Good company, good food, and a little sunshine on a brisk October afternoon all contributed to a terrific day at the Change by Us 2013 Fall Gathering & Potluck this past Saturday.
The 64th Street Community Garden hosted fellow 2013 CBU grantees, who came together to share success stories and celebrate their contributions to a healthier, greener City. Attendees also had a chance to check out 64th Street’s brand new greenhouse, built with funds from their 2013 CBU mini-grant.
Stop by our Tumblr to check out photos from the gathering. And congratulations to all of our grantees for their hard work over the past few months helping to make New York City an even greater place to live!
How’d you spend your summer vacation? Thanks in part to a Change by Us mini-grant, some green-minded young Girl Scouts in the Harlem community will be able to say that they learned about growing their own food and healthy eating while spending their summer with the Transforming Our Health by Eating Healthy Community Garden Project.
Using gardening plots donated by the Frederick E. Samuel Apartments’ Skyward Community Garden on West 142nd Street, Girl Scouts, Fred Samuel residents, and other volunteers from the community planted and nurtured crops like cucumbers, sweet basil, and bell peppers. Transforming Our Health has also hosted nutrition workshops and healthy shared meals for participating families.
Change by Us visited the garden on the day of its end-of-summer awards ceremony, where volunteers were presented with awards and citations from local elected officials before attendees treated themselves to garden-grown vegetables and other healthy snacks. Check out our photos here.
Since Change by Us launched two years ago, residents have used the platform to help organize projects from community gardens to nutrition classes that are increasing the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Just how many projects? Visit our Tumblr to take a look at our project map of the city.
Neighborhoods like Bedford Stuyvesant and Jackson Heights show impressive activity, and people across the five boroughs have started hundreds of grassroots projects that contribute to our city’s efforts to build a healthier, greener future for all. Stop by our homepage to join one of these fantastic projects, or start your own!
In 1991, a group of Bedford-Stuyvesant residents came together to turn a vacant lot on Marcy Avenue into a beautiful community garden, which they named after a local neighborhood leader who was passionate about the environment and her community. Today, the Hattie Carthan Community Garden is a vibrant space where residents enjoy each others’ company as they grow flowers and vegetables, celebrate holidays, and more.
We recently visited the garden, which won a Change by Us 2013 mini-grant, on one of its market days in late July. Using two plots of land in Brooklyn, Hattie Carthan offers members a plot where they can plant anything from tomatoes to tulips. The space even has a small chicken farm where fresh eggs are laid, and an apothecary who makes products from honey to flavorful spices. You can learn more about the garden and its history by visiting its webpage.
Speaking to local residents at Hattie Carthan, we found that many were excited about the access the garden helps provide to healthy, organic food in their community. And according to the garden’s vice president Yonnette Fleming, Hattie Carthan is especially committed to engaging youth in the neighborhood, encouraging them to participate in the welcoming garden community and to adopt healthier eating habits.
We’ve posted some photos from our day at the market on our Tumblr. Non-members can support the garden by stopping by its weekend farmers market events, which include the larger Main Market on Saturdays and a smaller Herbal Market on Sundays. And of course, be sure to check out Hattie Carthan’s bike-powered juice station when you go!
On Saturday, July 20th, Change by Us joined Brooklyn families for a day of fun at the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden Mid-Summer Bug Festival. Kids and their parents learned about the importance of bugs in the garden and in ecological food cycles. Our day included a bug costume contest, the release of ladybugs and praying mantises—both of which help control unwanted pests—into different parts of the garden, a butterfly exploration activity, arts and crafts, and a concert by local band The Dad Beats. You can check out our photos from the event on the Change by Us Tumblr.
With help from a 2013 Change by Us mini-grant, the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden will provide even more opportunities for learning through an educational outreach program. For updates on future events, including their Harvest Festival on October 12th, stop by their website or Change by Us project page.
On July 11th, Sprout Farms’ East Williamsburg Youthmarket (located at Grand Street and Graham Avenue) held its grand opening. Sprout Farms, which promotes school gardening in New York, received a 2013 Change by Us mini-grant to help open the market in partnership with GrowNYC.
The Youthmarket employs student staff, who sell fresh local produce in the market, and in some cases have even helped grow the produce themselves. Students will learn entrepreneurship skills this summer while supporting local farmers and sharing the benefits of eating healthy, sustainable local food with the whole community.
The market also supports the New York City Department of Health’s Health Bucks program. New Yorkers receiving food stamps will earn $2 in Health Bucks, which can be used at any participating farmer’s market in New York City, for every $5 in food stamps spent at the Youthmarket.
For pictures from the opening day, please visit our Tumblr. You can also check out additional highlights on Sprout Farms’ website. The Youthmarket will be open every Thursday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. through November.
Friday morning, students from the Center for Family Life summer program visited the 64th St Community Garden to learn about the insects and other bugs that call gardens home, and to pick flowers from the garden to make their very own bouquets. You can check out our Tumblr for photos from the students’ day at the garden.
Located in Sunset Park, the 64th St Community Garden has been a fixture of the neighborhood for more than ten years, providing an urban green space and community gathering place where a dumping ground once sat. The garden was recently awarded a Change by Us grant to help build a new greenhouse that will be completed in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more photos on our Tumblr!
This past Friday, Green Ramadan NYC held a public orientation event in lower Manhattan to promote healthy living in New York’s Muslim communities.
Green Ramadan, which will sponsor Iftar dinners at mosques throughout the Bronx during next month’s observance, gave residents tips on healthy eating during Ramadan and throughout the rest of the year, and also offered information on buying locally-grown food, food preparation safety, and ways to stay active. From loading your plate with vegetables to taking brisk walks, Green Ramadan NYC hopes to encourage people to eat smart and get moving.
This past Saturday, the Crown Heights-Prospect Heights Food Allies hosted a screening of Who Controls Your Food? Stories from Venezuela to Brooklyn, a documentary about the recent food justice movement in Venezuela and its goal of improving the health of Venezuelans in poorer regions.
A 2013 Change by Us grant recipient, Crown Heights-Prospect Heights Food Allies used this weekend’s documentary as a starting point to discuss how Brooklyn residents can take more ownership of their own food supply and support a more sustainable system by participating in community gardens, joining local farm shares, or growing food at home. The post-screening discussion was led by Venezuelan activist William Camacaro and Eric-Michael Rodriguez from the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn.
Event attendees were also treated to free, fresh, locally-grown food that fueled engaging pre- and post-film conversations between neighbors about how to promote healthier, sustainable food options in their community.
We’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Change by Us mini-grants! We received dozens of applications from projects all over the city that support NYC’s goals surrounding access to healthy food, and after much deliberation, we’ve chosen a terrific group to take their projects to the next level. The next few months should bring a lot of exciting news from our grant recipients, and we can’t wait to see these neighborhood initiatives take off.
Read more about this year’s grant program in the official press release, and check out the full list of CBU grant winners below. Congratulations to all those selected!
2013 CHANGE BY US NYC GRANT WINNERS
462 Halsey Community Garden (Bedford-Stuyvesant): will expand the garden’s offerings by introducing weekly potlucks using produce from the garden to promote healthy eating and shared family meals while further building community ties in the neighborhood. ($1500)
64th St Community Garden (Sunset Park): will renovate and enhance its greenhouse, shed, and plant beds to increase opportunities for neighborhood families to grow their own fruits and vegetables. ($1000)
Baychester Middle School Healthy Initiative (Edenwald): will expand its Cornell Cooking Program, administered in partnership with the Cornell University Cooperative Extension, to offer more students the opportunity for hands-on activities that promote healthier food choices and physical activity. ($2500)
Community Center of Immigrants (Washington Heights): will start a community vegetable garden to provide more fresh vegetables and herbs to the CCI food pantry, which serves more than 3,000 local families every month. ($2000)
Crown Heights Farm Share Healthy Food Ambassador Program (Crown Heights): will increase the number of low-income and African-American Crown Heights residents participating in the farm share by engaging community members in outreach and expanding assistance for low-income households. ($1900)
Crown Heights/Prospect Heights Food Allies (Crown Heights/Prospect Heights): will host “Food Sovereignty: From Venezuela to Brooklyn,” an interactive event that will educate residents on global food systems and their impact on health and hunger in the local community and encourage them to participate in neighborhood gardens, join farm shares, or grow food at home. ($1675)
Dutch Kills Community Garden (Long Island City): will turn a northern Dutch Kills vacant lot into a community garden featuring composting, a children’s plot, and chicken coop. ($1500)
Green Ramadan NYC (New York City): will sponsor Iftar dinners with locally-farmed food during the month of Ramadan. Based at mosques throughout the Bronx, the dinners will feature student-led presentations on healthy eating, the importance of supporting local farmers, and instruction about composting and recycling. ($2500)
Hattie Carthan Community Garden (Bedford-Stuyvesant): will re-launch its innovative juicing program offering free juicing and smoothies, as well as fresh vegetable bundles available for purchase in its farmers market. ($2200)
Maggie’s Garden (East Harlem): will hold workshops for neighborhood residents on sprouting, juicing and ethno-botanical uses of the community garden’s crops. The garden will also create raised plant beds to make gardening more accessible for older residents and people with physical disabilities. ($1990)
PS 9 PTO Gardening Committee (Prospect Heights): will add more plant beds and a rain collection system to its garden so that students can grow produce for the school’s CookShop Classroom, which uses hands-on exploration and cooking activities to promote healthy food. ($700)
St. Nicholas Miracle Garden (Central Harlem): will create the St. Nicholas Miracle Garden Schoolhouse to provide the communities of Central and West Harlem with a full menu of engaging outdoor workshops this summer on topics from sustainability and green living to gardening and nutrition. The group will also add a rainwater system to improve water supply for its vertical bottle gardens. ($485)
South Brooklyn Children’s Garden (Columbia Waterfront): will establish an educational outreach program and strengthen the garden’s infrastructure by improving irrigation and soil health. ($2000)
Sprout Farms (East Williamsburg): will work with GrowNYC to start a summer Youth Market operated by high school student interns under the guidance of a market manager. The market will sell food supplied from Sprout’s Gaynor Campus vegetable garden and fresh, local produce purchased wholesale from area farms and will also offer cooking and nutrition demonstrations. ($1000)
Transforming Our Health by Eating Healthy Community Garden Project (Central Harlem): will plant herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables in a plot of the Skyward Community Garden of the Fred Samuel Association Inc. and offer shared meals and nutrition classes that encourage families to adopt healthier eating habits and activities. ($700)
The Urban Rebuilding Initiative’s Urban Community Food Project (Mott Haven): will build a second greenhouse at its first farm location in order to provide healthy, organic produce for neighborhood food pantries and soup kitchens. The farm will also host “Healthy Living is Healthy Eating” workshops on nutrition and finding resources for healthier eating. ($2000)
Williamsburg Preparatory High School (Williamsburg): will expand its Cardinal Garden to create more opportunities for the school’s students, who hail from the Bushwick and East New York communities, to participate and learn about the importance of healthy eating. ($2000)