The Urban Farm Corps Visits Phoenix Community Garden

August 22, 2017  |   Posted by :   |   Blog   |   Comments Off on The Urban Farm Corps Visits Phoenix Community Garden»

image1Told by Maria Martins of Team Seva


On August 17
th, 2017, Corps Members were invited to attend a monthly NYC Community Garden Coalition meeting. The meeting was held at the Phoenix Community Garden located in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The half acre garden was built in 2006. The property was owned by HPD, New York Housing Preservation and Development agency, the largest municipal housing agency in the nation. The lot that the now Phoenix Community Garden sits on was deemed difficult to develop due to its shape.  We were given a tour by the director of the garden Jerry Summers, and the garden guru Miss Lewis. Corps Members Justin Martinez and Maria Martins engaged in conversation about the construction of the garden, acquiring the different steps that were taken to develop such a beautiful garden. Corps Member Tamara Weeks complemented Jerry and Miss Lewis on the plants, which looked like they were thriving. In Green City Academy we learned that New York City soil is contaminated, that there are many steps one would need to take before growing food that people would consume. At this meeting, we were told that in 2006, a truck of new soil was brought in and released across the 20,000 square foot lot. The next step to building the garden was building beds around the released soil. Some members vocalized potential issues with this method, and were told that many different organizations came together to assure the soil was not harmful.

  A more recent phase of the community garden is creating compost. The community garden will be taking food scraps from a food pantry that they grow for, to create compost. On this lovely occasion 6 our of seven Seva Members were present. We listened carefully to their plan, and we mentioned that composting one of our specialties. Seva members were able to take the information learned at Added Value Compost site to provide positive feedback to Jerry. This meeting was eye opening in regards to realizing how much not only myself, but my fellow Corps Members have learned in three and a half months.  I look forward to attending future coalition meetings, and using my skills and knowledge to give back to the community.

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