Spend July with Kingsborough’s for the Brooklyn Science Innovation Initiative (BSII) a science and business immersion program!
This program has a lot going for it! First, you’ll learn about foundational chemistry topics through the lens f nutrition, specifically about how chemicals, vitamins and minerals effect basic bodily systems. Second, you’ll use KCC Urban Farm, KCC’s on-campus food production site, as a hands-on laboratory. Third, you’ll take what you’ve learned to create businesses that respond to industry-related problems. When you go back to school in the Fall, you’ll have the power to amaze your friends with your knowledge of chemistry, business, nutrition AND farming.
Last year’s focus of Earth Science led students to create businesses such as SpearTech, a solar-powered outdoor canopy that harnesses the sun’s power for usable energy, and BeeHax, a company that studies and proposes solutions to the collapse of bee colonies around the world, among others.
“Community gardens are critical ecological infrastructure in cities providing an important link between people and urban nature. The documented benefits of community gardens include food production, recreational opportunities, and a wide number of social benefits such as improving community stability, reducing crime, and physical and mental health benefits. While much of the literature cites community gardens as providing environmental benefits for cities, there is little empirical evidence of these benefits. Here we examine the stormwater runoff benefits of community gardens by comparing two methods to estimate absorption rates of stormwater runoff in urban community gardens of New York City. The first method uses general land cover classes as determined by a land cover dataset; the second methods adds a land cover specific to community gardens — raised beds, typically used for food production. We find that in addition to the stormwater mitigation performed by pervious surfaces within a garden site, community gardens in New York City may be retaining an additional 12 million gallons (~45 million liters) of stormwater annually due to the widespread use of raised beds with compost as a soil amendment.”
Some upcoming opportunities to network and learn about jobs in the green world and beyond…
Urban Agriculture and Green Careers Symposium – Friday, 3/25, 1pm-4pm – RSVP HERE – The Brooklyn College Student Center at 1 Campus Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11210 in the Alumni Lounge (4th Floor)
When you picture careers in sustainable agriculture in the 21st Century, we want you to think beyond Old McDonald and his farm. At the Urban Agriculture and Green Careers Symposium, get inspired by a panel of industry professionals who are thinking differently about the ways we produce food, the spaces where we farm, and the communities that are involved in agriculture. We’ll be speaking with New York City industry leaders about their personal path to these non-traditional careers, the
opportunities for education and job pathways in this sector, and their vision for the future of agriculture in our cities. Remember to bring a photo I.D. with you in order to access this event.
Bringing it Home (BiH) has begun! Well, not quite yet. Our Community Chef, Maya Stansberry, has just come on board to organize and lead BiH. It’s a big task, but we have no doubt of her ability to make BiH a huge success! Check out her background:
Prior to taking on the responsibilities of BiH’s Community Chef, Maya was a student of Kingsborough’s Culinary Art’s program and also worked as a student aide at KCC Urban Farm. After graduating in 2015, she went on to study sustainable agricultural practices at the University of California Santa Cruz. In the midst of getting her hands dirty, Maya deepened her awareness of the inequalities throughout the current food system, further fueling her desire to be a resource to others and develop ways to make cooking a part of their unique lives. In addition to her work with BiH, Maya is attending Hunter College’s Food Science and Nutrition program.
Please join us in welcoming her!
Read more about Bringing it Home at the program’s homepage.
When I recently began working at the farm, the first thing that came to sight were all of the Dahlias in the hoop house. They were all in full bloom on an early September day. My admiration came from the colors. They were beautifully sprouting yellows, purples, whites and pinks. I also analyzed how the petals create a very interesting shape. I knew from that day on that I wanted to maintain and keep them growing to the best of my abilities. A couple of months passed at work and I grew a deeper appreciation for these flowers when it came to arranging bouquets with our Farm Manager, Cris. I was so happy to learn a new skill and decorate our vegetable distribution for students with our carefully sorted flower bunches. The best part was after our mini farmers market, I got to choose my favorite vase with Dahlias the size of my face.
In this report, KCC’s Project Rise was recognized, among other things, for our collaboration with the College that provided resources to both staff and students—KCC Urban Farm as the pre-internship site, referrals to KCC’s Single Stop for social service benefits, the opportunity to bank college credits, etc.
In a message to her staff, Associate Director of KCC’s Project Rise, Dina LiMandri, said: “There’s a story that the report won’t tell. One about growth and development, leadership and management, interdisciplinary team approaches, and what it takes to create a culture of engagement.” Without a team that brought “a perfect balance of creativity, organization, temperament, and strategy…” our services would look completely different.
Across all sites, Project Rise has been wildly successful:
More than 91% received some HSE preparation.
About 72% began internships and over half of those worked more than 120 hours.
Within 12 months, 25% earned a high school equivalency credential or high school diploma.
KCC Urban Farm was just awarded a grant from Ample Table for Everyone, a non-profit that works to “mitigate food insecurity in the five boroughs of New York City by addressing the key causes: lack of time, lack of money, inaccessibility to nutritious food, and unfamiliarity with a variety of healthy ingredients, cooking methods and recipes.”
Our program, Bringing it Home, will teach participants basic cooking skills using both familiar and unfamiliar produce. BiH will empower everyone with the skills and confidence to cook at home for themselves and their families.
Visit Bringing it Home on the blog to find out more about the program including the schedule of workshops and recipes that have been created by students and staff.
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.