Community Greens

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

Harlem EatUp!

Harlem EatUp!

The fifth anniversary of the Harlem EatUp! festival is this Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19!

The all-you-can-eat Grand Tasting at the Stroll is jam-packed with East Harlem restaurants: You’ll be able to find Sisters Cuisine, Lady Lexis Sweets, Uptown Veg, Dear Mama, La Chula, Teranga Harlem, Tastings Social presents Mountain Bird and Aromas Bakery. To get your tickets, click here

Filed under: African-American, Arts & Culture, Blacks, Community Green, Events, Food, Harlem, Healthy Eating, , ,

Black History in NYC Parks


I volunteered in the Crotona Park Garden when I was a kid. My mother, when she was 75 years old, mentioned how for years, my brother and I would bring home, “shopping bags full of vegetables from the garden”. She also added, “You boys didn’t realize how much of a help you were to me as a single mom during some difficult times. You stayed out of trouble and put food on the table. I just want you to know that”.

My mom passed away a few years ago at 95 but I will always remember she appreciated my brother and I participating in a NYC Parks Garden Program.

If you know something about Black History in NYC Parks click the link below.

Got a park memory related to Black History month? Forward it and I’ll post it. Thanks.

https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/black-history-in-NYC-parks

Filed under: African-American, Arts & Culture, Black History, Blacks, Community Green, Gardening, It Takes A Village, ,

Harlem Uncaptured Adam Clayton Powell

1-ACPowell 6

Filed under: African-American, Arts & Culture, Arts and Culture, Blacks, Community Green, , ,

black-farmers-conference

From New York to Oakland to Detroit and back again … This year’s #sixthannual #blackfarmersconference is happening right here in #eastharlem this Friday-Sunday, November 4-6, at Harlem Renaissance High School. Tomorrow’s events include tours of area community gardens, and featured speakers on Saturday include Savi Horne of the Land Loss Prevention Project, Owusu Bandele from the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, and Walter Hill of @tuskegeeuniversity. For details and tickets, see http://www.blackurbangrowers.org. #bugs #blackfarmers #urbangrowers #harlem

Filed under: African-American, Blacks, Community Gardens, Community Green, Events, , , , , , , , ,

Growing Up Morrisania: Kids Eat Radishes

radishes

The tenement basement I lived in was midway between Public School 63 and Crotona Park. I walked to P.S. 63 at an early age and, given the distance, my brother and I were allowed to go to the park on our own. Mom would often take us to picnic in the park. She would pack sandwiches, salads and the Sunday paper in a shopping cart and off we’d go. She would spread a blanket on the grass and we’d spend pleasant afternoons napping under a tree. She’d keep an eye on us from the nearest bench because she never sat on the blanket. She dreaded insects but didn’t miss an opportunity to take us to the park. It was “outside” and a stark contrast to living “under the steps” of our apartment building. When, we were older, one of us would carry her folding aluminum lawn chair with the green and white vinyl webbing. The park became my private Sherwood Forest and I pretended to be all manner of people while playing there.

Crotona Park was enormous to us as little kids. I learned years later that it covers 127.5 acres (0.5 square miles). The park is known for its variety of trees and the 3.3-acre lake is home to fish, turtles, and ducks. There are 20 tennis hard courts (clay when I was a kid), five baseball diamonds, eleven playgrounds (up from nine) and a 300-foot pool, the largest pool in the Bronx. The pool was in the next park section over as were the baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and Indian Lake. I would have to cross additional streets to get to those areas on my own and, when small, that wasn’t allowed. That meant I couldn’t go to the pool. Heck, I couldn’t swim anyway.

I had a lot of freedom as a child, but there were some simple rules:
Don’t play in the street.
Never cross more than one street.
Never go around more than one corner.
Come home when the street lights come on.

I had considered breaking the street rule, but I still wouldn’t be able to get into the pool without an adult. Any adult friend of my mother would surely ask if I had my mother’s permission. The idea of asking a stranger to escort me into a public pool was such a moon-like thought I’m not sure it ever occurred to me.

When I was a kid:
Kids spoke when spoken to.
Kids didn’t talk to strangers.
Kids didn’t interrupt adults when they were speaking.
Kids didn’t do things without permission.

The older you got, the more rules you broke.

There was a playground in Crotona Park with a park house where you could borrow balls, bats, and board games when you were no longer swinging, tagging and climbing. Across from the playground, behind a fence, with two wishing wells with weather vanes, was the Farm Garden. My brother and I knew the difference between flowers and vegetables, but we didn’t have any plants at home. We never really thought about growing stuff. We didn’t get much sunlight.

One bright, warm day I spoke to the woman who managed the Farm Garden. Well, she actually spoke to us first. My brother and I, tired of the other things we could do, had peered through the gate at the strange things growing behind the fence. Rob and I watched as the woman went to and fro carrying tools and watering cans or vegetables. Every now and then, she would glance over at us. When she began to walk towards us, we considered running off, but adventurous, we held our ground. She greeted us with, “How are you boys today?” We responded politely, as taught, with, “We’re well Ma’am.” We were brave, but not enough to ask her what she was doing. It looked liked gardening, but there weren’t any flowers.

We knew about flowers, even thought we were “city” kids. Mom, a H.S. graduate, worked in an office in the garment district and the evening she came home with an orchid corsage, I learned several things. Grandmother was a housekeeper for a baby doctor on West End Avenue and brought home just-past-fresh cut flowers sometimes. We were poor kids but wore chinos and striped tee shirts from Woolworth’s on Bathgate Avenue. We never wore denim. We didn’t own a pair of blue jeans. Field and factory folk wore dungarees. We were being raised to be something else. When she asked if we would like to come in, neither of us budged. When she asked if we’d like to know what she was doing, neither of us said a word. I guess we wore her down because finally she just smiled and said, “Come on in.”

She ushered us in and stopped when we were inside the gate almost as if, now that we were in her domain, we couldn’t get away. She said her name was Mrs. Xxyyzz, but we should call her Mrs. O. We were simply Chuck and Rob. Mrs. O, said, “Can you help me?” “You see that bush near the gate?” We half-turned and were surprised we had not noticed the remarkable plants flanking the gate. She took us towards them and, almost gleefully, asked me if I would pick one of the aspirin bottle cotton “flowers.” As I reached for the closest burst bloom, she pointed to a huge blossom well inside the plant and said, “No, that one.” I thrust my hand into the bush only to be scratched on the hand, wrist, and arm. I was genuinely wounded when I withdrew the boll.

Mrs. O reached for me and I thought to move away from this trickster but, before I could, she gently touched my shoulder and said, “Baby, now you know what it’s like to pick cotton.” “Let’s grow some vegetables!” I gave her an 8-year-old’s glare as she pulled a handkerchief from her apron and took off her hat to wipe her forehead. Her hair was white and braided in the same way as my grandmother. Except for the 360 degrees of pigment between them, they could be sisters.

I let her lead me toward the vegetables, Rob following, looking for any sign of trouble. I watched her carefully, after the incident with the cotton, as she pointed out this thing and that. In a blink, I ate vine-ripened, red tomatoes and discovered they were cousin to green peppers and purple things called eggplants. I found out peanuts could be eaten raw and potatoes, beets, and turnips grew underground with fascinating things called radishes.

I had heard of radishes. I knew they were one of the things Mom liked in her salad. Mrs. O pulled some up and washed them off under the faucet inside the wishing well. I recall asking Mrs. O, “Do kids eat radishes?” She said, “They do if they like them.” “There is only one way to find out.” Sitting in the shade, on the edge of the well with my feet dangling under cool running water, surrounded by vegetables, Rob and I enjoyed eating radishes.

Crotona Park Farm Garden Wish Well

Filed under: African-American, Arts & Culture, Bronx Parks, Community Green, , , , , , ,

About Community Greens

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 that view. Community Greens, griot-like, tells a story. I invite you to share my view.

CGFROG

Chuck Vasser

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!

Bronx River Sankofa
Smiling Bellies

Woodlawn Run for a Cause

September 14th, 2019
The big day is here.

New York Cares Volunteers

2nd Saturday of the month thru NovemberApril 13th, 2019
Have you started your seed yet!

Garden Volunteer Days

Sundays & WednesdaysJune 2nd, 2019
Every Sunday & Wednesday 10-2pm Rains Cancels

The CG Fit Chick

The push-up is an essential muscle-building move. They're a barometer of your overall cardiovascular health as well. A recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that men who can complete 40 consecutive push-ups have a 96% lower risk of coronary artery disease and heart attacks in the future compared with those who can only do 10 or fewer. Push-up capacity was more strongly associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease events than was aerobic capacity as estimated by a treadmill exercise test. If you're not hitting 40 but can still perform more than 10, you're doing some good. Heart disease risk decreased with every push-up completed over the baseline of 10.

Upcoming Events

  • Chuck's Bissel Gardens Work Day September 22, 2019 at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Bissel Gardens
  • Chuck's Bissel Gardens Work Day September 29, 2019 at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Bissel Gardens
  • Chuck's Bissel Gardens Work Day October 6, 2019 at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Bissel Gardens
  • Bissel Gardeners Meeting October 12, 2019 at 9:30 am – 10:30 am
  • New York Cares Volunteers at Bissel October 12, 2019 at 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Veterans Garden-Propagation

Cog Blogging

Bronx Fixed is Back! - BxFxd

Community Greens Consulting

Bisselsign

Green Tips!

Nutrition Content of Eggs

One extra large egg (whole with the yolk) contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 5.8g fat
  • 1.8g saturated fat
  • 216mg cholesterol
  • 80mg sodium
  • .4g carbohydrate
  • 0g fiber
  • 4g sugar
  • 7.3g protein
Aside from saturated fat, the yolk of the egg is actually nutrient dense, containing vitamin D, essential fatty acids, and protein. Eggs are naturally low in carbohydrate too.

Green Tips

Email

czvasser@yahoo.com

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“Even though this planet is round, there are just too many spots where you can find yourself hanging onto the edge, unless there’s some space, some place to take a breather for a while.” –Gloria Naylor

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