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.