Community Update July 2017
Course Updates
Students with Uli (far left) on the last day of NYC as an Ecosystem at Orchard Beach in the Bronx
Recent Courses

Last month, our students learned the in's and out's of crop watering systems in our Irrigation course led by Lorrie Clevenger.   Students reflected on the role of water in their everyday lives before learning about different types of watering systems.  At New Roots Community Farm in the Bronx each Saturday, students installed a new irrigation system by digging trenches, fitting pipe, and laying drip tape before connecting all the parts and testing it out.

Our NYC as an Ecosystem course led by Uli Lorimer  made use of the warming weather to visit some of the wildest places in the city.  In the classroom, students learned about the native ecosystem and indigenous people living in the area, as well as practical guides to increasing biodiversity in growing spaces.  For weekend trips, students ventured to Floyd Bennett Field in Southern Brooklyn and Orchard Beach in the East Bronx to observe the processes of ecological succession firsthand.

Student Reflection: Irrigation
"I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to install the farm-wide irrigation system for New Roots Community Farm. I absolutely loved the hands on aspect of this part of the class and am grateful for all the unexpected roadblocks that we came across and thinking through on the spot how to address the issues. The class was super realistic for this reason and gave me a new sense of confidence in addressing the unexpected."

- Rica Bryan, Citywide Certificate Student

What's Next?

Later on in August, our Plant Health course will provide an introduction to pest and disease management for food crops. Learn how to identify common NYC pests and discuss management strategies through an organic, ecological, and multi-cultural lens. 

Our Season Extension course highlights the best crops for late-season production. We'll also learn about common season-extension tools: row covers, sun boxes, cold frames, greenhouses and hoop houses-- including the benefits and challenges of using these materials and where to source them.

If you're interested in signing up for these courses, pre-register here !
Zooming Out: National Food Politics
The Environmental Protection Agency recently approved a new technology to genetically modify corn, in order to disrupt and kill key genes in the root-worm pest. Without publicity or much backlash from environmental groups, the EPA has allowed the insecticide DvSnf7 dsRNA to appear in products such as SmartStax Pro, a variety of GMO corn seeds created by Monsanto and Dow. This new technology differs from previous pesticides by modifying the RNA of corn seeds to kill root-worm without spraying. The comment period on this piece of legislature was notably short, lasting only 15 days rather than the usual 30 to 180 day period.

To stay informed on future legislation surrounding agricultural policy, visit: and leave a comment-- most agencies are required to respond!
Upcoming Conferences
As the summer continues, we're looking forward to a number of upcoming conferences:

August 11 - 13, Amherst, MA

November 9 - 11, Baltimore, MD

November 10 - 12, Atlanta, GA

Additionally, if you're interested in technology-based urban agriculture, check this out:

September 16 - 21, NYC
Upcoming Events 
Tuesday, July 11, 8am - 2pm
La Familia Verde / Bronx

Saturday, July 15, 10am - 1pm
The Youth Farm / Brooklyn

Saturday, July 15, 9:30am - 2:30pm
GreenThumb / Bronx

Urban Farm Volunteer Day
Saturday, July 22, 11am - 3pm
Harlem Grown / Manhattan
Thursday, July 13, 6 - 7:30pm
Queens Botanical Garden / Queens

Saturday, July 15, 11:45am
Wildman Steve Brill / Manhattan 

Summer Supper
Tuesday, July 18, 6:30 - 9pm
Brooklyn Grange / Brooklyn

Saturday, July 22, 11am - 1pm
GreenThumb / Bronx
Jobs & Opportunities  
Harlem Grown

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation

Red Hook Central Schools

City of New York Parks & Recreations 

Trees New York

New York Common Pantry 

The Fortune Society 

Queens Ballpark Co. 

Spoons Across America