Yearly Archives: 2010

First Harvest at Fountain House


We planted the first bed with lettuce seeds in November and 5 weeks later the first harvest took place. It is very exciting to see the members harvesting the lettuce. It was then used for salads in the cafeteria.

The rest of the beds planted will be planted and in full production by the end of the year. We hope to be harvesting around 40 heads of lettuce each week by the middle of February. The members at Fountain House will be planting, monitoring and harvesting. We are also teaching carpentry skills along the way. It has been a lot of fun working on the project and the help from members, especially Vincent and Gary, has helped make it all possible. We all have been nibbling along the way and I hope to eat some of the salad this week. I have learned as much as I have taught. Three of our interns (Chris, Victor and Logan) have pitched in with the construction work. We will keep you up to date and give more details of how the systems work in future posts.

Here is a slide show of the harvest

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Boswyck Farms Partners with Fountain House to Build a Grow Room

It’s been quite a blast building the grow room at Fountain House, a NYC non-profit dedicated to helping adults with mental illnesses. We’re hoping that this room will supply most–if not all–the greens they need for their cafeteria. The size of the room we have to work in is 165 square feet. To date Lee, our volunteer carpenter Chris and some of the folks at Fountain House have built 4 flood & drain grow beds for greens. They’ve been seeded and we’re looking forward to the first sprouting!

All in all 16 tiered flood & drain systems will be built with a total of 128 square feet of growing space.

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Maker Faire–it simply ruled the weekend

I’m finally regaining feeling in my legs after working our booth at Maker Faire New York. It was fairly amazing. We met a ton of people, made many, many soda bottle planters (which meant standing many hours) and had a great time showing our NFT, drip and aeroponic systems. I’m bummed I didn’t have time to see all the other cool stuff but on the other hand, I’m happy we were so busy. Our booth location meant we had front row seats for the Chariot Races so I can’t complain tooooo much.

If you made a soda bottle planter and want to enter our “May the Best Bottle Win!” challenge, submit a picture of your fabulously decorated planter to our public Flicker group, Boswyck Farms Soda Bottle Challenge. The winner gets a free Getting Started With Hydroponics workshop!

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P.S. Our Kickstarter campaign is still going! Donate if you can! Thanks!!

This past weekend event: Taste the West Village

Yesterday P.S. 41 hosted Taste the West Village. The event was a fundraiser for their green rooftop project. We took part in their “Living Classroom.”

It was a gorgeous day and lots of people came out to eat, drink and be merry. Chloë and I were absolutely in love with a corn dish from Market Table. Lots of other local restaurants, farms and bands joined in on the festivities. Free booze was on hand but we, ever the professionals, didn’t partake. What we did was talk about our various systems. The soda bottle workshop was a little different. Rather than using our usual 2-liter guys, Vicky, the events organizer, arranged for us use bottles from Ito En Tea, one of the sponsors.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and chatted with us. We’ll be at Maker Faire this coming weekend!

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Farm City Festivities

Lee and I manned the tables at this past Sunday’s Farm City Fair put on by the Brooklyn Food Coalition and sponsored by a variety of Brooklyn businesses including Brooklyn Brewery (although I didn’t get to partake in a beer). Even though it was rainy the street was jumping with local food stands and urban farms.There was even a festive marching band. I think they were called Asphalt Orchestra but don’t quote me on it. It was raining hard at times and I was cold.

We want to thank everyone who stopped by and talked hydroponics with us. There was a lot of excitement about the work we’re doing and we, of course, love to show off.

Farm City Fair
photo: Ultrateg

We have two more events this month. On September 19th we’ll be at Taste the West Village. We’re also participating in the first ever NYC Maker Faire! It’s happening the weekend of September 25th and 26th. We’ll have our array of hydroponic systems and of course will be doing the famed soda bottle workshop. Get your tickets now cause it’s going to be awesome.

Farm City Fair
photo: Ultrateg

Farm Report: The Death of a Sunflower

The title pretty much says it all so I’ll start off this report with the obvious: our last sunflower has died. I’m sort of sad as I love sunflowers. At least we’ve learned that 2 giant sunflowers in one pot on a very hot roof = a bad ending. On to happy news.

Round 2 of radishes has begun. We had a great harvest 2 weeks ago and are excited to taste this batch (except for me because I don’t like radishes).

Out with the old, in with the new. Bye to our tomatoes in the aeroponic system. We’ve replaced that whole system with a bucket flood and drain. Lee planted a new batch of tomatoes, which I am very excited to eat.

Our outdoor NFT system is looking fabulous with sage, Swiss chard, kale and more. Lee snapped some very pretty pictures of them after a rainfall.

Thanks to LunchNYC for shooting at the farm last week. We’ll be on an upcoming show. Details to follow.

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Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Cosecha de rábano

Who doesn’t love a good radish? (Actually I don’t but that’s a whole other story.) We’ve had our first radish harvest! Some are sweet, some pungent and some right in the middle. Planted a little over a month ago, they grew up to be quite healthy and happy in our flood & drain system. Lee decided the radishes are so good that he’s done another round of planting. These new ones are slated to be part of our hydroponic systems demonstrations and will make their premiere Sunday, September 12, 2010 at Farm City Fair.

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The Friday Farm Report, a few days late

This report is a little late in coming. The beginning of August found us waist-deep in workshops, not to mention planting, harvesting an incredible amount of Fine Verde basil and experimenting with a bucket flood & drain system.

Thanks to Growing Leaders, who are partnered with BK Farmyards this summer, for being the first group to participate in the soda bottle workshop in our space. Up to now we’ve always held our workshops off-site. You showed us that our magical, expandable kitchen table isn’t just for dining. It transforms nicely into a workbench. We’d also like to give a big thanks to Heather Butts for bringing several young adults from her program, H.E.A.L.T.H. for Youths.

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For more information on our educational program contact