Down on The Urban Farm: Start of Another Season

Posted on 3/29/2010 by The Bridge

Before any work can be done, our horticulture team
sits down to create a plan for this year's urban farms.

As spring begins, our six-member horticulture team has returned from hibernation and has started to plan and prepare for the 2010 harvest season. It will be an exciting season as there are many new activities happening in The Bridge Horticulture Program.

The plan for East Harlem's urban farm.

The plan for the urban farm in the Bronx.

“Our g
oals this season are to maintain 2 sustainable urban farms in the Bronx and East Harlem, as well as educate our clients on healthy eating habits with nutrition/cooking workshops using produce from our farm in East Harlem. The produce from the farm in the Bronx will help us link up with a local farmer's market that will make fresh produce available to low income communities” stated Natalie Brickajlik, Horticulture Program Coordinator/Job Developer at The Bridge.

April 22, in honor of Earth Day, our team plans to plant heirloom and cherry tomatoes, pole beans, bell peppers, beets, radishes, purple and white eggplant, black eyed peas, scallions, summer squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkins, sunflowers, cantaloupe, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, potatoes, kale, arugula, swiss chard, and bok choy. In addition to these vegetables and herbs, our team is going to plant, for the first time ever, strawberries, maize and a grape vine.

Working hard at our urban farm in East Harlem.

If you look closely, you can see the sun ray pattern (on the right)
at our urban farm in East Harlem.

Another first for our horticulture program is the medicinal herb garden at our urban farm in East Harlem. The garden will include chamomile, spearmint, cayenne peppers, lavender, rosemary, nettle, and calendula. The herbs will be used in workshops to make soaps, lotions, teas and more. Our horticulture team is also excited about the addition of potatoes to our farms. To induce proper sprouting, our team has started growing the potato seedlings indoors (along with other seeds). These will then be transplanted to our farms on April 22.

Here is a snapshot of some of the seeds
that are starting to sprout.

A before picture of the urban farm in The Bronx.

This season wouldn’t be possible without funding from the Burpee Foundation and The United Way in addition to the continuous support from John Cannizzo and The Horticultural Society of New York.

John Cannizzo along with one of the members of our horticulture
team, Stacey are turning some of the soil at our urban farm in the Bronx.

To hear the latest news from our horticulture team, visit: My Urban Farm.

The Bridge Horticulture Program began in 2004 with the partnership of The Horticultural Society of New York. The program is offered as part of our vocational services which provides our clients with horticultural therapy, job training, real jobs as well nutrition education. In addition to the two urban farms at our residences in the Bronx and East Harlem, our horticulture team tends to the rooftop garden at our headquarters in Manhattan.

1 Response to "Down on The Urban Farm: Start of Another Season"

jscanlon Says....

Great blog about urban farming! Does the shade from buildings or any other urban conditions prevent you from growing any particular vegetables? Also curious if the farmer's market you're supplying sources only city-grown produce? We look forward to more posts. Good luck! Jeannie and Scott xo

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