Posts Tagged ‘gardens’

milkweed and stinky piglets

September 30, 2009

Rainy days have their benefits. The first, most obvious benefit is the replenishment of available water for plant, animal, and human use. The second is that rain keeps people from enjoying outdoor activities. Why is that a benefit? Well, if you’re visiting Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture and want to go on a vegetable tour, you may just be the only one on the tour on account of rain. And being the only ones (bf & I) on the tour last Sunday, we got special attention. Or at least that’s how it seemed to me.

We went on a whim, despite the rain and forecast for more of it throughout the day. Looking at the clock, we realized we’d have just enough time to grab a bite from the cafe and go on the two o’clock tour. So up we went, to Pocantico Hills, just north of Tarrytown. It’s lovely up there, just an hour’s drive from Brooklyn, the leaves along the Saw Mill Parkway just starting to change into their autumnal habits. Here are some of the magical things we encountered on our tour of the educational, experimental, sustainable agricultural center:


A tasty lunch at the cafe


What’s on today?


Selling the bounty at the farm market


Asclepias gomphocarpus, a type of milkweed, attracts butterflies


Happy bees on past-peak artichokes in the dooryard garden. These delicious thistles are apparently difficult to grow in the Northeast, but Stone Barns is figuring out how.


Go ahead, try one! Stone Barns encourages sampling


Super-juicy Asian pears growing in the main field are an experiment. A very tasty experiment.


Self-seeding sunflowers take over where the arugula leaves off


Purple brussel sprouts in the field…


…and yummy purple mustard greens in the greenhouse


The expansive greenhouse allows 4-season farming


Seedlings in custom compost are kept warm through water-filled, compost-heated tubes


Hoop houses on tracks also extend the seasons


Four kinds of compost are cultivated at Stone Barns


Berkshire pigs, right home in the forest mud


Hey little piggy


Sorry, we’re too busy to look at your camera


Oh, hello there. These pigs sure are cute, but they were also a little stinky.

Stone Barns is a magical place where everything is grown for a reason, everything is harvested, nothing is sprayed with pesticides or grown in artificial fertilizers. And everything is repurposed, from food scraps to plastic tarps. You can visit Stone Barns for a tour, to volunteer, or to enjoy an 8-course meal at the amazing Blue Hill restaurant.

This Saturday, October 3, is their 6th Annual Harvest Festival. Get your tickets here.

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture
630 Bedford Road
Pocantico Hills, NY
914.366.6200

hop on the waterpod while you still can

September 17, 2009

Have you caught a glimpse of that fantastic vessel, the one growing squash & tomatoes & chickens? The one that composts, harvests rainwater & sustains its shipmates? Perhaps you have, perhaps you’ve stepped on board. But if you haven’t, and have the slightest inkling of curiosity as to what the Waterpod holds, you only have 2 weeks to quench your thirst.

The Waterpod is about to sail off into the sunset (well, technically, it doesn’t “sail”). Below, a message from the pod regarding their last hurrah.

The Waterpod would like to invite you to join us for our final two weeks open to the public on New York waterways. We will celebrate the closing of our amazing four-month journey with “Future of Mobility, Urbanity, and Water(pods)” at the World’s Fair Marina Pier 1 in Flushing, Queens from September 16 – 27th. Visit our website for up-to-date information and events: www.thewaterpod.org.

This celebration will include events with The Queens Museum of Art, Conflux Festival, Underwater New York, Swimming Cities, Terreform, Wicked Delicate’s Truck Farm, Andrew Faust and the Center for Bioregional Living [aside: this is who’s teaching me the wonders of permaculture], hands-on workshops for Thriving After the Flood by artist Christopher Robbins, Secret School and the K.I.D.S and Natalie Jeremijenko’s Environmental Response Systems.

We will conclude with an all day “I Remember Future” party on Sunday, September 27, 2009 from 11am-11pm in conjunction with the Queens Museum of Art. There will be trolley service from QMA to the Waterpod. The day will include, “Ascend” a pirate television broadcast/planetarium installation by artist James Case Leal, a globular sound installation curated by Lauren Rosati, and DJ Trent Wolbe from WFMU, among other futuristic happenings.

We are at the Worlds Fair Marina Pier 1 from Sept. 16- Sept 27.
We are open to the public Thursday/Friday 8am-4pm and Saturday/Sunday 11am-7pm.

Here is schedule of events, please join us!

Friday 9/18:
Conflux Festival 2-4:30pm on the Waterpod. Waterpod team talks about life on board.
5pm Piledrivers music

Saturday 9/19:
3pm Urban Permaculture workshop with Andrew Faust; Regenerating Today’s Cityscapes
5pm Betsy Bradley,Father Knickerbocker Meets the Future: Lecture about the World’s Fair

Sunday, September 20:
1pm Christopher Robbins & Matt Bua –Waterborn edibles in New York / Build a solar cooker
3pm Underwater New York Readings
6-10pm Swimming Cities Fundraiser Party

Saturday, 9/26:
1pm- Christopher Robbins & Douglas Paulson-Jerry-rigging 101: Build your own boat from urban detritus/Knot tying-bring stuff that might float
3pm Secret School and the K.I.D.S. host a “wild tea party”: a workshop on making jam and tea from foraged wild edible fruit.
4pm: Terreform Lecture founders Maria Aiolova and Mitchell Joachim. talk about the Future of Urbanity
6-7pm Artist Hector Canonge “Utopia” video showing
6-8pm Jérémie Gindre and Frédéric Post, Special show case and sound performance, co-curated by Espace Kugler in Sweden

Sunday 9/27: Final Day of Waterpod
11a-11pm “I Remember Future” all day Goodbye Waterpod Party in conjunction with The Queens Museum of Art (Trolley from QMA to Waterpod)
12pm Barbara Flanagan “Water Homes” lecture and book signing
1pm – Christopher Robbins & Ian Warren-Making portable gardens, Cereal banks (D.I.Y. protectionism) and food preservation
2-6pm Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis present their Truck Farm
3pm Urban Secret School and The K.I.D.S. make jam and tea and Cassie Thornton Barter System Beauty Salon
4-6pm Natalie Jeremijenko’s Environmental Response Systems
6-8pm Lauren Rosati curates sound installation in dome
4-11pm James Case Leal’s Ascend Planetarium video installation in dome and broadcast at The Queens Museum of Art
8-11pm Trent Wolbe of WFMU will DJ
9-11pm Band TBA

Subway Directions: From Grand Central Station take the 7 train to Willets Point Blvd – Mets Station. Head towards Citi Field. Take the sidewalk to the left of Citi Field until it ends. Cross the Whitestone Expressway and the World’s Fair Marina Pier 1 is across the street and to the right. Waterpod™ is located at the end of Pier 1.

Google Map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=108226320777055742290.0004739489a1697c86cf6&ll=40.76148,-73.85381&spn=0.010792,0.021265&z=16

Thank you,
The Waterpod Team

skills to pay the bills (or at least save a little dough)

August 26, 2009

Got a hankerin’ to make stuff, but don’t know how? In a time when people are pinching pennies out of necessity or just to consume less for the good of the planet, it helps to know there are some free ways to learn a few new tricks.

Check it out…

Thursday, August 27 (that’s tomorrow!)

Lori Gibbs and Atom Cianfarani want to teach you how to GreenIt Yourself this Thursday with a green roof and gardening in small spaces Workshop. At the Toyota Children’s Garden (one of New York Restoration Project’s babies) from 7 pm to 8 pm. And there will be refreshments!

Toyota Children’s Garden
603 East 11th Street, New York, NY

Friday, August 28 (in prep for Saturday, October 10)

Okay, this one’s a little bit preemptive, and maybe not so free, but it comes pretty darn close. This concert, featuring local bands, will help fund a day of skill sharing on October 10 at the Brooklyn Skillshare.

On Saturday, October 10, you’re gonna learn all kinds of crazy stuff: ricotta-making, liquor-infusing, kombucha-brewing, screenprinting, and a whole lot more. The door price is based on a sliding scale ($10 suggested), so pay what you can.

The fundraising show that’s this Saturday, on the other hand, is $7 and features local acts like The XYZ Affair and Gunfight!.

Get all the details for the event and the fund-raising-music-show at the trusty e-newsletter of my favorite borough, Brooklyn Based.


Monday, August 31

So you want to use a reusable shopping bag but don’t want to shell out the dollars to get one? How’s about making one for yourself? Learn how at this free workshop – 3rd Ward’s Sweatshop Social. You supply the fabric (an old t-shirt perhaps?), they supply the notions and the (cheap) beer. Bring your own cup and the suds are just a buck.

[via Brooklyn Based]

And for all you green thumb wannabes…
More free events coming soon to Brooklyn Botanic Garden through their GreenBridge Program (these are free, but ya gotta register – so sign up right quick!).

Street Tree Care
Thursday, September 17, 6 to 8 pm
Thursday, November 5, 6 to 8 pm
Street trees do much to improve our environment, but they often receive little care. In this class, learn the benefits of street trees and how to improve the health of a street tree by caring for its bed. Get tips on amending soil, mulching, watering, pruning, and tree-bed gardening. Bring your street-tree care questions and find out more about the city’s efforts to increase and protect the urban forest canopy.

Starting a Children’s Garden
Thursday, October 15, 6 to 8 pm
Would you like to develop a children’s garden at your school, block association, or neighborhood organization? This workshop will provide tips for adult leaders who want to organize a children’s gardening program. Learn how to plan your program and what tools and plant materials are needed to get growing. You will receive a free activity booklet and visit our children’s education greenhouse for hands-on activities.

Getting to Know Your Soil
Wednesday, October 28, 6 to 8 pm
Interested in knowing more about your soil? Concerned about safely growing food in urban soils? This class will demonstrate several easy diagnostic activities for learning about your soil. How to take a soil sample for testing will be demonstrated as well as interpreting lab results. You’ll also receive tips on improving urban soils.

Rainwater Harvesting
Thursday, October 22, 6 to 8 pm
Learn the benefits of reducing your dependence on NYC water and minimizing storm water flows into our sewers by collecting rainwater for use in your garden. It’s easy to use roofs from nearby buildings and garden sheds to harvest rainwater. Come learn about the different types of rainwater harvesting systems being used throughout NYC community gardens from simple pickle barrels to large tanks, and get tips on how to build your own.

Introduction to Permaculture
Tuesday, November 10, 6 to 8 pm
Permaculture is a design approach based on interpreting natural patterns for human benefit. Learning how to read the land and planning for long-term development are two objectives of this workshop. Permaculture works on all scales and levels. Discussion will cover topics ranging from choosing and using plants in groupings to observing and utilizing the elemental forces of wind, water, and sun.

blight bites!

August 24, 2009

This year, tomato growers & lovers on the East Coast were faced with the nasty disease known as “late blight,” which rendered many tomato crops useless within a matter of days. (You can read more about late blight in this op-ed from the amazing Dan Barber).

If you’re like me, lamenting the lacklusterness of this year’s tomatoes, there’s now a way to express your frustration. Introducing Blightee, Hudson Valley Seed Library’s answer to the terrible blight. It’s a t-shirt, it’s an act of aggression, it’s a way to say, “hey blight, you bite!” Get yours now, while supplies last.


Bite back by spore-ting this tee that says it all: Blight Bites! Each shirt features the “Blight Bites” image front and center with a very small Hudson Valley Seed Library logo on the sleeve. The American Apparel-brand natural-color shirts are made in America and woven from 100% organic cotton; the printing is done by Antilogy Designs in Tillson, New York. The logo is based on a design created by Michael Wilcock.

Shirts cost $16 each, or $14 for members (be sure to log in to receive your discount). To purchase a shirt, click on your desired size, then click “Add to Cart” on the following page. (Please note that the seed catalog remains closed until early November. Only t-shirts can be ordered at this time.)

lettuce eat local!

August 21, 2009

I mean Let Us Eat Local. It’s a gala event for Just Food, advocates for healthful, sustainable food access for all. Check it!

Tickets are now available for our second annual Let Us Eat Local Gala and Award Ceremony, a fundraiser that helps support our programs. More than 30 chefs from NYC’s finest restaurants will be serving up 100% local food paired with local craft beers. The McKinley Hightower-Beyah Awards will honor farmers, organizations, journalists, and gardeners who work to bring fresh, locally grown food to those who need it most.
Let Us Eat Local!

DATE: Wednesday, September 16, 2009
TIME: VIP hour begins 6 PM
General Admission begins 7 PM

LOCATION:
Prince George Hotel Ballroom
15 East 27th Street, NYC
Get Your Ticket!
$235 VIP (entrance to event, 6:00 PM)
$150 General Admission (entrance to event, 7:00 PM)
$135 Just Food Members (entrance to event, 7:00PM)
Purchase Tickets Online

Menu
Starters:
VIP Exclusive with an extra hour and special tastings

The Main Course
So much to savor, so little time. 30 Chefs. 40 Local Producers.

Perfectly Paired
Each tasting is paired with a local craft beer.
Orchestrated by NY Craft Beer Week.

A Celebration of Our Region’s Finest
Journalist
Organization
Farmer
Gardener

Silent Auction
Featuring gardening and cooking gear, hand-crafted jewelry, cooking classes, and more!

Satisfaction:
100% of proceeds support our efforts to change the world through food.

Plus goody bags with delicious treats and cool items to take home!

do chickens get seasick?

August 19, 2009


Below the BQE, in a barren industrialized part of Brooklyn, was docked the Waterpod

Do chickens get seasick? Does sea air help or hinder the tomatoes? If you get a chance to visit the Waterpod – 3,000 square foot living ‘art-installation’ barge – could you do me a favor and ask these questions? A combination of heat and a weekend’s worth of permaculture lessons fried my noodle when I went to visit the operation on the Brooklyn waterfront last Sunday.

Here are some things to look forward to on your visit (they’re currently docked in Staten Island):


Bucky, eat your heart out.


Hey, your squash is hanging out!


These ladies are just minding their own business.


Grey water filtration system – awesome!


There shouldn’t be a mutiny on this bounty. (Ouch!)


Looks like a healthy tomato crop – no scurvy here


Some worthy shipmates saving amaranth seeds


Inside the living room – it was pretty cozy I’ll have to admit

Get the poop on the Waterpod

And some press on
NY Times

bk farmyards fundraiser: come & get it!

August 17, 2009


Howdy pardners! The dinner bell’s ringin’ and I’m hungry for some change. And by change I mean bringing some country to the city – that new ol’ fangled thang called urban farming.

BK Farmyards is itchin’ to grow food on your tiny parcel of city land. So mosey on down to this Saturday’s fundraiser to support the cause (RSVP here). Then take a gander at my latest post about BK Farmyards on the Brooklyn Food Coalition blog. But before you leave this here page, check out this video on Stacey Murphy, the lady behind BK Farmyards:

NYC’s Cool New Backyard Farms: Growing More Than Just Produce from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

Here’s the info again in case you missed it:

AUGUST 22
BK FARMYARDS FUNDRAISER
3pm-12am
hosted @ COMPOUND brooklyn
1287 Atlantic Ave, near Nostrand
2 blocks Nostrand A stop;
2-3 blocks B44, B65 , B25;
LIRR Nostrand stop steps away

Please RSVP on Facebook

Live bands, original artworks, dance troupe, local food & drinks, growing display, cooking demonstrations, and games: Fun for all ages. Bring along a blanket to picnic on the grass. Suggested donation $5 at the door or pay what you can. All donations go toward creating more farmyards. We are currently working with developers on converting 3 acres to farm next year. Gift certificates for Get Fresh Table and Market, Ici, Franny’s, The Farm on Adderley, Brooklyn Kitchen, Edible Brooklyn, and more will be auctioned off.

Pass the word along! Help us build more farms!


i enjoyed a dirty movie today

August 13, 2009

Well, actually it was more of a love story. A love story about dirt, probably the most overlooked natural resource, yet one of the most vital elements on the planet. Without healthy soil there would be no food… and we all know where that would lead us.

The film includes an all-star cast of ecological gurus gushing about the ‘skin of the earth.’ This list of heavyweights in the film just scratches the surface – Vandana Shiva, Nobel-peace-prize-winning Wangari Maathai, John Todd, Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx, and Andy Lipkis of TreePeople.

Check out the trailer, then see if it’s playing near you!

After watching the film I’m feeling motivated to learn more about soil. Here are some resources I’m going to check out:


(You can also get this one at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Bookstore)

growing & greeting & eating for a cause

August 13, 2009

Several sustainable food-type events of note are coming up — from lessons on growing your own food to a peaceful protest against unhealthy school food.

Window Box and Container Gardening 101

Saturday, August 15, 2009
12:30 pm
Pershing Hall, Governors Island, NYC

Come check out featured speaker Bilen Berhanu, from Green Thumb NYC,
in an event sponsored by the CUNY Institute for Sustainable City’s
Summer Speaker Series and Art and Science Exhibition on Governors
Island.

“Want to eat from your own garden, but think you don’t have enough
space? Learn the design elements for a good container or window box-
the perfect solution when you’re short on growing space-as well as
soil mixtures that work well, and tips for planting and maintaining
containers all year.”

Transportation to Governors Island is free and easy! For more
information, including ferry schedules, check out govisland.com.

For more information on the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and
our other events on Governors Island throughout the summer, check out http://cunysustainablecities.org or email ciscevents@gmail.com.

Check out our Art for Sustainability and Science Research Poster
Contests, exhibited every Saturday in Pershing Hall on Governors
Island from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., all summer long from June 27 to
September 5 (except July 4).

The Welcome Table
Thursday, August 20
6:00 pm
Red Hook Community Farm
Free and open to all

This event is the culmination of Youth Leaders’ work at Added Value. Teens have designed the layout, menu, and activities for the night that include an interactive culinary lesson led by teens as an appetizer and a prepared meal in collaboration with chefs and food professionals.

The night will begin with a Community Meal led by our young culinary wizards. You will experience first hand what your meal looks like from soil to salad and break bread with all hands who have helped prepare our food. In addition, we will share a meal of seasonal vegetables, locally raised meat, and other delicious treats prepared by a local chef and food professional. You will take home a full belly, how to make three winning dishes and good conversation with people in our community.

The night is supported by Partnership for Parks and the Added Value Welcome Table dinner series. The mission of the Welcome Table is to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together by gathering around tables of good food to learn and converse about topics and issues important to the work of Added Value. On August 20th, teens will be presenting how they have grown as individuals in the food movement and creating dialogue with guests about sustainability, growing and cooking your own food, and the mission of Added Value.

[via The Word on Columbia Street]

Time for Lunch Eat-In
Get Real Food In Schools
Labor Day, Monday, September 7
12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Schoolyard of PS 9 Teunis G. Bergen School
80 Underhill Ave on St. Mark’s Ave

What: Potluck lunch, kids’ activities, speakers, conversation
Why: To send a clear message to Congress: It’s time to provide America’s children with real food at school.

We are asking participants to bring a dish to the Eat-In. But to really get the point across to budget-conscious administrators and politicians, we are issuing the following challenge.

Please try to bring a dish to share that:
• Is nutritious and uses whole, plant-based foods (not processed foods)
• Costs less than $20 to make
• Is delicious to kids

If you can, please also bring your own plates, cups, utensils, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Get more info and to RSVP

Other Eat-Ins are happening throughout Brooklyn. Find out where.

nyc has 48 hours worth of food

July 24, 2009

What would happen if we were cut off from the US food supply chain? A scary prospect, but NYC has become wholly dependent on outside resources for food. But there’s a growing trend in this city – urban agriculture. Come support this movement toward food independence with an organization that’s making it all happen: BK Farmyards.


BK Farmyards Fundraiser
Saturday, August 22
3pm-12am
@ COMPOUND Brooklyn
Atlantic Avenue (btwn New York & Nostrand)

We are raising money for farming a couple sites next year, and we need your help!

How you can help us build more farms:
1. VOLUNTEER to help the day of the event.
2. DONATE FOR AUCTION. We are looking for local restaurants who want to donate a meal coupon to be auctioned off at the event. These restaurants will be featured in all promotional fliers. We are also looking for local artists who would want to donate work for a silent auction. Artists determine base price and what percentage they would like to donate to BK Farmyards.
3. PERFORM. Would your band like to play? Would you like to make balloon animals for the kids?
4. OTHER IDEAS? You tell me.

Please pass the word on: this will be an all-day party for all ages. We will auction off our produce with cooking demonstrations. There will be trampolines and food…great combination!

bk farmyards is a Brooklyn based decentralized farming network providing local food to reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels and offering local jobs to boost the economy. We are seeking partnerships with developers willing to temporarily transform their idle land to farmyard; homeowners who want to eat from their own yard; and city agencies holding under-utilized land. Our strategy is to stay nimble, growing food between the cracks of urban development. bk farmyards mission is to bring communities together around the dinner table: our organization’s educational agenda includes eating seasonally, how to grow food locally, how to store and prepare food, species biodiversity, and food democracy.