Community Greens

People of color, culture, health & fitness

Learning To Grow At Bissel Gardens

The Oldest Community Garden in the North Bronx
by Genesis MD & Taja D.  May 2018

Starting Seeds
The Earth is ripe after all of this rain and I am told that this is the best time to grow. As I become more interested in the weeds and trees that grow in the city it is impossible to ignore the amount of weeds that have quadrupled in volume and size over these days of sky tears.  Today we were given a lesson on Starting Seeds by Delores Bryant aka the lovely “Ms. Pepper”.

Preparation
Seeds can be planted into the soil directly or they can be started in seedling trays. We used a 1 to 1 blend of compost and vermiculite as potting soil.  Vermiculite is used to soak up and store water. After mixing the two together in a wheelbarrow, we filled 6 seeding trays.

Organizing & Planting
Once the trays were filled, we needed to choose seeds, make labels, and decide where best to store the trays for maximum growth. Once these things were established, the planting began. Using a stick tip to create a furrow for the seeds, we successfully planted and labeled 6 seeds trays with cabbage, other green leaf vegetables, perennial herbs, and melons.

Personal Goals & Developments: Planting Potatoes
After doing research on growing potatoes, Chuck and I concluded that using a large construction bag was the best growing method. So we layered wood chips for drainage, weed cloth, soil and compost to create a bed for the potatoes. Per the instructions, I planted each potato seedling one foot apart approximately 6 inches (half a trowel) deep.

Stay tuned for more ‘tater growth.

Prodigy Corner
I have been learning so much about planting and what the Earth can do for us. This learning experience has been incredibly fruitful. I’ve learned a lot about plants that have incredible uses and I look forward to my future gardening experiences at Bissel Gardens.

We will be sharing our journey as we learn, plant and help to complete other projects in the near future, so follow our gardening progress at the Bissel Veterans Learning Garden in the North Bronx.

To volunteer or visit contact Chuck Vasser

PRODIGY HOUSE JOURNALS
Check us out on Facebook: The Prodigy House Project – New York

Bissel Gardens Day 2 Seeding May 18 Original PDF

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Tomato Diaries-Baking Soda

tomato 2Home grown tomatoes are sweeter than those you buy in stores. Even the vine ripened ones can’t compare to the sweetness of tomatoes you grow yourself. To get the sweetest tomatoes each year use baking soda.

Sprinkle less than 1/4 cup per plant on the soil around your tomato plants. Don’t get the soda on the plant itself.  Sprinkle the baking soda on the soil when the tomatoes are about 1 inch in diameter and then again when they are about half grown. Or you can use 1 tsp in a gallon of water and water the plants.

The baking soda lowers the acidity levels in the soil. This will make your tomatoes more sweet than tart.  Test one plant before you try it on all your tomatoes. Be careful with young tomato plants. Have you tested your soil this year? If your soil is already alkaline, you could alter it too much by adding too much baking soda.

Use can also use baking soda to make an organic spray to treat tomato fungal disease. Combine 1 gallon of water with 1 tbsp of baking soda and 2 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a spray bottle. Stir and add 1/2 tsp of Dawn or castile soap.  Spray the solution on the foliage of the plants until the fungal disease disappears.

You can also sweeten canned tomatoes when making sauce without adding sugar.

Tomato Diaries-Baking Soda

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Tomato Pruning

The Tomato Diaries

tomato-pruning-how-to
Most plants will require some pruning during the growing season. A plant that’s pruned of excess growth is more likely to direct its energies to producing flowers and fruit more quickly, and the results will usually be larger than otherwise. Furthermore, the leaves of a pruned and supported plant dry faster, so they’re less susceptible to pathogens like bacteria and fungus. The leaves also tend to be denser, which protect fruit more effectively. This is especially true for tomatoes.

Prune only when the foliage is dry; that is, avoid pruning early in the morning when plants have dew, or after rainfall. In particular, check for discolored and damaged or diseased stems and leaves; prune out the unhealthy growth, and tend to any pests you discover immediately. Always prune flush with the stem, if possible. For tomatoes, look for the stems that grow between the main stem and another branch. These are “suckers” and should be removed. Support your tomatoes. They will benefit from it and you will get more tomatoes if you keep them off the ground. Also, clip the lower stems as they likely won’t produce fruit and, if there is any, it will be more susceptible to fungus and bacteria from dirt splashed up when you water. If you want to limit the height of the plant, pinch back the top as it reaches the desired height.

Ms. Pepper

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NYCHA Gardeners Conference 2018

 

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Greenlight: GreenThumb

GreenThumb

GreenThumb was initiated in response to the city’s financial crisis of the 1970s, which resulted in the abandonment of public and private land. The majority of GreenThumb gardens were derelict vacant lots renovated by volunteers.

These community gardens, now managed by neighborhood residents, provide important green space, thus improving air quality, bio–diversity, and the well–being of residents. But gardens aren’t just pretty spaces; they’re also important community resources.

GreenThumb gardens are located in all five boroughs in the city. Some are green spaces meant for relaxation and as a community meeting space, others are full–fledged farms, and many are a mix of the types. The volunteer gardeners are the backbone of our program and are of diverse ages and backgrounds.

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Community Greens

CGFROG

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. - Chuck Vasser

Bissel Volunteer Days

See you in the Spring!March 15th, 2020
3 months to go.

The Green Fit Chick

Unhealthy Foods

There are some foods you really should stop eating. You may not even realize they are more detrimental to your health than you’d actually expect. The items on this list you should seriously stop eating immediately.

Weight Loss

Losing weight doesn’t have to be insurmountable if you focus on small lifestyle changes. If you do the items below, you’ll be able to chip away at your weight and move the scales needle towards your goal.

Super Food

Is eating a “Super Food” going to make your efforts Heroic? Try adding these 10 foods to your diet. Add as many as you can every day. The cornerstone is water. While not a “food” make sure you get enough of it every day.

A Gurney Seat

Patient-centered care should exist in all factions of medicine. We need to listen to the patients to find out what they want, and to the providers who probably know best how to make this happen.

Cog Blogging

Bronx Fixed is Back! - BxFxd

Community Greens Consulting

Rover Rollover

Dog Crates

Done right, crate training helps breed familiarity, trust and a sense of security between your pup and his crate. You should not put dogs in crates that have not been properly crate trained.

Mat Training

Mat Training- A mat, or a defined place for a dog to “go to,” is a versatile and useful behavior to teach a dog. A mat can be a a dog bed, a dog mat, a bath mat, a towel, a blanket, – whatever makes the most sense for the dog and the handler.

Rude Dog Owners

Rude Habits Of Dog Owners. These are some of the things people complain about the most when it comes to dog owners.

Give An Animal A Home

Adopt a pet this holiday season. You can give an animal in need a loving home or consider donating to the ASPCA or other animal charity in a friend’s name.

Hello Cyclists, We at The Bronx Tourism Council would like to offer cyclists a chance to get their T-shirts and bibs as commemorative items. If you live within the NYC metropolitan area you may come to 851 Grand Concourse, Ste. 123 between 9am and 4:45pm to retrieve your shirts and bibs personally.

Bisselsign

Fear

“It is said that before entering the sea a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled, from the peaks of the mountains, the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her, she sees an ocean so vast, that to enter there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back. To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear, because that’s where the river will know it’s not about disappearing into the ocean, but of becoming the ocean.” – Khalil Gibran

Email

czvasser@yahoo.com

Fried Chicken & Philosophy

Fried Chicken & Philosophy

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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

All Of Us Research Program

Community Greens Photos

Chuck Vasser on Docs.com

NYBasketball

NYC PSAL Referees

NYC PSAL Referees

NYC PSAL Referees

NYBasketball

Fried Chicken & Philosophy

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The Butterfly Project