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

All soil, seeds, and materials necessary will be purchase through the Seeds Of Change company catalogue and shipped to La Plaza. These materials will be used in workshops to grow, care for, and harvest vegetables. Although, this will be most successful in conjunction with workshops, we have had reasonable success planting and nurturing vegetables independently. Also, half of all seedlings planted will be pre-sold to private residents to help offset costs and fund future projects.

why we're doing it

The seeds, soil, and materials will be used to give students and adults the opportunity for hands on experience growing affordable organic produce from seed to harvest, taking advantage of an urban patch and greenhouse. The goal being to instill in people 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 pay for seeds, organic fertilizers, and other gardening materials.


Seeds: 4 packets each of tomatoes, corn, squash, beans, gourds, melons, $3.00 each, Seeds of Change (888)-762-7333, totaling $72.00.
Greenhouse materials: 2 - 20"" x 48"" Seedling heat mats @ $80.00 each, 2 - 10"" x 20"" Seedling heat mats @ $50.00, 1 - Heat mat thermostat, 6 - bags of 25 plugs @ $12.00, Seeds of Change (888)-762-7333, totaling $332.00.
Organic fertilizer and pesticides: Grubs away nematodes packet of 50 million @ $100.00, Sulfur Guard fungicide 16 Oz @ $9.00, Sta-Home Lady Beetles 3 packages at 3 - week intervals @ $36.00, Green Lacewings 24,000 combo pack in three bi-weekly shipments @ $23.00, Pyola Insect Spray, quart pack @ $28.00, Soap Shield, fungicidal soap quart @ $14.00, Gardens Alive 513-354-1484, totaling $210.00.
Each of 4 sets of 3 Veggie Cages @ $25.00, Gardeners Supply Company 1-800-427-336, totaling $100.00


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