project leader
Ross M
Corner of Ninth Street and Avenue C
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

Books will be purchased through and made available to students, teachers and other garden members during weekly workshops.
This is part of our larger program, the timeline of which follows:
February: Purchase seeds, tomato trellises, potting soil, greenhouse heater.
March: Seed planting workshop: maximum 10 students, end result will be several hundred seedlings.
March - April: Greenhouse management and seedling nurturing workshops: maximum 10 students, weekly meetings to care for plants.
April - June: Seedling planting, composting, and plant nurturing workshops, maximum 40 students.
July - August: Plantings cared for, harvested, and recorded while school is out.
September - November: Continued plant care and harvesting workshops: max 40 students.

why we're doing it

The books we want to purchase will aid us in educating children and adults in our community on how to garden. The long term goal is to instill the working knowledge of the benefits of organic gardening and 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 pay for seeds, organic fertilizers, and other gardening materials.


Educational Materials: 40 - Ready, Set, Grow!: A Kid's Guide to Gardening (Spiral-bound) @ $10.00, 2 - Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children (Paperback) @ $8.00, 2 - Gardening with Children (Brooklyn Botanic Garden All-Region Guide) @ $10.00., totaling $436.00


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