Search results for 'brooklyn grange'

summer camp fun – week 2!

19 Jul

QjMCMkuZMbe2nkPntwhLKCHRThuGXQW8OMiIULIqojYThe second week of our first camp session is drawing to a close, and I can’t believe all the amazing things our campers have done over these past two weeks!

Despite the heat wave, our campers had a week of fun and adventures. Although we were disappointed not to be able to go on some of the trips we had planned, our days were full of delicious new recipes, art + garden activities, and a special heat wave treat!

ZzZGaQGrkLY46mIS4SKU6VIuvbBRnWMm538QH2DjfMcOn Monday, our campers braved the great outdoors for an interactive and fun trip to the Brooklyn Grange. There, our campers learned about bee pollination, harvesting vegetables, and a great song about compost which we put to good use later in the week. They also had the opportunity to create a delicious quinoa salad using fresh vegetables from the farm.

On Tuesday, we spent some time in the kitchen baking nutritious morning glory muffins. Everyone thought it was fun to see how good vegetables can taste in a muffin, and they were the perfect mid-morning snack before an afternoon at the movies! To escape the heat, everyone made a special trip to the theater for a showing of Despicable Me 2. It was a nice way to eas into the hot week ahead.

LwFvmI9yb3tw0hsFa-GhAYVma1C2D7czP-EW0trrWwoWednesday was a very exciting day at camp. After a few long days of anticipation, our campers traveled to Ample Hill Ice Cream where they learned about the ice cream making process, and then made their own vanilla ice cream on a bicycle! It was a big hit among the campers, and everyone was very excited to finally taste what they had churned. The campers returned ready for some nourishing food, and worked together to make tomato, mozzarella + pesto sandwiches. We rounded out the afternoon by making our own play dough and dying it using different foods! We had blueberries for purple/blue, pureed kale for green, and ketchup for red/orange.

Thursday we started the day with sparkling fruit sangria [don’t worry… it was kid friendly!]. White grape juice, seltzer, peaches, grapes, and nectarines made a refreshing drink before our morning art project. For lunch, we worked hard to make veggie hand pies + mashed potatoes. The campers even made the dough from scratch, and they were delicious. During lunch I even overheard one camper exclaim ‘This is the best thing I have ever tasted!’ Needless to say we have some budding young chefs among us.

N0ETonHm7MuIo0sQVWs8VS9wLFaPlylyzkRnqeo5MXcAs a Friday treat, we made another round of popsicles [blueberry + ‘coconut cream’] in the morning before heading the Union Square Farmers Market for another edition of Top Chef – Grain Salad! Each group bought three different color vegetables, 1 herb, and 1 type of salad green to mix with their quinoa, couscous, or brown rice. It was the perfect lunch for such a steamy day. We finished off the week with a relaxing yoga class. As our first session drew to a close we presented our Food + Garden experts with their very own cookbooks, a graduation certificate, and a golden spatula to symbolize their time with Butter Beans.

Raising the roof for the local food revolution

11 Apr

5834928694_1b1db4961fIs this reality, or our we dreaming? Growing food on top of roofs in the middle of metropolitan centers, feeding thousands of people off of the harvest, using little to no fossil fuels to transport the food, cleaning the air and providing homes to bees, birds and worms, creating jobs, stimulating the local economy and feeding our communities.

Rise and shine, and welcome to the bright green roofs of Brooklyn + Long Island City!

Bright Farms, a company that grew out of the New York Sun Works NGO which launched the Science Barge environmental education center on the Hudson river, has secured a rooftop space in Sunset Park, Brooklyn that spans 100,000 square feet with the vision of growing over 1 million pounds of vegetables per year! The farm plans to open in 2013.

In the meantime, our friends at the Brooklyn Grange are opening a new 45,000 square foot rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yards this spring. Their new venture is in addition to their other 40,000 square foot farm in Long Island City where they offer a CSA, a children’s education program, and supply local restaurants with fresh produce. They are also in the midst of fundraising for an apiary project with the goal of managing 25 bee hives year round. These 25 hives will end up producing more than 1,000 lbs of local honey, with the added bonus of pollinating the countless trees and gardens of New York City. Here’s a toast to the rooftop farm visionaries of our dear City!

Photo courtesy of this is awkward

It’s seed season!

12 Mar

7040367667_83e2da04a2Enjoying this Spring-like weather, and looking to sow some seeds this Spring?  The much loved by its members Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn has received a shipment of vegetable and herb seeds from Artistic Gardens based in Vermont, FEDCO from Maine, and Seed Savers Exchange based in Iowa. Follow the links to order your seeds directly to your home or garden. We are going to pick some up for our summer campers, as we teach them how to grow vegetables, flowers and fruit from seeds.

7746101738_084590765bWe can’t wait for our annual summer visit to our friends at the Brooklyn Grange where we get the golden opportunity to pick farm fresh veggies, make a summer farmers salad and check in with their chickens and beehives on their glorious rooftop farm. They have big plans for the future of urban farming and have expanded their rooftop farm vision to another location in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, many congratulations to all of your hard work and dedication!

Photo courtesy of tterrag and Kristine Paulus

could there be a better after meal treat than mmmm mint tea?

8 Jul

Today marks the end of our first week of camp – and it has been pretty awesome! We’ve had technical issues downloading our pictures, which is why I haven’t posted sooner, so the pictures will have to come separately as later posts.

We started the week with a scavenger hunt for the kids to find their own special stone as they got to know each other and explore the Commons and all the amazing things growing and happening there. Then to the market to find roots, leaves and fun things to eat raw, and prepare our meal. A farmer’s market bounty of food in hand, the kids got a lesson in how to hold and use a knife, while they prepared and we all feasted on karate kale, great garbanzos, delicious potato chips, crazy cool corn, smiley snap peas, surprise salad, mmm mint tea. They really got into naming their food – we are excited to compile a recipe book of all they make this season!

The bean sprouts they started on Tuesday should be ready to eat today, and their flower sprouts are now peeking up out of the soil. Skilled beekeepers came with bee suits in hand to make the children feel safe enough to get close to a hive – bees are amazing. Tasting different seasons of honey was pretty fantastic as well – dark, light and minty – it all depends on the flowers nearby!

Yesterday we got to explore the Brooklyn Grange where we spent some time in the spring. This time of year, the farm is beautifully green and full of every color plant and flower, bees and butterflies abound – we even got to let the chickens loose. The kids went on a scavenger hunt looking for different roots, leaves and fruits, and then harvested their own carrots and salad makings for our picnic. Grass-fed cheddar cheese, carrot-top pesto and green leaves made for splendid sandwiches to go with our beet pink quinoa, purple and green long beans and colorful ultra local salad – we had a feast!

This morning we will make strawberry jam to cover our home-made bread we baked yesterday afternoon, before heading for a tour of Union Square’s farmer’s market. So far, when asked what is their favorite part of their day – I get thoughtful silence, and then cooking, and eating lunch is what follows. This is delightful, meaningful time spent.

If only we could have summer camp all year round..


new city farmers

30 Jun

Whenever caterpillars have been mentioned, or talked about in our house, up until now, it has always been associated with butterflies – even the ones that never actually turn into butterflies. Well, yesterday, we discovered a bunch of caterpillars in our tatsoi plants, and my daughter wanted none of them. It did not matter if they were going to turn into beautiful butterflies that would amaze and inspire profound curiosity about what is possible. They, in one day, had made our once beautiful full leaves, into cobweb designs, and had completely eaten a few of them so that you wouldn’t know there had been a leaf at all. Clearly, a family had settled in quickly just in time to multiply – there were beautiful green caterpillars of all sizes getting cozy. We proceeded in harvesting all that was left and I dutifully took every caterpillar, attached to a piece of green for the ride of course, and sent them off to find a new home. Does anybody know what tiny black rounds all over the leaves, seemingly associated with the caterpillars – are? Is it their waste? Is it their eggs?  I don’t know, and we got rid of them faster than we could take a picture, but I still wonder what their role is and if our plants will recover for another round of harvest. Maybe we need to plant a plant just for the caterpillars. There must be a way to harmonize.

Thank goodness for the bean stalks that are growing. Pristine, bold and steady without any intruders to speak of.

Our questions and insecurities would surely inspire at least a giggle from seasoned gardeners. City dwellers – we can be farmers. I am getting quite excited about our summer camp beginning next week. I am especially looking forward to hanging out with the farmers at the Brooklyn Grange. The Brooklyn Grange is the biggest rooftop farm in the country, and they have lofty goals. They want to create lots of farms on rooftops. Imagine – especially all of you who long to leave the city in order to reconnect with growing food and green spaces. Imagine if people came to the city to learn to farm, if the city were in fact a farming mecca where people of all ages in every community felt connected to their local farm and food chain, where weekly markets were an integral part of our culture’s harmony.