiday season. Consider giving experiences, homemade and vintage gifts. Find new joy in old favorites that are broken or need refreshing with Pop Up Repair. Get hundreds of toy-free gift ideas for a more meaningful holiday here and here. Remember to wrap it recyclable by using old newspaper, paper gift wrap, paper gift bags or reusable bags and containers that keep on giving all year. 

Preparing a holiday meal?

Look for items in recyclable packaging and buy minimally- or non-packaged fresh produce, like that from Greenmarket. Composting your vegetable trimmings is made easy with collections at select Greenmarkets and other drop-off sites. Prevent waste by making small changes such as using recyclable aluminum foil rather than plastic wrap for food storage. Serve your masterpiece on reusable plates and offer guests reusable flatware, glassware and napkins.

Stuck with clean up duties?

Wrapping paper, gift boxes, cardboard and other paper packaging can go out with other paper recycling (remove tape, ribbons and other decorations).  Eggnog cartons, wine bottles, olive containers, cookie tins and hard-to-open rigid plastic packaging are easy to recycle alongside the rest of your metal, glass, plastic and cartons.  If your collection day falls on Christmas and New Year's Day, here's when to set out recycling, garbage and organics (if participating).  Block Styrofoam and foam peanut packaging are not recyclable, but alternative paper packaging can be included in your recycling pile.  Styrofoam peanuts can be reused at select shipping centers and Manhattan Mailroom locations, and cornstarch peanuts can be composted.  For those so inclined, even corks can be recycled—find drop-sites here

Too many leftovers?

Check the shelf life of open and unopened food and get storage tips to make the most of food and create less waste at stilltasty.com

Post-Holiday Recycling Events to Cure the Winter Blues

Recycle Your Tree.

If you're putting up a real tree for the holidays, plan to chip in at MulchFest on January 7 & 8!  Trees (cleaned of stands, lights, tinsel and ornaments) will be collected and recycled into mulch for NYC parks at designated sites. Bring your own bag to select sites and take home mulch for your yard, garden or street tree. Find citywide drop-off sites and mulch pick-up locations here. If you miss MulchFest, the city will pick up trees (also stripped of ornaments, etc) curbside from January 3-14, barring any snow disruptions.

Recycle Unwanted Electronics.

When upgrading or unloading electronics, the curb is longer a disposal option.  Find recycling resources here and check in with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, which runs the Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse in Brooklyn and hosts "After the Holidays" e-waste collections in all five boroughs.

Loosen Your Drawers.

Clear out ill-fitting, outdated and otherwise unwanted clothing, shoes, and linens and bring them to one of GrowNYC's weekly collections for reusable clothing and other textiles.

Swap Your Stuff.

GrowNYC's Stop 'N' Swap® is the ultimate re-gifting party. Bring reusable items to share (portable items only) or simply bring a tote bag or two to take home things you can put to reuse. Unstuff your home at one of 4 swaps in Decmeber, or find winter swap dates and locations at GrowNYC.org/swap.

 

From all of us at GrowNYC, thank you for helping green our city by taking our "recycling challenge" at community events, volunteering to help collect recyclables at public events, dropping off clothing and food scraps at our Greenmarkets, attending our Stop 'N' Swaps, and more throughout 2016. We look forward to seeing you out at many of the great recycling events that will kick off a sustainable 2017. Happy Holidays!

For more tips on keeping your holidays green and merry, visit the NYC ZeroWaste page.

Governor Announces Greenmarket Food Hub

August 12, 2016
Posted in Greenmarket

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New York State's investment of $15 million in the construction of a new Greenmarket Regional Food Hub in the Bronx.  

The hub, which will be used by GrowNYC's Greenmarket Co. program, will be a state-of-the-art 120,000 square foot facility that will greatly increase New Yorkers' access to the freshest, most nutritious locally grown food the region has to offer.

From the press release:

The Greenmarket Regional Food Hub will be located in the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx and will include a wholesale farmers’ market, a cold storage facility for farmers, a food-processing center and other infrastructure to support local food businesses. The new food hub will work with a range of small- and mid-sized farms, providing unprecedented access to New York City’s wholesale marketplace. The processing facility will also assist Upstate producers and processors in targeting institutional and private sector procurement opportunities. In addition, the food hub will facilitate the expansion of farmers’ markets and youth markets in underserved communities.

4 New Gardens Bloom in NYC

July 5, 2016
Posted in Community Gardens

GrowNYC's garden program has had a busy first half of 2016! 

Among other things, we've built four new community gardens, totaling 40,000 square feet of new open space.  Here's the skinny:

 

Windmill Community Garden

Windmill Community Garden
A vacant lot in Long Island City - who would have thought? We worked with a great neighborhood association and adjacent school on building out this 2,500 square foot space with raised beds, a shed, and, you guessed it, a windmill!  Lots more to come from this space in the 2nd half of 2016.
 

 

400 Montauk Avenue Community Garden

400 Montauk Community Garden
An existing garden in East New York, Brooklyn that had been extinct for several years, we started the year with a rubble-filled lot and, a few weeks later, had a total renewal - 20 new raised beds, picnic tables and garden benches, and more!  

 

Warwick Street Community Garden

Warwick Street Community Garden
Another extinct community garden in East New York that we worked with a host of community partners on identifying, organizing, designing, and building a new garden on a completely vacant space.  Now features raised beds, picnic tables, a shed, and, most importantly, plants! More info

 

United We Stand Community Garden

United We Stand Community Garden
4 contiguous community gardens flourished for 30 years until they were decimated by fire in the Winter of 2014.  Flash forward to this February, and we'd worked with the garden groups and the Parks Department to tear all the internal garden fences down, clear the entire site, and start working on a design for 1 large united community garden that spans an entire block between 137th and 138th Streets in the South Bronx.  

Halfway through 2016, we've built 50 raised beds, a dozen picnic tables, a new shed, and a pathway linking the two streets.  We can't wait to put the finishing touches on the garden this summer!  

Volunteer Profile: Jonathan Kong

July 4, 2016
Posted in Community Gardens

Volunteers are a major source of strength for nonprofits and GrowNYC is fortunate to have the time, effort and talents of so many dedicated New Yorkers. Whether they are corporate groups giving back to the community by helping with a garden build for a neighborhood or school or a single individual who feels passionate about what GrowNYC does, we are extremely grateful.  Want to volunteer with GrowNYC?

Jonathan Kong started volunteering with GrowNYC in 2014, quickly establishing himself as a tireless worker and enthusiastic supporter of all things GrowNYC.  But in 2016, Jonathan has taken things to a new level: Creating and undertaking The Greenmarket Challenge: a quest to volunteer at all 54 Greenmarket farmers markets in 1 year.  

We spoke with Jonathan what inspires him, which Greenmarket is his favorite, and much more:
 

How long have you been volunteering with GrowNYC?

This is my third year.

What is it about GrowNYC that inspires you to work with us?

I really like the environment, working outdoors, getting to interact with the public, doing hands-on activities such as the cooking demos, and learning something new about myself everyday.

Favorite activity when volunteering?

Cooking demos are always fun to do because I get to see the actual ingredients I'm using and use them with the recipe. Outreach is great since I get to see the diversity of people who live in different neighborhoods.

How many different Greenmarket locations have you volunteered at?

So far about 30, but I plan to volunteer at all of them by the end of this year.

Do you have a favorite Greenmarket?

I like Union Square a lot because there's a lot of different activities going on down there and it's really easy to get to. I also have favorite markets for each region: Forest Hills for Queens, Columbia for Upper Manhattan, Tompkins for Lower Manhattan, Fort Greene for Brooklyn, and Parkchester for Bronx.

Favorite fruit and/or vegetable?

I tend to go for tropical fruits like mangos, pineapples and coconuts, but they don't sell them at the markets.

What would you tell someone who was considering volunteering with GrowNYC?

Volunteering with GrowNYC will help you improve your social skills, build confidence in yourself, and feel comfortable working with other people.                                                                                                                         

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