West 104th Street Garden

July 24, 2012

Petra Fellow Ian Marvy – Report finds NYC leads nation in urban agriculture

Filed under: News — by west104garden @ 4:31 pm
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July 24, 2012 (New York, NY) – Today the Design Trust for Public Space, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving New York’s public spaces, released Five Borough Farm: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture in New York, the most detailed survey to date of New York City’s urban agriculture movement. The comprehensive publication provides a roadmap for public and private-sector partners to leverage existing programs and expand urban agriculture citywide.

The study was created in partnership with Brooklyn-based nonprofit Added Value and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and David Rockefeller Fund. It found that New York City, a densely populated metropolis with some of the nation’s highest real estate values, is also a national leader in urban agriculture. The city is currently home to more than 700 food producing farms and gardens across approximately 50 acres of reclaimed vacant lots, rooftops, schoolyards, and public housing grounds – nearly ten times the number of urban farms and gardens as San Francisco and Seattle.

“In all five boroughs, urban agriculture transforms under-utilized land into vibrant, productive public space,” said Design Trust executive director Susan Chin. “Thousands of farmers and gardeners contribute to the social, economic, and ecological health of our city, particularly in neighborhoods hit hardest by the recession. These efforts dovetail with our mission to improve public space in New York City.”

Through maps, photographs, and interviews with more than 100 stakeholders, Five Borough Farm illustrates how New York City’s community-based farming creates jobs, educates youth, captures stormwater, decreases the city’s waste stream, and creates safe public spaces.

Some of the study’s key findings include:

 Urban agriculture has health, social, economic, and ecological benefits. Studies show that urban agriculture encourages healthier eating and physical activity, strengthens community cohesion, improves job-readiness skills, and reduces the urban heat island effect.

 The city’s farmers and gardeners face challenges obtaining critical resources. These include land, funding, soil, and compost.

 Scaling up urban agriculture requires municipal leadership. Citywide coordination, dedicated funding, and commitment from elected officials are needed to promote and sustain farms and gardens.

Building on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s and Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s support for urban agriculture in PlaNYC and FoodWorks, the Design Trust calls for creating a citywide plan to guide land use and resource allocation for farms and gardens, establishing an interagency urban agriculture task force to coordinate policy and procedures, and incentivizing temporary projects at more than 600 stalled development sites across the city.

The release of the publication and companion website (http://fiveboroughfarm.org) mark the start of the Design Trust’s implementation of key recommendations from the report to support agriculture. In the second phase of the project, the Design Trust will identify 100 publicly-owned sites citywide potentially suitable for food production, collect data on urban agricultural activity, and give New York City’s farmers and gardeners a voice in the policymaking process.

“People are starting to realize that our broken food system has serious consequences for our individual health, and for the health of our environment and our economy,” said Five Borough Farm project partner and Added Value executive director Ian Marvy. “It is increasingly important for all of us to be able to understand and articulate how urban agriculture can contribute to our society and economy, and to the planet on which we all live.”

The Petra Foundation
315 Duke Ellington Boulevard
New York, NY 10025

Contact: news@petrafoundation.org


July 23, 2012

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 4:29 pm
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West 104 St. Community Garden
Work-eve minutes, July 11, 2012

Issues discussed at Meeting:

1. Should we make deep watering one of the community gardens with the fire hydrant hose a make-up assignment? (This is a 2 person job, at least one of whom should have experience connecting the fire hydrant hose, and takes @ 2 hours.) A majority voted “yes.” Suzanne Charle’ volunteered to be an experienced person.

2. A reminder to the Cat Crew: Do not feed the cats canned food, which attracts flies and smells, during the summer.

3. Reconstruction of the gazebo is finished. The next job is to paint. A majority voted for Blue. Peter Barzeli volunteered to post a selection of blue paint chips on the gazebo so members can choose which one they want.

4. A row boat is leaning against the wire fence in the back of the West garden. A member of the Steering Committee (SC) will speak to the Super of that building about moving it before any damage is done.

5. Both 12 West 104 and a building around the corner on Manhattan Ave. leave bags of garbage sitting out (not in cans), which is likely to attract rodents. A majority voted to report this to the DOB. Peter volunteered to follow through.

6. The East gate to the backyard to 12 West 104 is broken; there is no gate on the West side. Tenants of that building who are not Garden members have been using the garden for picnics and BBQs. SC to research whether it is legal to have a locked gate in these locations (or prohibited by fire laws). If it is legal we will repair and lock the East gate and put in a gate or other obstacle on the West side. (for East gate, Peter will buy hinges; Jean Jaworik will supply bolt.)

7. The sidewalk in front of the street gate to the West garden is in disrepair. We have removed the broken concrete…which led to the idea of asking the City to plant a tree there. Suzanne or Peter to follow through.

8. Members asked to support the Flea Market this Saturday, July 14–by posting flyers, donating goods for sale, and (at very least) stopping by to shop.

9. The elm tree in the West garden needs to be inspected by an arborist. SC to ask Melissa to ask Green Thumb to make a recommendation.


Informal talks

a) Frank Grech volunteered to fix loose metal sheet on gazebo roof

b) Peter and Frank tested the stage and recommended rebuilding (estimated work: 3 people on one workday; cost of materials less than $200)

c) Several members complained about the tone on the monitoring reminder email. / Kim Maitland suggested having a 4-member monitoring committee with each member taking responsibility for one month. Kim would consider being the chair.

d) Peter suggested cutting down the tree behind the large East garden shed, a weed that has grown to tree height.

e) Suggestion that we re-write the descriptions of committee responsibilities in more detail. Ideally committee chairs would write a draft and SC would assist in finalizing.

f) Complaint by one chair about their frustration in trying to communicate with committee members and getting no response. SC asked to be notified in these cases so we can help out.

g) Someone said that Kevin Lee has written a HOW TO for connecting the hose to the hydrant. SC to ask him to laminate these instructions and place a copy in each shed.

h) Special Events committee still does not have a chair.

Work activities included: weeding along the fence in the East Garden, sweeping the sidewalks, giving the green bench a second coat of paint, sanding the picnic table(?) in preparation for treatment with linseed oil, cutting boards to edge West garden patio, and deep watering the West garden.

July 6, 2012

Summer Flea Market

Filed under: Events,Opportunities — by west104garden @ 9:21 am
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Our second Flea Market will be held on July 14th from 11am-6pm in the West 104th Street Community Garden. The flea market features a great bazaar of vintage clothing, toys, bric-a-brac, and whatever else your imagination brings.

Vendors please inquire with Julia at 646-363-4513. Table space is $10, but you must provide your own table.

Download the flyer to post on your community bulletin board.

July 3, 2012

July Garden Workday Postponed to Wed July 11

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 9:39 am
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Due to the proximity to the Independence Day holiday, the workday for Saturday July 7 at 10am-12pm has been moved to Wednesday, July 11 at 6-8pm.

Because of the late notice, the Steering Committee will be on site on Saturday July 7 from 10am-12pm to advise on chores to be completed for workday credit. The general meeting agenda will take place on Wednesday, July 11 at 6-8pm and minutes will be posted to the garden list and news blog. If you are unable to make the July 11 workday and have any issues that you wish to bring up during the general meeting, please speak with any Steering Committee member. If you are unable to make either July date, contact the SC at w.104.garden@gmail.com for a makeup assignment.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and hope everyone is staying cool and hydrated.

West104Garden Steering Committee

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