Students Harvest Sustainable Produce Garden
The students of Rockaway Waterfront Alliance's EnvironMentor program have been busy creating gardens in Far Rockaway. Last winter, students at the NYCHA Ocean Bay Community Center began by designing and building a garden of raised beds in front of the center to plant vegetables to share with family and friends in the summer.
Last fall the students planted daffodil bulbs around the center's property, but conversations in the classroom about healthy foods inspired them to take charge of their own diets by beginning to grow produce as well.
In the spring, the students planted corn, squash, cilantro, carrots and various kinds of lettuce in the garden and have been taking bags of produce home to their families each week. They also created a compost system to get rich soil for the garden from food scraps, and created a rain water collection system to water the garden.
"Taking previously unused outdoor space and creating a garden has engaged the kids in thinking more about revitalizing other areas throughout the Rockaways to bring fresh and healthy food to their community," said RWA educator Iemanja Brown, who led the project.