Spring means lots of farming.

 

Happy to announce that we have an upcoming New & Improved 5-Gallon Bucket Workshop on Saturday, April 6th from 11 AM – 1 PM. This workshop is a perfect introduction to basic hydroponics appropriate for any space: your home, your work, your rooftop or garden, or whatever else you may have available. For more information, and to sign up, check out our workshops page. We hope to see you there!

Seeking summer (college) interns!

Spend your summer farming!

We seek a motivated intern who is comfortable working both independently and cooperatively, not put off some of the less nice aspects of farming (decaying plant matter, insects, bee stings, and rain), good with following directions, and always on time. No previous hydroponic experience is required, but we are hoping to work with interns who have a demonstrated interest in the sciences, food justice, and agriculture.

The intern’s duties will focus on general farm maintenance (at both indoor and outdoor sites), including plant care and insect control, crop harvesting and distribution, and data collection. Other tasks may include assisting Boswyck Farms staff during the construction of hydroponic systems for clients, and helping to set-up and teach workshops for farmers of all ages. It is also sometimes possible for interns to conduct their own research projects using Boswyck Farms’ facilities. If this is of interest to you, please let us know.

To apply, please email Chloë Bass, Communications & Outreach Specialist: chloe@nullboswyckfarms.org. Include a cover letter detailing your interest in the internship and summer availability, and an up-to-date resumé or CV that highlights relevant previous work experience. Please also let us know if you have a cat allergy, as we have a wonderful cat at our main research and development site.

This position is unpaid. However, we are happy to arrange for academic credit where possible. Please ask your college for more information about summer internships for credit.

Farming skills = life skills.

We just got a great write-up about our work with Birch Family Services, an amazing non-profit dedicated to providing life skills to people with developmental disabilities. We started working with Alex and Michael through Birch’s Transitional Work Program, and we’ve been completely blown away by their skill as farmers and their dedication to the tasks at hand.

This is particularly important for us as we try to find new ways to show that farming is a truly holistic activity: it provides food for the body and physical exercise, as well as therapeutic practices (both physical and emotional!). Not only that, but it can be a hands-on way to learn a crucial package of skills: timeliness, attention to detail, and collaboration.

Thanks to Birch Family Services for working with us! Read all about what we’ve been doing together.

WEGO Health Awards

We’ve been nominated for a WEGO Health Activist award in the Unsung Heroes catego

Health Activists inspire us every day with their commitment to online health communities. Let’s celebrate their accomplishments and recognize their contributions. The Health Activist Awards honor the leaders who made a real difference in how we think about healthcare and living well in 2012.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath & Helping NYC

The day before Hurricane Sandy, Lee harvested over 35 pounds of produce from the Bushwick Starr rooftop. We shared it with our friends and neighbors.

We’re glad we got all of that good stuff, because after the storm, we came back to this.

And this, really, is nothing. Our farm and neighborhood were not hit hard by the storm, which devastated many New York neighborhoods as well as places up and down the East Coast and as far south as Cuba. Our thoughts are particularly with Added Value, an amazing farm in Red Hook. Red Hook is one of the neighborhoods that was worst hit.

If you are looking to help New Yorkers this week, please visit NYC Service, a terrific 311 site for volunteering. There are a lot of needs, even as power is coming back on and hot water is more readily available. It will take a long time to recover. We feel very blessed that we sustained so little damage.

You can see a full Hurricane Sandy aftermath photoset on our Photobucket. We also have a video showing the damage on YouTube.

Intern Profile: Chelsea Dow!

We’ve been meaning to do a series of intern profiles for a while, and now we’re finally getting around to it. We’ve worked with some amazing interns over the years — they really do keep our business running. We’re excited to introduce you to the current crop (forgive the pun). First up, meet Chelsea, our college intern from Pace University.

Name: Chelsea Dow
Age: 20 years old
School: Pace University
What brought you to Boswyck Farms?
I came to Boswyck Farms for my interest in sustainable agriculture and interest in supporting local farms/produce.
What have you learned so far from working with us?
I have already learned so much from working at the farm. After only a month I understand the basic steps towards creating and manufacturing a hydroponic system, and also the benefits it poses.
What are the surprising things about your internship?
I was surprised to learn about the false information people have been told about hydroponics. After working on the farm, I have had multiple people ask me if plants grown in a hydroponic system are not as flavorful as there soil grown counterparts. Hydroponic growing does not change the taste of any plant!
What do you want to do with your new urban farming knowledge?
Working at Boswyck Farms will greatly benefit me in the future. I want to take the knowledge gained from my internship and use it both for personal and educational purposes. For myself, I want to have a hydroponic system in my own space. After graduation I would also like to WOOF (world organization of organic farmers) and the knowledge from this internship would greatly improve my farming techniques.

Rooftop Open House & Harvest Party Report

Despite the rainy weather,  we had really great attendance at our Open House and Harvest Party last Sunday at the Bushwick Starr. We were glad to meet lots of interesting people with widely varying knowledge of hydroponics: from the newbies to the experts, we love to show off our stuff! It’s always good to test what we know by teaching others, and to get pointers from the pros.
Visitors included a representative from Community Board 4 (our local community board in Bushwick), and members of Concrete Green, a worker-owned cooperative based in the Bronx that “customizes green infrastructure & products for our clients and community to improve local living conditions and address climate change.”
Anne made some delicious snacks from our  our rooftop-grown produce, including lettuce roll-ups, massaged kale salad, cucumber/cherry tomato salad, and a mixed green salad made from lettuce, dandelion greens, sorrel, watercress, curly cress, and purple basil. Yum! You can email her for recipes. And if you’re still interested in getting a tour of the rooftop, it’s not too late. Ask Alex M. for an appointment. We don’t know how much longer our outdoor growing season will last, so come by soon!

Our friends at Project ORE.

Our friends at Project ORE (a program for Jewish Elders that’s a part of the Educational Alliance) have become avid hydroponic farmers after 8 weeks of classes with us this summer. They’re growing lettuce, basil, arugula, thyme, and other salad greens and aromatic herbs to use in their cafeteria, or to enjoy at home.

Plants growing at Project ORE

Project ORE is using a raft system with four reservoirs: two for smaller plants, and two for larger plants. Although there is some natural light in the room, we installed some additional lighting to make sure that the plants are healthy and strong. The systems are surrounded by drawings made by Project ORE clients, as well as some hydroponic fun facts that we all put together.

Congratulations to our newest “crop” of farmers. L’Shana Tova/Happy New Year to all!