project leader
Ross M
630 E 9th St.
Manhattan (Lower East Side)
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the project

Broadly, we wish to address the growing rate of diabetes, collapsing food economy, inequality of access to affordable organic produce, and the lapse of environmental education on food production in our inner city neighborhood. Specifically, we want to address the lack of space in the city to grow organic produce and the dearth of opportunities available locally to learn about the benefits of hands on experience with food production.

the steps

Work shops will be conducted weekly from March to November. March through June, and September though November, Ross Martin (Professional Garden Designer) will work with two or more teachers from Lower East Side (LES) Community School and the Earth School to conduct workshops for young students. These will be about the fundamentals of organic gardening, starting with seeds, nurturing seedling, transplanting, plant care and harvest. Other experts, such as LES ecology center, will be invited to help conduct workshops on subjects like composting. July through August (when school is not in session) workshops will be run without teachers and organized school groups.

why we're doing it

Garden workshops will be conducted to educate garden members, school children, and other interested people about how to grow vegetables organically and about the benefits of small-scale sustainable agriculture in urban areas to help improve health, provide food, and reduce fuel and energy waste in food production.

We are a community garden and park on Avenue C and Ninth Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side (LES) with a thirty-year record of community service. We have a small green house on a hill with eight nine-square-foot raised beds dedicated to children's growing projects. Last year we produced dozens of pounds of produce ranging from squash, beans, tomatoes, melons, gourds, and greens. All were grown from seeds purchased from Seeds Of Change. Kids from the LES Community School, the LES Children's Co-op and our member's children planted and cared for the seedlings.

For the most part it was a great success, but there is much room for improvement. We feel that the program would be run more effectively and efficiently if there was a paid position for one day a week. We want to fund an educational program, with workshops during the school year, to teach children and members about growing seedlings and managing the greenhouse, planting the seedlings and caring for the plants using organic methods and composting, and reaping the rewards of harvest. Excess produce would be shared with Trinity LES Lutheran Parish Services And Food For the Homeless (SAFH), operated on Ninth St. and Avenue B.

Half of the spring seedlings will be sold (guaranteed) to clientele of Ross Martin Design limited to be planted in their upscale residential city gardens to generate funds to offset the project costs.

During the summer months a paid stipend will be provided for an individual to assure that the plantings receive weekly care when school is not in session.

The funding for this project will be the 10 weekly visits of the caretaker during the summer months when the school is not in session.


Workshops: each of the 24 sessions will pay $100.00 stipend, 10 weekly visits of caretaker @ $40.00


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