Community Greens

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

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

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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.

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Upcoming Events

  • BRONX PARKS SPEAK UP • BRONX COALITION FOR PARKS AND GREEN SPACES February 24, 2018 at 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd W, Bronx, NY 10468, USA http://bronxspeakup.org/
  • Starting Seeds in a Greenhouse or Indoors March 3, 2018 at 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Praxis Warren Residence, Bronx Get gardening early by starting your seeds in a greenhouse or sunny window. We’ll…
  • Bronx Master Composter Certificate Program March 27, 2018 at 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Applications due February 20. 8 Tuesdays, March 27–May 15, 6–9 p.m., 2 Saturdays in April, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. (TBD), New York Botanical Garden • Watson Education BuildingA train-the-trainer course that is designed to promote the practice of composting. Deadline is February 20. Apply here.
  • GreenThumb Grow Together March 31, 2018 at 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007, USA
  • Fruit Tree Care April 7, 2018 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Little Green Garden/Rock Garden, Bronx Have you ever wondered what you can do to get a great harvest from fruit trees in your…
  • NYCHA 16th Annual Garden Conference April 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm – 1:30 am Johnson Community Center, 1833 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10029, USA
  • Beekeeping: An Introduction (Bronx) April 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Risse Street Community Garden, Bronx Curious about bees for honey and pollination in your community garden? Join Liane Newton…
  • Tropical Accent Design May 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Edith Community Garden, Bronx In this workshop, we will use our warm growing season to cultivate fast growing tropical…
  • Direct Sow and Transplant May 19, 2018 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm River Garden, Bronx Want to grow more food in less space? Tired of struggling or having stunted transplants?…

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