Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Let's Talk Pollinators on May 11

Learn about local pollinator projects and what you can do in your own garden on Thursday, May 11, at 7 pm, at South Presbyterian Church, 343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry. The free event is cosponsored by Sustainable Dobbs Ferry and Roots & Wings.

The Pollinator Pathway is a patchwork of native flowering plants—from meadows to window boxes—that provide habitat for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects and wildlife. “Much of our food depends on the work of these pollinators,” said Roubi Eliopoulos and Tess McDade, two Dobbs Ferry residents who are organizing Dobbs Ferry’s chapter of the Pollinator Pathway.

“Dobbs Ferry is the 37th village in Westchester to join the Pollinator Pathway,” said Filippine Hoogland, co-founder of Healthy Yards, the organizing force of the Pollinator Pathway. Neighboring villages of Ardsley, Hastings and Irvington have already organized a chapter; each is a resource for residents and a connection to other pollinator-friendly villages in our region.

The May 11 kickoff in Dobbs Ferry includes a presentation from Carol Sommerfield, the chair of the Ardsley Pollinator Pathway Committee, on the joys of a pollinator garden. “It touches our hearts and souls,” said Sommerfield. “We become part of the cycle of nature – there’s a rhythm that draws us in.”
It also introduces the people behind several private and public pollinator gardens in Dobbs Ferry, including:
  • Nancy Delmerico and Kathryn Slocum, members of the Friends of Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Park, which has created a beautiful landscape of native plants along the Hudson River
  • Joanna Rock, a homeowner who incorporates more native wildflowers and flowering perennials into her garden each season
  • Mickey Mossaidis, a native plants enthusiast who has helped source and distribute over 20,000 native plants in the Rivertowns and beyond
  • Roubi Eliopoulos and Iris Hiskey Arno, gardeners with Roots & Wings, the sustainable initiative of South Church, who mix flowers and vegetables on the Church’s campus 
The message the Dobbs Ferry Pollinator Pathway has for residents: “We can all participate!” Find encouragement and tips on what you can do in your yard, on your patio and in our village. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Community Composting

The children each put a handful of wilted spinach leaves into the center compost bin. Gabriela Munoz, part of Roots & Wings compost team, showed them how to take dried leaves from the right bin and cover their food scraps. She also pointed out what was in the left bin: decomposed material that looked a lot like good soil. 

"That's what will happen to your banana peels, clementine peels and uneaten bagel," she told the little group from Days of Wonder, a childcare program located on South's campus. Teachers Luke and Jordi learned, too, and were tasked with sharing the news to the other classes.

The lesson was a step towards Roots & Wings' goal of having all groups that use South Church's campus compost their food scraps, rather than add them to the waste stream. The vision grew out of the recent Composting Conversations--a how-to evening that grew into a think tank of ways to move the dial on local composting. 

"This are your compost bins," Lenore, a Roots & Wings steering committee member, told the students. "They are for you and your families to use, as well as your school."

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

KROKA helps in the Manse Garden

Thirteen teens from Kroka Expeditions stayed at the Manse for a long weekend and, while there, volunteered in the Manse Garden.

In their words: 

"We spent much of Saturday with Greg Rosen, working in the garden behind the house to make the fence groundhog-proof and removing some of the invasive barberry. It was wonderful to talk to Greg about his time in Japan and the sustainable agriculture work he is doing here in Dobbs Ferry. We continued to put in work on improving the land for the rest of our stay, removing barberry and cleaning the yard."

Introducing ... the Manse Garden!

There's new garden in town -- for now, its name is the Manse Garden, put in by Roots & Wings newest steering committee member, Greg Rosen. 

The vision: to support community food resilience through group work sessions, workshops and food pantry donations come harvest time. 

 Greg writes, "I'd like to start by growing annual vegetables for a year. This would give us an opportunity to get to know the land, before considering planting perennials, making bigger changes and even designing a community food forest." 

 "Through hands-on education, we can support home growers in making edible gardens of plenty throughout our community. We can highlight the connection between edible "weeds" and nearby woods, incorporating "invasive" plant management and encouragement of native plants, pollinators and biodiversity. For youth engagement, I'd like to emphasize L.O.P.I. (learning by observing and pitching in). I imagine a future where the streets are greener and neighbors are sharing an abundance of fresh local food." 

 Here are photos of Greg and his mother sowing radish, carrot, sunflower, Jerusalem artichoke, amaranth, borage and marigold.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Roots & Wings provides seed money for new garden in Mount Vernon

Partnerships power community garden at First Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon

Roots & Wings, the sustainable initiative of South Presbyterian Church, in Dobbs Ferry, has provided $2,500 in seed monies for a new garden at First Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon. The collaboration was celebrated at a Garden Work Day and BBQ at First Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon on April 9.

“We are thrilled to be part of this new garden,” said Lenore Person, member of Roots & Wings Steering Committee. 

The collaboration practically put itself together, she said. Dorothy Muller, a Presbyterian minister living in Sleepy Hollow, serves on the ministry team of both churches and helped make introductions. 

Roots & Wings received funding from the Hudson River Presbytery in 2011 for implementing programs that help people to care for the earth and to know its rhythms, creating community and rejuvenating themselves in the process. Written into the grant was funding for other organizations to “grow community.” 

The garden at First Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon is a partnership between the church’s Mission Committee and Resilient Survivors, a new non-profit in Mount Vernon for survivors of domestic violence, incarceration, addiction— “any trauma that has lasting significant impact on life,” said Claire Hurst, the co-president.  

D.I.G. Farm, in North Salem, and its sister organization Westchester Local Food Network will contribute gardening know-how. Allison Turcan, the founder of both organizations, has put together a lean budget using farming connections for fencing, compost, building a compost bin, seeds and seedlings. The City of Mount Vernon contributed wood chips. 

Resilient Survivors plans to run healing circles in the new garden. First Presbyterian Church envisions gardening classes and cooking programs using their home-grown produce.  “The excitement continues to build,” said Marcia Morgan, member of First Presbyterian Church’s mission committee. “We are thankful for everyone’s hard work and input!” 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

pop-up native plants sale August 8

There'll be a native plants pop-up sale at Roots & Wings CSA this Sunday, August 8, 9 - 10 am, in the parking lot behind South Church.  

Check it out! 

VarietyCommon NamesQuantitiesContainer Type
Anemone canadensisCanada anemone12Plug
Bouteloua gracilisBlue Grama50Plug
Ceanothus americanusNew Jersey Tea3Plug
Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips'Turtlehead 'Hot Lips'15Plug
Conoclinium coelestinumBlue Mist Flower17Plug
Coreopsis lanceolataLanceleaf tickseed8Plug
Coreopsis lanceolata 'Baby Gold'Lanceleaf tickseed 'Baby Gold'12Plug
Elymus HystrixBottlebrush grass20Plug
Eupatorium fistulosumJoe Pye Weed16Plug
Geranium maculatumWild geranium1Plug
Geum triflorumPrairie Smokeflower4Cup
Liatris spicataDense Blazing Star1Plug
Lonicera sempervirensCoral honeysuckle32Plug
Packera AureaGolden GroundSel1Cup
Phlox stoloniferaCreeping phlox17Plug
Pycnanthemum tenuifoliumNarrow Leaf Mountain Mint41Plug
Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgidaOrange Coneflower7Plug
Schizachyrium scopariumLittle BlueStem18Plug
Scutellaria incanaHoary Skullcaps88Plug
Solidago flexicaulisZigzag goldenrod12Plug
Sorghastrum nutansYellow Indiangrass38Plug
Symphyotrichum novae-angliaeNew England Aster10Plug
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'Aster ‘Purple Dome’12Plug
Thermopsis villosaAaron's rod14Plug

$3 each for plugs
$5 each for cups