Connect on Social Media for Latest Updates

Welcome to our web space! Like a permaculture 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.

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Updated Patreon Member Tiers and Benefits for 2024 – Update or Renew Available Now.

CURRENT BENEFITS at https://www.patreon.com/alchemicalnursery
MERCH: 1) Alchemical Nursery Project water bottle; 2) a Paper Copy of all newly published organizational Zines.
PROMOS: 3) 50% off purchase of garden art signs; 4) $10 credit to each Spring’s annual plant sale;  5) Promotional Specials on Plant Sale Gift Card Orders.
PDC CREDIT: 6) Permaculture Design Certificate credit for completion of ANP PDC sessions.

The Green Bottle chart below expands our understanding of financial privilege and experience. All member tiers provide the same benefits, so please use sliding scale green bottle chart to determine the level you’re able to contribute.

Image description: Graphic with the title, “The Green Bottle: Where You Fall on the Sliding Scale.” Three illustrations of bottles appear side by side, one filled all the way with green liquid, the second filled halfway, and the third filled low. Each bottle has a list of statements. Along the y-axis of the graphic reads, “Financial Privilege” and the x-axis reads, “Personal Financial Experience.” The full bottle lists the following statements: “I am comfortably able to meet all of my basic* needs. I may have some debt but it does not prohibit attainment of basic needs. I own my home or property OR I rent a higher-end property. I own or lease a car. I am employed or do not need to work to meet my needs. I have regular access to health care. I have access to financial savings. I have an expendable** income. I can always buy new items. I can afford an annual vacation or take time off.” The half-filled bottle lists the following statements: “I may stress about meeting my basic needs but still regularly achieve them. I may have some debt but it does not prohibit attainment of basic needs. I own or lease a car. I am employed. I have access to health care. I might have access to financial savings. I have some expendable income. I am able to buy some new items & I thrift others. I can take a vacation annually or every few years without financial burden.” The low-filled bottle lists the following statements: “I frequently stress about meeting basic needs & don’t always achieve them. I have debt and it sometimes prohibits me from meeting my basic needs. I rent lower-end properties or have unstable housing. I do not have a car and/or have limited access to a car but I am not always able to afford gas. I am unemployed or underemployed. I qualify for government assistance including food stamps & health care. I have no access to savings. I have no or very limited expendable income. I rarely buy new items because I am unable to afford them. I cannot afford a vacation or have the ability to take time off without financial burden.” At the very bottom of the graphic are additional definitions. “*Basic Needs include food, housing, and transportation. **Expendable Income might mean you are able to buy coffee or tea at a shop, go to the movies or a concert, buy new clothes, books, and similar items each month, etc. This image and framework was originally created by Alexis J. Cunningfolk | wortsandcunning.com with additions from Britt Hawthorne | embracingequity.org.”

Formal IDEA Statement Published

At the Alchemical Nursery Project, we are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work. We believe that every individual deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or ability.

We recognize that systemic inequalities exist in our society and are committed to doing our part in dismantling these structures. We strive to create a safe and inclusive space for all members of our community, including those who have been historically marginalized. We actively seek out and welcome diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds, and believe that this diversity makes our work stronger and more impactful. We are committed to creating equitable opportunities for all individuals, including providing access to resources and education that promote sustainable living practices.

We recognize that environmental justice is an integral part of social justice, and are dedicated to addressing the intersectionality of these issues. Overall, we are committed to ongoing learning and growth in our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe that it is only through collective action and intentional effort that we can create a more just and equitable society for all.

# # #

Unique Seasonal and Holiday Gift Ideas

Offering Unique Seasonal and Holiday Gift Ideas as we fundraise for the Alchemical Nursery Project and the Bicycle Depot on Marcellus St. Check them out at https://the-alchemical-nursery-project-inc.square.site/ – all items are pick-up only.

$50.00 (On sale for $40 until December 31st) – Purchase 2 hours of Permaculture consulting towards a Custom Permaculture Polyculture Design.
$20.00 – Limited edition numbered Mojito Mint garden art sign print – 50 Available.
$15.00 – Garden and Field Notes book, Locally designed and handcrafted by Amaranth Bindery.
$5.00 Print copy of the original Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden zine from April 2013.

Bike Depot Open Shop Days and Hours Posted for June

Tuesdays 5-7PM and Saturdays 10-12PM.
Tues 6/6, Sat 6/10, Tues 6/20, Sat 6/24, Tues 6/27.

The 713 Marcellus St. Bike Kitchen (aka Bike Depot) is a volunteer-run community bicycle repair workshop. Come learn about opportunities to volunteer, use tools to work on your own bicycle, earn a bike, and share skills and mutual aid.

For more info about dates and times email info@alchemicallnursery.org, call (315) 414-7720

Bike Depot Open House Tuesday May 30th From 5:30-7:00pm

A Letter about the Marcellus St. Bicycle Depot

Hey everyone! 

I’m writing to make sure you know about upcoming events at the Marcellus St. Bike Depot. Things are starting to look so good. I am excited to work on bikes together this summer! We* scheduled a “Bike Month Open House” for May 30th 5-7PM. More info coming soon.   

Please let us know if you plan to join an upcoming work day. Here are the upcoming dates and time: 

-Saturday, May 20, 3-6pm
-Tuesday, May 23, 5:30-7pm
-Saturday, May 27, 3-6pm (we’ll be heading to 6:45 the Syracuse Bike Party after!)

Reply to this email if you plan to come. If you are inviting a new friend, here is the volunteer sign up form.

Remaining tasks:
– tool and bike part organizing
– building shelves
– workstation building!

– tool storage/organizing
– weeding

Loey is going to start helping to coordinate volunteers for work sessions and events so you might be hearing from her about work parties and the like. 

See some pics from recent work days on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheDepotAt713MarcellusStreet/

Save the Date: Bike Month Open House at the Marcellus St. Bike Depot

Tues May 30 5-7pm at 713 Marcellus St. 

Save the Date Organizational Meeting 

Tentatively Tuesday June 6th 5:30PM, on Zoom.
Discuss depot membership structure, organizational roles, schedule and goals for the summer and rest of 2023. Everything has been very informal. Lots of people have put in time. Me and Frank have been making plans and decisions but would like to transition to a collective running of the space. 

Summer Hours

Tuesdays 4-7 or 5-7? and Saturdays Hours TBD. What do you think? Stay tuned for a schedule and invitation to sign up to “staff” the shop. 

Hope to see you soon!

-Ursula Rozum

2023 Plant Sale Fundraiser

Pre-Sales are Open! See the Inventory at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AfxFC9s2-l6jn3E-66AOO3YU1qTJisWFZ6QUYQXmqvc/edit?usp=sharing

The plant sale is pre-order online with pick up on May 13th, we will also have inventory available for purchase at each site on May 13th. Ordering deadline is 11:59 pm on Wednesday May 10th. Pre-order to make sure you get what you want!

Please place orders online by messaging us (through the event page for ANP or B&R tagged items at https://fb.me/e/Fw3u1kIQ) or (emailing info@alchemicalnursery.org for ANP tagged items, emailing jess.maxwell@me.com for B&R tagged items) with the following info:

  • source – either B&R or ANP,
  • sizes, quantities, and price each,
  • preferred pick-up location – either Westcott St on the Eastside or Otisco St on the Westside).
  • Please provide your email address so we can send you a virtual invoice for you to make payment prior to pickup.

Specials this year include tasting tickets for sampling items including black walnuts, elderflower cordial, black currant liquor, sorrel, black currant jam, garlic mustard pesto, pickled magnolia flowers, and more to be announced.

We will have a limited supply of wild foraged ramps (Allium tricoccum) in bundles of 3 for $5.50, only available if you sign a pledge to plant the bulbs i(leaves can be eaten) in a location where they will be allowed to spread and can be stewarded over the years, to create a new patch, either in a wild location or in your yard/garden. If you visit ANP, you can see how our ramp plantings from two years ago have progressed.

And lastly, our garden friend at Amaranth Press and Bindery is preparing a limited run of waterproof, hand bound, 3×5″ gardening journals at $12 each. Pictures to come!

Spring Alchemical Events to Put on Your Calendar

Sunday April 16

Garden Art Sign Painting at Lydia’s Threads in the Gear Factory during Open Studios. From 12 noon – 4 pm. See Flyer below.

Saturday April 22

Garden Opening, Clean-up and Resource Drive at 610 Gifford Community Garden.  From 9 am -11 am – please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/719418079669166 or reply to this thread.

Garden Opening, Clean-up and REsource Drive at Rahma Food Forest Snack Garden.  From 11 am -1 pm – Please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/875032666918815 or reply to this thread

Saturday April 29

700 Block Otisco Commons Lot Clean-up and Pizza Party. From 11 am – 12:30 pm. More details to come. Experience how we are turning a vacant lot into a common space for block neighbors to hang out and interact.

Bike Depot Spring Volunteer Clean-up and Organizing Session.  From 4 pm – 6 pm.  Please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/743790820727485 or reply to this thread.

Saturday May 13

Annual Plant Sale Fundraiser. Pre-Orders Opening Soon.

2023 Season Launch Letter from the President a.k.a. UPDATE from FRANK about HIS TIME, ALCHEMICAL projects, and YOUR PLACE IN IT

False springs and second winters and everything in between has thoughts leaning into the growing season, as I’m sure it does with you too.  But here we are entering into astrological spring on Monday (March 21st).  Four SUNY-ESF students from the Society of Ecological Restoration got in touch already and we hosted them Sunday February 26th along with two other community volunteers (alongside Ursula and I) for a pruning workshop and work session at Rahma.

I’m writing today to inform y’all how I plan to proceed with managing my time as the steward leader and project/garden coordinator for Alchemical Nursery’s sites in 2023. So thanks for reading as it’s important for me, for you to know my commitments and abilities moving forward this season since I am changing a number of things around.

1) Since we don’t have a current stewardship team or Lead for Rahma Forest Garden, I won’t be able to schedule regular work sessions on the calendar, and they will be on a needed and wanted basis according to contacts and plans, such as the SUNY-ESF students reaching out a few weeks back.  Do you want to be a Lead for a Rahma team and schedule?  If so, please be in touch.  Do you want to schedule a session for you and your friends, peers, colleagues, workmates?

2) I will not be attending regular Saturdays at 610 Gifford St Garden this year (either the regular 11 AM sessions or the 9 AM sessions we move to during the Summer heat).  Instead, I will be moving my energy and effort at those Saturday times to The Depot project which needs some dedicated and regular participation from me to keep it flowing into being.  If anyone wants to be a Lead for 610 in my absence please let me know.  We’re also looking for more bed adopters, read on for more on that.

3) This switch away from 610 Gifford for me personally is possible for a couple reasons this year.  First, last year we hired out a contractor to mow paths and edges at 610 Gifford and the Depot, this freed up tons of my time, think at least 60-90 minutes bi-weekly from May – September.  That’s almost 30 hours of my time savedYou can contribute to our general fund to help with this cost at https://www.nfggive.org/donation/45-0594407.   Second, we have transitioned much of 610 Gifford to perennials (almost all of it) over the last couple years, and on top of that, last year we started our ADOPT-A-BED efforts, and 5 people (myself, Ursula, Susan, Carrie, Kathryn) agreed to adopt a bed section of 610 to manage and weed and care for on their timeschedule (but visiting at least bi-weekly).

4) The Alchemical Nursery Project Inc as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 operates it’s main office out of my home at Bitternut Homestead on 717 Otisco St.  As a result, I do a lot of Alchemical tasks at the home site, including a large extent of propagation and potting for our annual plant sale.  In order to maintain the continuity and the sustainability of Alchemical and its projects, and the historical 10 years of effort that have gone into Bitternut and the gardens that Alchemical uses there, I am in the process of converting the homestead ownership from myself to a cooperative corporation.  This requires a large amount of my time as well in regard to networking outreach, recruiting, advertising, legal and accounting work, and more.  Once this conversion occurs, one of the other benefits will be that I hope to have a return of some of my time on this effort, as well a more balanced time commitment and recruitment from me at the Homestead due to having multiple owners, investors, and community governance.  This is important for you to know, because you are some of the possible community support members who may choose to invest in ownership and management of Bitternut to continue its efforts for affordable and ecological housing.  See the project details and prospectus at   https://bitternutcooperativehomestead.wordpress.com/

5) Alchemical is taking ownership of a new piece of property this Spring, and some of my time will also be shifted there, at least during the initial development stages.  HHQ has agreed to sale us the vacant lot at 711 Otisco St (which is actually in the middle of 610 Gifford, Bitternut, and the Depot spatially!), instead of them acquiring a zoning variance to build on this narrower than normal lot.  The plan is for it to become a community controlled commons space, under the guidance and management of 700 Block Committee of the Alchemical Nursery, which is possible thanks to the newest Board members starting this year – Tina Zagyva and Dustin Regner.  This will not be a new community garden, though we will have plantings, but it is intended to be a gathering place, a common area for outdoor meetings, or collection and distribution (We will likely be moving the Otisco St Little Free Library and possibly the Free Pantry to this lot location).  We don’t have many “third spaces” in our world as we used to, and I believe that every block should have one within site and shouting distance, so this is the model I’m trying to share here.

6) I’m taking control of as much of my time as I can strategically, and hoping that others will be able to contribute some of theirs in an equitable way if they believe in and support these projects, and want them to continue.  Here’s where you might come in:

  • We need more adopters for beds at Gifford and Rahma.
  • We need a Steward Lead for Rahma who can do event and session scheduling and facilitating.
  • We need more Board members, we have 5 and would like a minimum of 7.
  • We need you as a $1 per month supporting member, that’s only $12 per year from you.  If everyone on this email list gave $1 per month we would have $744, enough to pay for our annual administrative costs of insurance, website, and basic supplies.  Sign on at https://www.patreon.com/alchemicalnursery

Tanks for reading, thanks for your support, and thanks for believing in this vision for ecological lifestyles and landscapes in Syracuse.

~ Frank

Traveling Seed Hub

With great thanks to the #CooperativeGardensCommission at Cooperative Gardens Commission we have received a seed hub package in the mail to distribute locally! These will be available at all of the Alchemical Nursery and Bitternut Homestead on Otisco Street community events, including our Earth Day activities, our regular volunteer work sessions at the gardens, and even our open workshops at the Depot. Plus anywhere else we happen to be present for an event or activity. The bulk seed packs are meant to be divided into smaller packs as you need for your own garden (we have coin size envelopes for that purpose for you to use). In total, the amount contained in all of these bulk packets on average, can provide 300 family-sized seed bundles. #cooperatives #seeds #seedhub #syracuseny