Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Permaculture and System Change

I hope some of you can take advantage of these great upcoming opportunities!
  • Urban Permaculture Design certification course in Brooklyn by Center for Bioregional Living. The course provides a positive and empowering vision for social and ecological transformation. Starts Feb 27 and is taught again in the fall--classes can be spread between the two offerings.
  • Next System Project teach-in in NYC, March 10-12. Our current system is failing us. What should the next system look like — and how can we get there? Join this important conversation and be part of the change we so desperately need! More details here.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

bread-making moments

Roots & Wings hosted two Bread-Making the (easy) Traditional Way with Coco Zordan just before and after Thanksgiving. As you could imagine, hanging out in the kitchen and nudging our genetic memories of how the simplest of ingredients--flour, water, yeast--becomes bread was wonderful. And tasting the ciabatta and focaccia we created was as good as it sounds!

 Because I organized these classes with Coco, I was able to attend both, and meet all the interesting people who signed up : ) And I hear through the grapevine that one of them is already making her own bread!

Coco's husband came and took these wonderful photos. We'll be doing more of this type of "cooking from scratch" classes. Let me know if you have a topic you'd like to explore!  -Lenore /

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kitchen Garden update - November 21

Iris and Gabriela proudly display the last of the harvest after exchanging recipes.
On Saturday, November 21st, Marcelo, Iris and I met at the garden. We topped off the remaining beds, planted cover crop, and covered with mulch (shredded leaves from the church property). We also gathered the last of the harvest: Brussels sprouts and their leaves, and parsley. We also rearranged the middle compost bin to ensure no scraps are dumped there by mistake (please remember: scraps belong to the leftmost bin only).

Gabriela and Marcelo by the resting beds. Any resemblance to American Gothic is purely coincidental!
Next Steps:
  • Marcelo will look into purchasing an additional raised bed. We'll keep you posted and let you know if and when help is needed to install and fill it.
  • If you'd like a raised bed next year, please let me know as soon as possible ( At this point we'd like to get a sense of how much interest there is. If, as we suspect, there's more demand than available plots, we will have to figure out some sort of mechanism to assign plots. In the longer run, the plan would be to work to expand the number of community gardens in town so everybody has a chance.
Cover crops at work protecting the soil, building organic matter, fixing nitrogen, and nurturing a healthy microbial community, among other benefits.

Friday, November 20, 2015

can you smell this fresh-baked bread?

There are three spots left in Baking Bread the (easy) Traditional Way workshop on Sunday, November 22. Register here.
(Saturday, December 5 is sold out.)


Monday, November 16, 2015

More help needed with soil replenishment!

Susan, Gabriela and Blanca (left to right) take a selfie break

Currently at the garden: On Saturday, November 14th, Blanca, Susan Clelland and I met at the garden. We managed to top off four of the raised beds and harvested some Brussels sprout leaves (which can be used the same way as you would collards or kale). Now we need your help to deal with the remaining soil. Please see more below.

With our freshly harvested Brussels sprout leaf "bouquets"

Next Steps: We really need all the help we can get to finish the job! The two raised beds closest to the street need to be topped off like the rest (filled to within one inch from the top). One other plot could use a bit more soil. We also expect to install a new raised bed but that will happen in the spring. In the meantime, we should move any remaining soil to the other side of the garden to make room for the snow piles during the winter. If you can lend a hand, either during the week or next Saturday between 10 AM and noon, please let me know so we have a sense of what we can count on and plan accordingly ( If you have a wheelbarrow that you may be able to bring, we could use that as well.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

please help us replenish the soil!

IMG_4746 3
Hubert, Iris, and Linda Herring (left to right)
add a wheelbarrow of soil into one of the raised beds

Currently at the Garden
On Saturday, November 7th, Marcelo and I received the soil early in the morning. For the next two hours, we added soil to two of the raised beds. We were later joined by Iris and Linda Herring, who, after quickly sizing up the scope of the job, promptly recruited her husband Hubert. Then Mark P arrived to give us a hand, and Christine Yeres and Bruce Platt joined later on. With much physical work from all of us, we managed to replenish all raised beds and add more soil to other gardening areas. Thanks to Christine, who stopped by during the week to top off her bed, now the remaining soil pile is protected with a tarp and signaled with a “danger cone”.  But there's still more work to be done--please keep on reading!

Iris and Marcelo spread the newly added soil.
Next StepsThere is still a large amount of soil and we need your help next week, Saturday, November 14 from 10 am to noon. Especially if you had a bed this year, please come by to help us add more soil to all beds (the level will go down after watering a few times, so the best approach is to fill them up to about one inch from the top). If you cannot make it on Saturday, let us know if you may stop by some other time and we'll give you detailed instructions. We will also plant an overwintering cove crop mix in all beds and cover with shredded leaves to leave everything ready for the winter. We will also commission two new raised beds and that should take care of most if not all of the soil that's left. Any leftover soil will be used within the church grounds.


  • Please check out the Grow Local Film Series, that Roots & Wings is co-organizing with other groups in the area. Screenings start on November 16 and will continue through October 2016. The series brings a variety of documentaries on food and the future of farming.
  • We will be soon announcing the 2016 gardening classes with Suzi Novak--please stay tuned!
  • Susan Clelland brought to our attention that the "Farm to Food Bank Bill" was recently passed in NY, which would help reduce food waste while helping those in need. If you'd like to take action and urge Governor Cuomo to sign it into law, you can do that here. Learn more about the bill here
Reminder--Compost Bins: Sam has kindly volunteered to manage the compost bins and so we will continue accepting scraps for composting through the end of November. Please remember to follow the basic rules listed below.
Composting Rules:
  • Drop your kitchen scraps in the left-hand bin (if in doubt, check the ceramic signs above).
  • Cover the scraps with an equal volume of browns (leaves, straw or similar) from the right-hand side bin. This is needed to balance the composition of the compost and to minimize foul odors.
  • Only veggie scraps are acceptable (peels, flowers, grains, pasta, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc).
  • NO animal scraps (egg shells are OK).
  • NO fats or oils.
  • Chop any large scraps and crush any egg shells.
  • Make sure to remove any stickers, rubber bands, twist ties or any non-compostable items.