2009-11-06 / Community

RWA Hosts Community Weekend Workshop

Environmentor students planting at the NYRP Seagirt Community Garden. Environmentor students planting at the NYRP Seagirt Community Garden. Members from the community gathered at Seagirt Community Garden for Rockaway Waterfront Alliance's Community Weekend Workshop last Saturday. Members came out to learn about co-planting techniques, a practice gaining popularity among permaculture enthusiasts and traditional gardeners alike, while learning about new skills for starting indoor, lowbudget window sill gardening.

Although many of the community members have plots on the 300- square-foot property that is owned and managed by NYRP, many were open to the ideas that were shared and were open to expanding their seasonal growing to include various plants to help their garden flourish while deterring pests in natural, chemical free ways.

The community members not only learned about gardening outdoors, but the ways in which they could expand their indoor gardening. Recycled pots and recycled self watering indoor containers are among several tips that indoor gardeners can use to maximize their summer yields as they lengthen the growing cycle by providing an option to start growing vegetables and flowers indoors as the ground is often too cold to be worked for plantings in early spring.

Sharpe and one of Seagirt's founding members, LJ. Sharpe and one of Seagirt's founding members, LJ. Those who came out for the workshop were also provided with various seeds and seedlings that can be used to help strengthen their already blooming plots; adding to the variety of vegetables and flowers that have already begun to bloom at Seagirt Community Garden. Ms. Sharpe elaborated on RWA's presence in the garden by saying that, "I believe that a lot of the community members that come here are exceptionably knowledgeable. They get it!" She had the opportunity to meet one of the founding members, LJ, who helped to start this garden eight years ago, before NYRP, and he now has started other community gardens in Hempstead. Many of the gardeners here have worked this area for years and know the temperament of the soil and the animals and plants that live and grow here. "RWA's involvement at Seagirt was truly an informational exchange, as it should be, to further strengthen the productivity of the gardens in this area while sharing tips and truly partnering to ensure the continued success of the space."

RWA educator building raised beds with students. RWA educator building raised beds with students. Seagirt Community Garden has a solid base of gardeners that contribute annually. RWA has begun to take their after-school Environmental Conservation youth to the space to learn from the seasoned veterans. The students have worked with members of the garden to build raised soil beds which are beginning to blossom with lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, and an assortment of herbs. The Community Weekend Workshops truly give the community members a time to shine while using the resources of RWA to ensure the vitality of the garden.

The Community Weekend Workshops are generously funded by the Citizens Committee for NYC, a New York based non-profit that supported RWA and Seagirt Community Garden with partial funding to build a rainwater catchment system. The water catchment system has been capturing rain water to offer the gardeners a supply of water with which to support their garden.

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