Category Archives: KCC Urban Farm

KCC Urban Farm is Hiring

JOIN KCC URBAN FARM AS A RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Student research assistant Adriana Valerio measuring brix in kale leaves

2014 student research assistant Adriana Valerio measuring brix in kale leaves

We are looking for students who are interested in gaining lab experience by helping KCC Urban Farm measure nutrients in our soil and plant tissue. Duties will include using testing kits to track select nutrients for some of our crops and amending KCC Urban Farm soil based on soil test results. No experience is necessary, but students should be responsible, dependable, and enjoy working outside. Applicants should also ideally be able to commit to both spring and summer semesters.

Research assistants will be hired as student aides and must be full time. To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and class schedule to mara.gittleman@kbcc.cuny.edu by April 13, 2015.

Science on the Farm

We haven’t spoken much about science on the farm, but we’ve had a number of projects going over the last few years. Last season, KCC Urban Farm ran a small experiment to see how adding minerals to our soil could boost plant nutrition. This year, we plan to expand upon that experiment, so stay tuned for internship opportunities!

The problem:
Soil is made out of minerals (50%), air (23%), water (23%), and organic matter (4%). Because KCC Urban Farm is lucky enough to receive donations of compost from the Department of Sanitation, however, our soil has 30% organic matter! What does this mean for us? For growing our high quality vegetables, it means we have to test our soil for the nutrients plants need to grow.

The solution:
Based on the soil test results, we can add mineral amendments based on what we’re missing.

The experiment:

Student research assistant Adriana Valerio measuring brix in kale leaves

Student research assistant Adriana Valerio measuring brix in kale leaves

We want to know if our mineral amendments are leading to healthier crops. In 2014, we ran a small experiment on our tomato plants: we amended only half of the plants for each variety of tomato. After a couple of weeks, we measured calcium and brix levels in new and old leaves for all of the tomato plants. We did the same thing a couple of months later. Calcium is important for plant growth – plant cells use it for structure. It’s also a good indicator of nutrient uptake. Brix is a measure of plant sugars – if brix is high, we know our plants have everything they need to thrive.

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KCC Urban Farm in the Community

IMG_1750Want to meet the farmers of KCC Urban Farm? Farm staff will be at two events in March:

March 21, 2015: Making Brooklyn Bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

March 28, 2015: NYCHA Goes Green (location to be announced)

Come talk with Farm Education Manager, Mara Gittleman, and Farm Manager, Silvia Torres, about what goes on at the farm from the students who help the farm runcontinuing education classesproduce distributions and culinary arts partnerships. We’ve got it all!

KCC Urban Farm is Hiring!

Are you a full time KCC student? Do you want to work at KCC Urban Farm? Now’s the time to get connected with us. Help with harvesting, propagation, composting, demonstrations and general site maintenance. Read the flyer below for more information. (If you can’t access the flyer, contact Farm Manager Silvia Torres for more info: silvia.torres@kbcc.cuny.edu)

kcc urban farm hiriing 2015

2015 Classes on the Farm

beetsCome grow vegetables with us! This winter and spring KCC Urban Farm will be offering classes to get you on your way to a great 2015 growing season. Register online or at 718-368-5050. For a regularly updated listing of classes at KCC Urban Farm, check our website.

WINTER 2015
Planting Seeds
NHB39, $40
Tues., March 17, 5:30-8:30pm AND Tues., March 31, 5:30-8:30pm

Learn the ins and outs of growing edible crops from seed. This two-day
course will include seed science, pest management, equipment, and
maintenance to successfully carry your crops through the process of
germination. Participants will take home their own seedlings to kick-start their gardens!

SPRING 2015 (registration opens in March)
Intro to Organic Vegetable Gardening
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:30pm, April 28 – June 16.
$100 + $15 materials fee

This course covers all of the basics of urban gardening from soil to seed to table. Learn how to grow edible crops organically, start plants from seed, manage pests, and more at KCC Urban Farm. Students will gain skills in soil conditioning, crop planning, composting, planting, and harvesting to get on their way to producing their own fresh herbs, greens, fruits, and vegetables. This course also covers finding land for gardening in NYC and building a garden from scratch.

Planting Seeds
NHB39, $40 + $5 materials fee
Weds., April 29, 5:30-8:30pm AND Weds., May 13, 5:30-8:30pm

Learn the ins and outs of growing edible crops from seed. This two-day
course will include seed science, pest management, equipment, and
maintenance to successfully carry your crops through the process of
germination. Participants will take home their own seedlings to kick-start their gardens!

Student Success Story: Maya Stansberry at KCC Urban Farm

CEWD KCC Urban Farm 1 9.15.14If you’ve read any of our recent posts about KCC Urban Farm, you’ve probably seen photos of one of our most dedicated and energetic student aides: Maya Stansberry. Before the holidays I sat down with Maya to talk about her work on the farm and her future plans in urban agriculture.

What is your interest in urban farming and where did it come from?

Growing up, gardening was a pastime that my mother and relatives eagerly shared, and something that I learned to appreciate as well as enjoy. While my family has no professional/educational background with gardening, we always had gardens or small, indoor greenhouses going on somewhere. As a result, and I feel like a hippie saying this, I love being outside and connecting with the earth. There’s something exciting about putting something in the earth and getting something else back.

I wouldn’t say that my interest in urban farming comes from growing up in Baltimore, but more comes from growing up in a family with a southern/country heritage where gardening/farming incidentally runs in the family (my fraternal grandfather, who grew up on a farm, has his own vegetable garden which I helped tend to in my early teens; my maternal grandmother has a vegetable garden at her church; my mom encouraged my siblings and I to attempt to grow things, etc.).

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CEWD’s Presentation at CUNY IT

CEWD at the CUNY IT ConferenceOn Thursday, December 4th, 2014 CEWD presented at the 13th Annual CUNY IT Conference at John Jay College. The presentation was moderated by Dr. Edgar Troudt, CEWD Director of Technology, with speakers including Christopher Pileggi, Min-Kyung Park, Gillian Gooding, Christine Zagari-LoPorto and Jessie Cinelli (read our full bios here).  Workforce Development Supported by Strategic IT Investments detailed our multi-faceted use of technology that supports CEWD’s many programs and initiatives.  

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CEWD at the CUNY IT Conference

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Come meet CEWD staff as we talk “Workforce Development Supported By Strategic IT Investments” at the CUNY IT Conference. The panel, including Edgar Troudt, Babette Audant, Christoper Pileggi, Gillian Gooding, Min-Kyung Park, Christine Zagari-LoPorto and Jessie Cinelli (Don’t know us? Check us out here), will discuss how CEWD harnesses smart information technology in the areas of Participant Tracking, Data Quality Assurance, Trends Analysis, Partner Management and Outreach. Our presentation will cover a broad range of topics from participant tracking and data analysis to marketing and communications in use throughout all of our programs.

Conference registration is free so sign up today and join us on Thursday, December 4th at 2:15 pm at John Jay College. See you at the conference!

Healthy Eating at KCC

Last semester, Kingsborough Community Health Ambassadors produced videos about different ways to make KCC a healthier campus. Check out this one from Briana Palmieri (currently attending St. Francis for a B.S. in Health Promotion) as she asks students about healthy eating at KCC. It features students, faculty and staff from Brooklyn’s own KCC Urban Farm:

Briana Palmieri – Spring 2014 – Healthier Eating at KCC from Jose Nanin on Vimeo.

Urban Farming in Brooklyn

urban farming in BrooklynIt’s Friday and it’s beautiful out! A perfect time to share photos of KCC Urban Farm. A recap for new visitors: KCC Urban Farm is the first urban farm on a CUNY college campus. We work with faculty members, students, and community members to develop programming around urban farming. We seek to prepare students for green careers, use fresh fruits and vegetables to encourage an understanding of local and global food systems, and educate students on the benefits of leading healthy lifestyles.

Urban farming in Brooklyn is getting a whole lot smarter!