project leader
Bruce Z
924 Kelly Street, Bsmt A
(Hunts Point/Longwood)
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Proof of Concept

the project

Kelly Street Garden is located in what has been listed as the poorest congressional district in the United States. Our community faces multiple challenges stemming from a traumatic history in which the block was ground zero during the Decade of Fire. The garden functions as a movement toward healing many of the embedded traumas that define much of the South Bronx. 

KSG functions as a source of pride for the local community. As a result of COVID, the impact this community already experience will be amplified for many months to come. Having access to a source of free fresh food will be of key importance to any recovery plan. Money raised will be used to support our core staff through stipends that encourage regular care of the garden. Directly, we have expanded use of our community spaces which are now predominantly being used for growing and caring for our own seedlings as well as engaging in a host of experimental indoor projects. Also a thorough upgrade of our data collection which monitors production and distribution is already underway.

This pandemic has forced the garden to rethink how we continue to operate in a time of social distancing and stay at home orders that could continue in some form into the foreseeable future.

the steps

Interns and garden assistants will work on a strict rotating basis to maintain the garden and keep us on track for a successful growing season. Following Green Thumb guidelines for COVID, we will not have any more than 4 people working in the garden at one time. Social distancing restrictions have also eliminated our ability to host youth groups this year as well.

Our farm market will continue but will be retooled into a CSA model in which we will pre-bag shares of the harvest and then distribute street side free to the community. This will allow a fair and equal distribution to those who take advantage of our free, freshly harvested produce. Unfortunately, we will not be able to host open hours where residents are free to enjoy the garden.

Our community spaces have been going through a period of reorganization. Our data collection, crop planning and indoor growing spaces will all be undergoing changes that will make for a more efficient working environment. The goal at Kelly Street Garden has always been to utilize the entire space to its fullest.

why we're doing it

Ideally, humanity is a global electrical circuit of energy. It is meant in its essence to be a connection on a grand scale—one whose purpose is to receive energy from the greater universe and transmit it to nature, to the earth. Everything is in a process of evolution. In the South Bronx, as in many places, the circuit has been disrupted. In truth, it has been broken into a million pieces. 

Kelly Street Garden has become a model of social engagement. Here we say, ”We don't grow food. We grow community."

We see the garden as an important presence in helping to heal. It is a proven fact that putting our hands in the soil helps to release biochemical processes that alleviate depression. Our aim is to exist as a hub of positivity in a community that has been repeatedly oppressed by economic trends that are the direct result of hyper capitalism. The purpose of Kelly Street Garden is to reestablish a connection to ourselves and the earth.



Additional Grow Lights for propagation: $2,500

Seeds & Growing Supplies: $1000

COVID related supplies: $500

Tools: $1000

Building Projects $2,000

Stipends for Additional Staff : $2,000

Late Season Events and Workshops: $1,000

 Fiscal sponsor fee $956

Additional mulch for covering areas in the garden space as well as a supply of lumber to help complete several building projects $956.00 

TOTAL RAISED = $12,174.00 $12,174.00
ioby Platform Fee waived $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $215.22 $214.17
TOTAL TO DISBURSE= $11,958.78 $11,924.83


Additional Grow Lights for propagation: $2,500

Seeds & Growing Supplies: $1000

COVID related supplies: $500

Tools: $1000

Building Projects $2,000

Stipends for Additional Staff : $2,000

Late Season Events and Workshops: $1,000

ioby Platform Fee waived
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,309
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  


Proof of Concept

Today, Kelly Street Garden sits at 95% funds raised. We have gained this support by "Proof of Concept." 

Planting and maintaining a garden is one thing. A lot of people do this and a lot of gardens are maintained. But what we have done at KSG is a little bit more. We have built programming that has helped to support an impacted community. We have not only done it by providing food and a beautiful space, but our programming also helps to support people with some measure of income. We have been able to expand our workshops so that the people conducting them will be compensated. We have worked to utilize every inch of this space in some way that supports sustainability, creativity, nutrition, culinary, socialability in a space that is peaceful, beautiful in the midst of an unsettled environment. And we can continue to do this with your generous support.

We have reached 30% of our goal!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us with either funds or love. 

Guardians of the Garden

Cats. We have taken to feeding one of the stray cats who was born in the garden a few years ago. In our possibly misguided sense of care we now feel a responsibility to these animals. They are the guardians of the garden. Since feeding them daily, there has been no cat poop in the beds. Less damage from squirrels and no sign of rats.

Now cat food is an expanded line item on the garden budget.

Memorial Day Weekend

It is a strange time for the garden. Everyday, a question. What now?

This weekend we received a donation of 30 crates, with soil and some crops already inside, from #MilkCrateGardens. Milk Crate Garden was a private rooftop farm located at the Jet Blue Terminal at JFK. They had a corporate supported farm that could be accessed by their employees. Now with the quarantine, there is no one there to manage the garden so they distributed 2700 crates around the city, of which 30 came here for local gardens to pickup. We hope to give almost all of them away. As a bonus, we are offering a share of our seedlings which we now have an abundant amount. We feel it is important to support other small gardens.

As the weather warms, we hope to get more things in the ground. We have 3 helpers who have been coming on a rotating basis every week getting things ready. But it is nowhere near to where we usually are in a normal season. All the groups who came and put the garden in order are missing. All the cleanup projects are on hold or moving slowly because we cannot have groups due COVID. But we will have food by summer. In the meantime we have been sustained by a host of crops that survived the winter and have been offering a steady supply of kale, collards, cilantro, parsley and a host of culinary herbs. I ate some chive blossoms yesterday which cleared up my sinuses!

We are grateful for the support we have received so far. We appreciate everyone. This is a time of mystery and like Gilgamesh we will foster on until we see the light at the other end of the tunnel. Be Well and regards to all.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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