Community Green

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

Compost Giveaway: Open Bin NYC 2016

Dear Community Compost Site members and Master Composters,

You are invited to pick up compost for your garden next Saturday, May 7 from our partner, Lehman College.  Limited quantities of 10 gallons each will be available to the general public, but representatives of our sites will be allowed to take more if you register in advance.  Please note that you must shovel the compost yourself and carry it away (or to your vehicle) in bags, containers, and/or carts.compost

This giveaway will be part of our Open Bin NYC event in the Bronx.  View more details below, along with the registration link.  Be sure to list your garden name on the registration form so that we can reserve more compost for you.

Compost Giveaway: Open Bin NYC 2016
Saturday, May 7 • 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Lehman College • 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West

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SummerStage 2016


SummerStage_logoSummerStage is the largest FREE performing arts festival in New York City. By presenting artists and genres that reflect the diverse cultures and communities in neighborhood parks across the five boroughs, they help to build new audiences and foster a broader interest in the arts.

From the iconic to the avant-garde, from opera to hip-hop, film to circus–and everything in between–this is what makes SummerStage (calendar) a truly only-in New York City festival.

Filed under: Community Green

NYCHA Gardeners: The Best People on Earth!

NYCHA Gardeners: The Best People on Earth. Sounds like a marketing slogan. It isn’t but it should be. I spent a thoroughly enjoyable day with New York City Housing Authority gardeners and residents at the 13 Annual NYCHA Garden Conference at the James Weldon Johnson Houses in Harlem, USA on April 15, 2016. It’s a shame some folks stereotype, pigeonhole and otherwise see the world through the wrong glasses. They miss the world’s wonderful diversity. Life is often like being on the roadside with a flat tire. Your circumstances aren’t the best but that doesn’t mean there aren’t flowers by the road or they are less beautiful than those in a meadow in Martha’s Vineyard.

NYCHA gardeners have discovered that. They value their gardens and lavish them with love and attention in the midst of urban difficulties that would turn hair grey. Hundreds of NYCHA resident gardeners attended the 10 workshops during the day on How to Grow a Winning Garden to How to Improve Garden Soil or talked to the various vendors offering green services and information from composting to healthy eating. Unilever, one of this year’s sponsors, was proud to present their Growing Roots NYC Program and their chef and cooking crew prepared a very tasty Pasta Primavera.

The NYCHA Garden Program has reached a robust 54 years and is the longest running NYCHA initiative. With approximately 700 resident gardens in the 5 boroughs, NYCHA makes quite a statement to their commitment to on-the-ground resident involvement especially when communities struggles with balancing healthy eating and nutritious food with diabetes and growing numbers of inactive and overweight children.

Gardening is one of the most effective ways you can teach Environmental Education and combat community health issues (repeat that 3 times to yourself). The face of gardening is certainly tomatoes, collards, butterflies and sunflowers but the stuff behind the scenes addresses responsible land use, pesticides, soil science, urban agriculture, exercise, diet and disease. All that with a garden salad and a glass of ice tea on a sunny Saturday afternoon. That’s tough to top but that Urban Education Example (UEE) is repeated over and over again throughout the city and, in particular, NYCHA.

I’m glad to be a NYCHA Community Greener. I enjoy working with NYCHA residents and helping them to further develop the pride they already have in their homes and gardens. I look forwards to this year’s great events. I was able to take photographs when not running my workshop on How to Create a Winning Garden. You can find the links below for my presentation, photos of the gardeners and the Green City Force.

How to Create a Winning Garden
NYCHA Garden Conference 2016
Green City Force @ NYCHA Garden Conference 2016
Unilever Growing Roots Program

Filed under: CGGrows, Community Gardens, Community Green, Community Uncaptured, Events, NYCHA, , ,

Hunts Point Fish Parade & Summer Festival


The 13th Annual Parade “Uniting Colors of The Bronx” 
Saturday, June 18, 2016

The first Hunts Point Fish Parade was held in 2003 to raise public awareness to the community that was to become home to the New Fulton Fish Market. When the move became inevitable, the parade became a vehicle to celebrate Hunts Point waterfront history and its beautiful new parks. Key to the Fish Parade is an emphasis on incorporating some of the quality-of-life issues in Hunts Point into the pageantry of the Parade. Winding for a mile through the streets of Hunts Point, and culminating at Barretto Point Park, the procession features new and vibrant work by emerging artists, community groups and schools throughout the Bronx and beyond.

I LOVE this event. It is the cornerstone and example of community pride involvement.

Filed under: Community Green

African Americans and Diabetes


Diabetes-Haile BerryI learned to change the bandages on my grandmothers ulcered legs, salving them and wrapping not to tightly nor too loosely. I don’t know how I began but she needed help and I was always ready to do anything for my Angel in an Apron. She was always hobbling around the kitchen making all sorts of wonderful this and that’s. I would dutifully follow her mixing this or stirring that and enjoyed being able to lick the occasional bowl. She smoked Pall Malls and mumbled when she sat at the oak ball and claw foot table under the cupboard waiting for cupcakes to cook. I remember asking once who she was talking too and, sharp as a scalpel she replied, “Myself. That’s the only way to get an intelligent conversation around here.”

I remember brushing her lovely hair. She taught me how to put it in a French braid before her hands and health failed. More than 15 years later, to my wife’s amazement, I braided my daughter Valdesa’s hair when left with her one Saturday afternoon. My fingers recalled the slight of hand. I’ve since braided my granddaughter Charli’s hair. My grandmother was taken to Bronx Lebanon, the hospital around the corner. My mother came home holding a yellow, crumpled Western Union telegram. The door held her up and her coat fought to fall from her shoulders. She gathered something when she saw our faces and headed to the hospital. No one said. Maybe they didn’t know. Maybe it didn’t matter. I believe my grandmother died from diabetes.

African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes compared to the general population. Diabetes is one of the most serious health problems the African American community faces. To address this problem, the American Diabetes Association created a program to increase awareness about diabetes and its complications among African Americans. Let’s start saving grandmothers and grand ladies and gentlemen in our community. Healthy eating isn’t an option. It’s necessary. Maybe this seems backwards, but let’s start with desert: Pineapple Peach Sorbet. I grew up in a desert household and always saw desert as a little sunshine with dinner. This recipe is certainly a cup of sun. It’s from Recipes for Healthy Eating.

– See more at: Diabetes-in-my-community/awareness-programs/african-american-programs

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About Community Green

It takes more than a village to raise a child in today's world. The world is more than flat or round or sun and moon. It's also the village on the other side of the river. The objects in the sky are different from their view. Community Green, griot-like, tells a story. I invite you to share my view.

Community Green on

Community Green on

Community Green Grows!

CG Grows!

Greening your garden!

Community Green Cooks!

CG Cooks!

Healthy food that makes us happy.

Chuck Vasser on

Chuck Vasser on

Morgan Powell Memorial

Bronx River Sankofa

Blacks In Green

There are more of us people of color out there than you realize and we are coming together to express our concerns, ideas and sit at the table!

B.I.G. of the Month:

Ajamu Kitwana

Ajamu Kitwana

Find Your Community Garden

Anyone can join a garden. With more than 600 gardens across the five boroughs, potential members and volunteers should choose carefully. To aid in your search, GreenThumb has provided a Garden Finder from GardenMaps.
The Amazing Bronx River Alliance Flotilla 2016May 7th, 2016
7 days to go.
Hunts Point Fish Parade “Uniting Colors of The Bronx"June 18th, 2016
1 month to go.

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