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

 

 

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 →

Permaculture Principle #6: Produce No Waste

Waste not, want not.

What of a tree goes to waste in a tree-based community (a forest)?

Everybody eats, everybody gets eaten. If not for you, what is this food for? Earthworms or entropy itself?

What are you made of? See what you can do!

June 15 and 16 Sessions / How THE ANP PDC Works

Hi PDC learners!  Our next Sessions are this Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday June 15, at 610 Gifford Garden at 11:00 AM

Come together at the 610 Gifford St Community Garden this Saturday June 15th at 11:30 for a hot dog, and a chance to give your input on where the South Geddes Street Business District Wayfinding Signs should point to, and what should be highlighted in the Near Westside or Skiunk City neighborhood. Find out more about how we are planning this project with https://walkyourcity.org/

Those who arrive at 11:00 AM and participate in the learning discussion will have a chance to earn a Permaculture Design Certificate Badge on the topic of Urban Permaculture. Learn more about our free PDC diploma course at http://alchemicalnursery.org/blog/get-involved/the-anp-pdc-a-slow-local-permaculture-education/  We also hope you might help with some garden weeding, as growing season has kicked in!

On Sunday June 16, at Rahma Forest Garden at 11:00 AM
(3100 South Salina St)

We’ll consider this a session on introduction to Permaculture and Forest Gardening from the perspective of sharing more of the site history and strategic plan, sharing with each other our experiences in the fields, and working on more biomass management, through sheet mulching!  Still need to make an event page so stay tuned, but it’s on the calendar, so please share!


Learning Session is comprised of a 20-30 minute Lecture/Discussion led by the Instructor (all Instructors must be current PDC diploma holders), plus a 30-40 minute Hands-On Experience.  Learning Sessions are based upon Curriculum Topics from the Permaculture Institute of North America PDC Curriculum at https://pina.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/CoreCurriculum.pdf

Students must complete at least one Learning Session for each Curriculum Topic (26 in total = 26 hours towards completed diploma).  Some topics will require multiple hours of participation, and small group participation, such as Topic 25 – Design Projects and Presentations.
Reference Materials are made available prior to each Learning Session to those registered.  The Reference Materials are what the Instructor draws primary Lecture/Discussion information from for each Learning Session, in addition to Instructor personal knowledge and experience, and site specifics. Students are highly encouraged to read Reference Materials prior to each Learning Session.
One additional hour per topic can be obtained through Self-Directed Continuing Education in which the Instructor assigns a Reading or Viewing after the Learning Session, and then presents one or more queries to the student related to the Reading or Viewing, in which the student is asked to respond with a minimum 250 word answer.
A Total of 72 hours are required for PDC Diploma completion.