Recipes by student Farmer Chef Lilja with the assistance of Farmer Mike
KCC Urban Farm Veggie of the Week: Ground Cherries (Physalis Pruinosa)
- Ground cherries are thought to be originated in Central and South America.
- The ground cherry is a species of Physalis, and it is technically a fruit. It is part of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, eggplants, and tomatillos.
- It is best to plant ground cherries indoors 6-7 weeks before transplant. Transplanting takes place after the danger of frost has passed, and the soil is warm.
- Ground cherries can produce up to 300 fruits per plant, and can keep going until frost season.
Today’s story is about turning our compost pile, with the help of the nice folks over at the Liberty Partnerships Program at Kingsborough.
In the deepest depths of the kingdom of Kingsborough’s Urban Farm, towards the T1 building and behind the student beds lies the mysterious Mount Compost. Rumor has it that this mountain is made of garden waste and the bodies of fruits and vegetables that never get eaten. They say that mysterious figures wearing sun hats and farm clothes add to the mountain every week. It is believed that otherworldly forces transform this plant matter into soil. I know the truth. Mount Compost is made of much more than just the bodies of our fallen plant brethren. Mount Compost is composed of a network of of Bacteria, Fungi, and Protists that digest plant matter and convert it into the rich soil that we use on the farm.
Every day I look at the progression of the tan on my arms. I trace over the marks and splotches that the plants have bestowed upon my epidermal layer. They are the gentle kisses that the farm leaves behind after a hard days labor. On the train I am wrapped in my cozy dirt blanket. The light dusting protects all of my exposed parts from the cold train car, allowing me to rest rather than shiver. As I am lulled into sleep I admire the soil locked behind my fingernails. I feel my fingers worming through the land as I try to free my loves from the saboteur weeds stealing their nutrients.
I dig my arms deeper into the soil.
This summer 14 high school juniors and seniors participated in the Brooklyn Science Innovation Initiative (BSII), a program generously supported by the AT&T Foundation. BSII, a collaboration between CEWD–led by our very own Dr. Edgar Troudt–and KCC’s College Now program–led by the program’s Director Robert Pero–provided college-level Earth Science and Entrepreneurship classes. During this 5-week program, student groups developed virtual business based on what they learned in class.
Last week, these students presented their businesses to a crowd of over 50, including the president of AT&T Foundation in New York, Marissa Shorenstein, KCC President Farley Herzek, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Businesses included a system using oysters to clean the ocean, the development of metal cell phone cases to protect and limit radiation exposure, a proposed design for a prototype machine to clean the bottom of the ocean, a solar-powered water filtration system for countries with limited access to clean drinking water, and an app to help make learning earth science more enjoyable.
By Ben Hanon, KCC Urban Farm Student Aide
Today’s story is about staff distribution, one of the most exciting times of the year. We hope you enjoy!
The sign outside the farm gate seemed simple enough. It told the staff and faculty what time the distribution of vegetables began. 11:30 A.M. on the dot, never a second too early, and never a second too late. From the back of the farm looking out, the farm crew could see a sea of bodies. Bodies of people who had dedicated themselves to two things. The first was serving the Kingsborough community to the best of their ability, the second was getting their farm fresh organic veggies before our stock ran low. This crowd had been waiting all year as students came and went as they pleased to student only distributions of produce. They were ready, they were hungry, and we were ready to serve them.
Cris completed the Ecological Horticulture Apprenticeship at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems in Santa Cruz, California (the same training program as our previous, Farm Manager, Silvia Torres!). Previously, Cris worked on permaculture and Native Hawaiian farms on the Big Island of Hawaii, while also assisting elementary school gardening classes at Honaunau Elementary School. Having worked part-time as a Farm Assistant pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy at KCC Urban Farm, Cris feels like they are returning to their farming home.
On July 20th, Kingsborough’s Northeast Resiliency Consortium Culinary Arts program hosted an employer event where our partners from Workforce1, a program of NYC’s Department of Small Business Services that connects qualified candidates to job opportunities in NYC, and a manager from a local Chipotle restaurant, came to KCC to talk about jobs in NYC’s fast-paced culinary industry. Additionally, participants were invited to directly apply to food service positions available at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The highlight of the event was a past NRC Culinary Arts participant who shared his experience in the program and how it impacted both his employment and personal life.
KCC Students! Did you know you can get FREE and FRESH farm produce grown and harvested on campus from KCC Urban Farm? Not only will you get bunches of produce, but you’ll also be able to sample yummy recipes of what you can make with what you take. Distributions happen every Thursday beginning at 11:30 and will continue until everything is gone.
Locations alternate between KCC’s Single Stop (V-231) and KCC Urban Farm (between T8 and T2). This week’s distribution is at Single Stop. Stop by at 11:30, bring your KCC ID, and get ready for fresh, delicious, and healthy food!
David Zubin 24, is a current student KCC’s Project Rise. Since enrolling, he has made it his mission to earn his TASC Certificate and find employment. Although it hasn’t been easy, in 8 months he has come closer to meeting goals–reaching over 100 internship hours, finding part-time employment and, working his way to taking the TASC Exam. “I love Project Rise and I focus on what is important: getting my GED, completing internship hours, and working at Applebee’s. I love working!”.
His hard work has paid off. David is the first Ambassador in Project Rise’s Ambassador Program. Since taking on this new role, his class attendance, participation, grades, and confidence have all gone up. “Now I feel important, like I am really needed. Sometimes I get excited and brag on Facebook and to my friends about what I do as an Ambassador.”