van cortlandt park community food garden
During the summer of 2010, the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park partnered with Urban Farming, Bon Secours New York Health System, and community volunteers to transform the former compost site and garden into the new 400 square foot raised bed site used to grow vegetables that fed our community. For the first time, the vegetables and herbs harvested were donated to Part of the Solution (POTS) local food pantry, serving residents of the Northwest Bronx and Marble Hill. Assisted by the Bon Secours New York Healthy Communities interns, the garden donated over 200 pounds of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, kale, basil, chives, mint, string beans and cucumbers. An additional 100 pounds went to nutrition programs. The garden program combined education and hands-on service to give participants the experience of growing food and reducing waste through composting. Activities included turning and sifting compost bins, weeding, watering and harvesting vegetables. This provided invaluable experience and first steps into community building around shared values in local food and how we best provide for our neighbors.