Connect with us on Social Media for Latest Updates

Welcome to our web space! Like a garden space, it’s a little squirrely but has a lot of good going on.

Day-to-day updates are on social media pages for each project – links to that below. This site offers announcements and articles, long-term info and updates, and ways to get involved.

Connect with Alchemical Nursery on Facebook

Project-specific Facebook pages:

Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden

 

Bitternut Collective Homestead

 

610 Gifford Street Community Garden

 

 

Public Harvest Map for Onondaga County and Central New York

Here is a map of publicly available sources of food that can be harvested in Onondaga County and the broader Central New York region. This map is being shared by popular demand. It is our hope that we, people sharing interest in public food sources and all their co-benefits, will populate and maintain this resource as a community. The map is viewable and editable by the public, hosted and occasionally backed up by non-profit mutual aid group The Alchemical Nursery Project, Inc. of Syracuse, NY.

Please respect the land these potential harvests are on. Alchemical Nursery is not moderating every map entry, and we cannot ensure that points on the map are 100% publicly accessible for harvesting. You sure are welcome at the public community gardens we host, which are on this Public Harvest map and are listed in our Projects page. If you have questions or suggestions, please email us ( info [at] alchemicalnursery [dot] org ) for assistance. Please harvest honorably.


To use this map, go to the following link for zoom and search functionality: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kYz4UCuVrOMYC45WO4C1SspzhXc&usp=sharing

Or in the map below, you can click the top-left icon to view a legend of potential harvest points.

Coronavirus Response: Garden Actions & Resources For You

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and in continuation of our mission, Alchemical Nursery is taking action and making resources available for you to start or scale-up growing food in whatever space you have access to. That can be in containers, yards, or community gardens such as Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden or Gifford Street Garden in Syracuse. We hope these efforts will support community-based food sovereignty, empowering public food supply and boosting personal resilience and wellbeing.

Food insecurity is an ongoing problem worsened by disasters of all sorts. In this pandemic’s social, health, and economic challenges, we see gardening as an opportunity to reduce strain on supply chains and provide local nutrient-dense fresh foods to people who are most vulnerable to food insecurity, home-bound, or sick. To achieve more widespread and robust gardening in our communities, we’re offering Raised Bed Training Livestreams, Garden Advising, Gardening Together (with Social Distancing), and Free Seeds Distribution.

Will you join us in these efforts? Can we help you through these efforts? Reach out with a comment here, on Facebook.com/AlchemicalNursery, or by emailing us at info [at] alchemicalnursery [dot] org.


1. Livestream Trainings: Raised Beds

Thursday – March 19, 2020 – at 5:15 PM on Facebook:

Join Frank Cetera for a Live broadcast of a quick 10-15 minute tutorial from the Bitternut Homestead including learning about hugelkultur beds, herb spirals using urbanite, using biomass to build bed structure and borders, what to plant and when. This is the time to create or prep your raised beds for vegetable growing. Our last frost in Syracuse is around the first week to the middle of the month of May, depending on your micro-climate and whether you are in the city or outside of it. So you have time to get these in place if you want to be ready for planting out. You can also direct seed to beds very soon, even before the last frost, if you use cold hardy plant seeds such as spinach, arugula, radish.

Another LiveStream will also be held over the next week, to be scheduled, that will give a tutorial of different raised bed options from the 610 Gifford St Community Garden, stay tuned!


2. Garden Advising

Have questions about gardening? Need some advise? We all start somewhere. Alchemical Nursery is open to requests for garden advising, connecting folks with more experienced gardeners who can offer guidance, suggestions, and problem solving. To reach out for advise, please fill out our Request for Garden Advising form (https://forms.gle/g5aPGmN5rKKFvBCE9). To be on the response list as an advisor, please email info [at] alchemicalnursery [dot] org stating your interest, preferred email, and main areas of expertise.


3. Gardening Together

As of right now, our scheduled gardening dates and times are still going forward as planned; it’s really possible to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet in the garden, while getting the advantages of being outside in the fresh air and warming soil.  If your children come to the gardens you must manage them appropriately to not congregate or get closer than 6 feet to other people; and we would recommend you bring hand sanitizer as we do not have hand washing facilities at our sites for the public.  Gloves and your own tools in hand will also be best practices.  We will follow all CDC, NYS, and local governmental directions regards activities.  Please follow our social media pages and visit our website for the latest information on scheduled events.


4. FREE SEEDS DISTRIBUTION / SYRACUSE & CNY SEED SHARE

Alchemical’s non-profit organizational applications for free seed donations have been submitted and we are awaiting the awards and deliveries.  We look forward to sharing these free seeds with you so that you can grow your own food at home and boost your family’s food security.  Distributions will take place at our community gardens and by appointment at our Otisco St office location.  More info to come.

In addition, Our Syracuse & CNY Seed Share document is up and running at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1G7fcm-Sb7NqVHeerMMMsIZcaIVPohfDHgk0ywxABIlI/edit?usp=sharing

Let us know if you have questions, but for now, consider posting what seeds you have to share and your contact info, and please do share this link, in these times of need, we are hoping this tool for food security mutual aid will reach many people who are for the first time thinking about growing food!

 

Rahma Food Forest Stewardship Team Orientation

This date is for an orientation work day for individuals wishing to join the stewardship team at Rahma. Spots in this training are limited to 15 people in order to provide adequate instruction and attention to volunteer needs. You should be willing to become a return volunteer stewarding the site for other volunteers at future work days. Orientation will include full instructions on processes and procedures for you to be a part of the stewardship team crew :>)  You must register at the Facebook event page or contact Frank directly at 315-308-1372.

The Rahma Edible Food Forest Snack Garden is looking for volunteers for the 2020 season. This permaculture project supports the watershed and the Rahma Free Health Clinic at 3100 South Salina St in the southside of the city through landscape maintenance, stormwater management, providing free pick fruits and berries to the community, and educating clinic members and patrons.

We are looking for groups or families that would like to coordinate a date (or two) for coming and helping. We are also looking for individuals who would like to join the stewardship team, agreeing to host volunteers and be on site once a month during the April-September season. Learn more about the free clinic at https://www.rahmafreeclinic.com/

Join our Stewardship Team at Rahma!

The Rahma Edible Food Forest Snack Garden is looking for volunteers for the 2020 season. This permaculture project supports the watershed and the Rahma Free Health Clinic at 3100 South Salina St in the southside of the city through landscape maintenance, stormwater management, providing free pick fruits and berries to the community, and educating clinic members and patrons.

We are looking for groups or families that would like to coordinate a date (or two or more) for coming and helping. We are also looking for individuals who would like to join the stewardship team, agreeing to host volunteers and be on site once a month or so (we’re flexible) during the April-September season. Learn more about the free clinic at https://www.rahmafreeclinic.com/

Contact Frank at 315-308-1372 or frcetera@alchemicalursery.org

A Guide to Disease Controllers in Urban Vegetable Gardens

It’s more than a labor of love; your garden is a symbol of life. Syracuse-area gardens attract pests and disease that cause moderate to severe damage. Controlling diseases before they spread is optimal. Deciding on the best course of action is where it all begins.

Devise a Plan

Planning your lawn and garden maintenance in the spring is the key to success in Onondaga County. If your lawn is in good shape, there’s less chance any diseases will spread to your garden. Map out your garden. Decide which vegetables to plant, and see which vegetables work together as companion plants.

Disease and Pest Management

Before buying any pest control product, you’ll need to check with city codes to be sure it’s legal to use. Some fertilizers and chemical pesticides are not suitable for certain soils. The Cornell University Small Farms Program suggests using organic fertilizers and pest control as often as possible.

Best practice ways to protect from disease and unwanted insects include:

Soil testing for pH balance of alkalinity and acidity. Choose your plants based on moisture and the total sunlight hours they’ll receive. Look at your garden several times a day to see when it gets partial sun and full sun.

  • Plant disease-resistant crops and cultivars.
  • Rotate crops per season.
  • Water the plants at their roots and stems to keep leaves from getting wet.
  • Remove all diseased plants and keep them from touching healthy vegetation.
  • Use clean soil and mulch – disease-infused dirt spreads spores to healthy plants. 
  • Follow state regulations that limit the transport of firewood so your load of campfire wood doesn’t accidentally spread invasive pests.  

Identify the Plant Disease

Source

Knowing which disease is infecting your plants is the first step to fighting it. Climate, environment and nearby vegetation can invite various diseases to your vegetable plant. Here are some of the most common problems. Continue reading →

Fundraiser successes supporting trees in CNY!

Two local agroforestry fundraisers have succeeded in their goals this summer! Germinating projects that will grow toward fruition as we head into winter and the year to come. Much thanks for all contributions and support.

Alchemical Nursery fundraised $748/700 toward the 3 part peachy goal! “For part one, we will plant two dwarf peach at the 610 Gifford St Community Garden ($100), for part two we will invest in an electric mower (Kobalt 80V ($550) to maintain the abandoned orchard site so the peach trees there stay healthy, for part three, we will plant an additional peach tree at the Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden ($50).”

New York Tree Crop Alliance (NYTCA) co-op has raised enough funds to buy a Kern Kraft Oil Press near Ithaca! This enables tree crop stewards to process Earth’s gifts of hickories & hazelnuts into useful & healthy oils that can be stored, shipped, and used to create a variety of value-added products. A key step in scaling up toward more broadly accessible and viable tree-based livings.
🌲 🙏 🙌 🌳

Berry Blitz

Berry Blitz at Rahma Food Forest Snack Garden (3100 South Salina St, Syracuse) involves cleaning the berry bushes of trash and vining weeds such as cleavers and bindweed; picking berries of many sorts such as currants, gooseberries, raspberries, mulberry, and jostaberry; and eating berries!

Join Frank and Ursula on Sunday morning between 9 AM – 10:30 AM on Sunday July 21st for this extravaganza. All are welcome.  Please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/737117806720718/

ANP PDC participants should arrive on time at 9 AM, and will qualify to gain a badge in Curriculum Topic #11 Plants and Cultivated Ecologies. Please note in your RSVP response if you are attending to qualify for ANP PDC credit. More about THE ANP PDC at http://alchemicalnursery.org/blog/get-involved/the-anp-pdc-a-slow-local-permaculture-education/

 

Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden 10 Year Environmental Benefits Assessment: Preliminary Estimates Before Complete Tree Inventory

JULY 13, 2019 – Day of Service at Rahma

On this training & volunteer day we’ll learn about Rahma’s environmental benefits using free scientific software called i-Tree Tools from the USDA Forest Service. A basic environmental benefits report about Rahma will be presented then we’ll measure trees on site to conduct a more detailed i-Tree Eco analysis. We ask that tree ID experts come help forest garden sampling teams – please come if you can, or invite friends to help!

A digital copy of the preliminary report is available here as a PDF.

This Day of Service will be led by volunteer permaculture practitioners Robbie Coville and Frank Cetera. Please consider volunteering or donating to Syracuse’s permaculture mutual aid organization Alchemical Nursery, or even join the board of directors! Interested individuals of any skill level are welcome to get involved. To donate please consider our $1/mo campaign at https://www.patreon.com/alchemicalnursery

McKinley-Brighton Artwork & Student Garden at Rahma Edible Forest Garden

It’s taken quite a few years to figure this out, but we finally created a relationship with McKinley-Brighton school that worked! The kids and teachers did a great job with integrating their artwork into the garden, and we even coordinated a new growing space just for them to have fun and learn in. :>) Check it out when you’re heading down South Salina St! By the way, strawberries are ripening as we sleep and breathe, grab a snack, and take a look at what’s new, what’s old, and what’s in real.

Continue reading →