New York Restoration Project’s most cherished community gardens are more than pretty green oases: they are productive, multi-faceted sources of urban agriculture. Dedicated to bringing a little bit of the rustic life into the city, these mini-working farms yield bounties of fresh food, raise flocks of chickens, and pioneer the latest ideas in community composting.
Our gardens are concentrated in many neighborhoods officially designated by NYC as “food deserts” where being able to grow fruits and vegetables can be a critical source of fresh food. Enjoyed by families and communities across NYC, NYRP’s gardeners annually produce over 10,000 lbs. of food, growing everything from radishes and cilantro to broccoli and strawberries.
Not only do our gardens serve as a rare supply for fruit and vegetable production, but they also produce eggs! Did you know you can raise chickens in New York City? Through NYRP’s free program, City Chicken Institute, you can learn how to humanely raise poultry in America’s largest metropolis. Check our calendar for workshops to visit our live chicken coops in Brooklyn and the Bronx to learn about the benefits of raising your own flock in an urban setting. NYRP provides workshops that are suitable for all levels of experience from April through October.
It’s a great satisfaction to know I plant the food my family and I eat.Lucia Bravo Gardener at NYRP’s Rodale Pleasant Park Community Garden
Composting may become mandatory as early as 2016, but until then, there are ways to ease yourself into the habit while the city’s program takes shape. NYRP is just one of many resources for composting education and disposal. NYRP hosts composting workshops and drop-off stations at various community gardens and at Sherman Creek Park in Northern Manhattan. Our largest compost site at Sherman Creek processes approximately 150 tons of food scraps annually. Thanks to the Sherman Creek Compost Crew, a weekly volunteer group, the organic material is redistributed to nurture our 52 community gardens and more.
NYRP's Riley-Levin Children's Garden at Swindler Cove in Sherman Creek Park, Northern Manhattan, also functions as a community garden for groups working with children and youth. We coordinate such groups to plant and tend garden plots through an application process every winter, with applicants selected in time for the spring season. Plots dependent upon availability. Deadline to apply: February 2, 2018.