Happy Spring! After a seemingly endless winter, spring is finally here – seeds are in the ground and April showers are falling.
Big changes are happening at 462 Halsey. This year, 462 Halsey is transforming from garden to urban farm (don’t worry – we’ll still have plenty of space for kickin’ it! Hammocks here we come!). The majority of our garden will be dedicated to communal plants. The small beds are being replaced with 4’x24’ rows that are 30” deep. This remodel gives us much more space to work with. Additionally, we will be able to plant our crops where they will thrive. Our garden is shadier than would be ideal and the communal planting plan will maximize our sunlight.
Chances are, if you walked by the garden in the last few months, you saw over a dozen giant pallets of soil. Last summer, 462 Halsey participated in a soil testing study and we were not happy with the results. Facing toxins all around – from passing buses and lead-filled soil on the ground, we learned that our dirt was not very healthy. Because healthy soil equals healthy food, we implemented an ambitious plan last fall. We are growing a living wall of decorative perennials at the front of our garden to capture pollution from the street. We built up our raised beds and added organic material to the soil, to keep toxic soil out and to prevent heavy metals from leaching into the water system. (If you are interested in the science behind this process, leave a comment – I am happy to explain!).
The bigger deeper beds will also make our plants very happy. The new beds provide ample root space and will retain moisture better than the shallow beds. Each bed is filled with a rich mix of our existing soil, horse manure from Kensington Stables and beautiful, rich compost from 462 Halsey. We got a tremendous delivery from NYC Recycles this winter – 13 pallets of NYC compost/topsoil mix. This rich, nutritious soil, deep beds and communal planting plans will greatly increase our production!
There’s still a lot of work to be done and we’ve changed the way we are doing that as well! Inspired by our kick-ass compost crew, we created six committees to run the garden: Finance and Legal; Outreach and Public Relations; Education and Events; Maintenance; Compost; Communal Beds. Every garden member is free to choose the committee(s) that appeal to them. We hope this new model will encourage a diversity of leadership, encourage participation and build friendships.
If you’re interested in joining us, we would love to have you! Please check out our membership page for more information.
BedStuy Bounty’s new Summer Share
(Click on the link above for more info and to sign up)
The Summer Share
Enjoy a seasonal selection of fresh produce, meat, dairy, and pantry item from farmers and producers in the NY region.
Each weekly share will contain fresh & frozen produce, eggs, milk, cheese, prepared foods, beverages, ice cream, meat and poultry, and/or more.*
Bulk items are repackaged and labeled.
462 Halsey Community Garden has become a pick-up point for members who join BedStuy Bounty. What is BedStuy Bounty you ask?
Bed-Stuy Bounty makes it easy for residents to save money on groceries by purchasing in bulk, directly from the same farmers and distributors that serve our favorite natural and organic grocers – without having to leave home. Our members place weekly orders online and pick them up a few days later or have them delivered.
What is a Buying Club?
A buying club is a group of people – neighbors, friends, families, coworkers, and/or churchmembers – who make collective purchases on bulk groceries directly from farms and wholesale distributors.
Membership to a buying club has several benefits:
- buying in large quantities (bulk) makes food more affordable
- buying in bulk reduces packaging waste
- buying in bulk builds community because members plan orders together
- members participate directly/have a say in the food system by choosing where to spend their money
- buying clubs get access to high quality foods at significantly lower prices
How is Bed-Stuy Bounty different from food cooperatives or other buying clubs?
Bed-Stuy Bounty is different from food cooperatives or other buying clubs in three ways:
- Bed-Stuy Bounty is privately-owned, meaning members do not have decision-making privileges or work requirements
- Traditional buying clubs require that members pay upfront for a random selection of goods that they may or may not be interested in. Bed-Stuy Bounty members choose what they want to order
- Members place their orders online
Why should I join Bed-Stuy Bounty?
You’ll want to join Bed-Stuy Bounty if:
- you’re interested in buying organic, local, ethical, gluten-free, pasture-raised, and/or vegetarian foods at prices significantly lower than your favorite grocery store
- you’re tired of traveling outside of the neighborhood to get good quality groceries
- you’re committed to supporting Bed-Stuy’s independently owned businesses (Bed-Stuy Bounty is owned by a lifelong resident, and partners with local businesses to host pickup locations)
- having your money circulate several times within your community before it leaves is important to you (See above, also, Bed-Stuy Bounty’s founder lives here, eats here, and banks here)
- you love the concept of cooperative business principles, but you don’t love the whole work shift/sweat equity compromise that comes with sustaining traditional cooperative food buying models
- you want to meet more of your neighbors and possibly break bread with them
Want to join? Visit http://www.bedstuybounty.com/ to learn more!