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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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MENTION: Syracuse gardens offer residents sense of community during pandemic

“For residents in food deserts, community gardens can offer inexpensive access to high-quality produce.

“If you can save $20 on your food costs, that can be significant for some families who are in a lower income bracket,” said Frank Cetera, who operates the Edible Forest Snack Garden on South Salina Street.

Cetera saw increased interest in community gardening after the pandemic began. Many people, such as Lane, were simply looking for an outlet and a reason to leave the house.

The Salina Street garden, which allows any Syracuse resident to pick food from the plants growing there, is open 24/7, Cetera said.

“Good food, organically-grown food, is not cheap,” Cetera said. “You can spend a couple dollars just on a small container of raspberries, but we have many berries available for picking at our gardens so every little bit helps.”

Cetera is also the president of the Alchemistry Nursery Project, which promotes urban agriculture in Syracuse. Through conferencing sessions, he and other members of the project have offered advice on gardening and answered questions about how people can start gardens at home, he said.

“Some people who are more susceptible to coronavirus may not want to come into a garden space even if it is outdoors because there are a lot of people in that space,” Cetera said. “So we help them in their own homes by sending (raised beds) out and giving them seeds and so forth.””

Read the full story at http://dailyorange.com/2020/09/syracuse-gardens-offer-residents-sense-community-pandemic/

 

 

Win-Win-Win Campaign: ANP Paid Garden Stewards Program

Our Fall/Winter/Spring fundraising campaign this year will be to raise a pool of funds to use as stipends for paid labor of community members doing stewardship and maintenance work on our community growing and public harvest sites.

OUR WIN-WIN-WIN CAMPAIGN

GIVE AT https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/anp-paid-garden-stewards-program

One of our challenges through the years has been recruiting enough volunteers to maintain and steward our project sites. As our project sites grow, that challenge is even greater and more important.  Alchemical Nursery started public forest gardening in 2012 with the creation of the Rahma Edible Food Forest Snack Garden in the Southside at 3100 South Salina St in partnership with the Rahma Free Health Clinic.  In 2013 we moved our home offices to the Bitternut Homestead on Otisco St, where we manage the propagation and potting for our annual Spring native, edible perennial plants fundraising sale in partnership with the Bread and Roses Collective. In 2015, we developed the 610 Gifford Street Community Garden on a leased Land Bank property.  In 2018 we began stewarding the Gifford Shonnard Meadow Orchard to preserve peach trees, apple trees, and black currant bushes that had been abandoned.  And now in 2020 we are launching The Depot Tool Share, Bike Kitchen, and Seed Library at 713 Marcellus St, in addition to geographically-distributed COVID19 relief efforts including our Raised Beds for Food Sovereignty mutual aid campaign.

Our project sites are located in two of the poorest census tracts in the city.  Syracuse’s census tract 30, the Near Westside, has a median household income of only $12,823; census tract 58, part of the Southside, has a median household income of only $26,364 (https://datausa.io/profile/geo/syracuse-ny/#economy).  In order to bolster the resiliency of these communities, we must bring resources into them. And so we ask for your help in developing our “ANP Paid Garden Stewards Program” by donating to the campaign that will create a pool of money that will be:

  • a WIN for residents of our project site communities by providing paid working hours;
  • a WIN for Alchemical in providing a much higher level of needed maintenance and development of the project sites than can be achieved on a volunteers-only basis;
  • a WIN for Syracuse by enhancing and demonstrating the ecological and economic value of community growing landscapes as a integral part of our city to be initiated and nurtured.

We hold no naive notions that we will be able to hire full-time staff in the next year. Nonetheless we know that for many people (for example previously incarcerated persons re-entering the workforce, students needing part-time work, or people working in low-wage jobs seeking to supplement their income with fulfilling hands-on work), the need is great and we hope to provide:

  • some income from honest-to-goodness, dirt-under-your-fingernails, sweat-on-the-nape-of-your-neck, fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-in-your-arms work,
  • skillbuilding,
  • connection to neighborhood greening project sites and residents.

Please help by contributing to the Paid Garden Stewards Program – https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/anp-paid-garden-stewards-program

Our goal is to raise $11,683.20 which will provide for employment of one or more individuals from April through October for a total of 600 stewardship hours at one or more of our project sites. This will be our biggest campaign raise of funds from our supporters and members in the history of our activism, but after 10 years of operations and resilience, we can take this next step with you. This will move us forward in a proactive vision of a garden city that provides right livelihood in ecological landscaping and food production The challenge is to convert more of your personal charitable budget to land-based educational and work assets that gives people work towards right livelihood, while growing greater momentum over time, for people who are struggling in our community.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

BASE GOAL: 20 hours/week for 30 weeks (from April-October) at $16/hour living wage rate = $9,600 gross wage payments. Plus 8% wage taxes ($768).  Plus 6.7% workers comp NYS Insurance Fund rate for class code 0042 Landscape Gardening ($643.20). Total cost = $11,011.20.  

STRETCH GOAL: Our stretch goal for any monies raised above and beyond this initial amount will be used for engaging the services of a payroll/human resources agency to provide an employee handbook, handle check writing, and provide tax and insurance oversight for our employees.

GIVE AT https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/anp-paid-garden-stewards-program

 

Stewards Team List and Communications

We have a special email list for those who are actively involved in steward work at our project sites. It is a weekly update on progress and next steps, event scheduling, and other odds and ends.  If you would like to be included, please email info@alchemicalnursery.org with your request.  Here is a sample of the emails from the past couple weeks:

July 28th 2020 ANP Stewards Reports and Project Site Updates

First raised bed install

July 22nd 2020 ANP Stewards Reports and Project Site Updates

GENERAL
We still have 1 position in our Board of Directors to fill currently, have you considered serving in this way yet?  Please contact me with questions you may have.
Our 713 Marcellus St Lending Library site is now on a secure server and is now accepting payments for memberships.  Pledge your support by becoming a paying member today. Visit https://alchemicalnursery.lend-engine.com/ to join us.
610 GIFFORD ST COMMUNITY GARDEN
We will be meeting at 9 am this Saturday at Gifford garden.  Lots of currant harvest still available.  We’re in prime growing season, so necessary to stay on top of weeding. Fence repairs also need made, and shade cloth finish installation.  Let me know if you know you’ll be coming. Here’s Susan’s report from the past few weeks: “Welcome back!  I hope it was cooler where you traveled to than it has been in Syracuse.  Kathy and I were at the Gifford St. garden at 9:00 yesterday and on July 11 (she was also there on July 4).  We weeded; trimmed unruly plants; harvested raspberries, currants, radishes, and yarrow; and staked up some sprawling tomato plants.  (More tomato cages are needed.)  Fortunately, a couple of good rainstorms have kept the garden watered for the past two weeks, so we haven’t yet had to use the hydrant and raggedy hoses.”
As Susan mentioned, we need tomato cages, if you have any extra in the back of your garage or basement and want to donate, please let us know and bring them by.
RAHMA EDIBLE FOOD FOREST GARDEN
We are planning to go on Friday evening to harvest jostaberry and golden currants, they’ll dry up on the bush if we don’t get them soon, I picked a whole quart in only 5 minutes the other day, so it’s not too time consuming.  if you join us we’ll also do some trash pickup and weeding of the front corner.  Contact me via this thread so we can coordinate a time to meet that is best for everyone who’s coming.
 
Please bring a haul of cardboard if you can for our stash so we can continue sheet-mulching. 
713 MARCELLUS STREET DEPOT
Likely will be at 713 some point Saturday afternoon or evening, time to be determined based on a number of factors.  One of which is we are hoping to do the first trial install of the metal raised beds we are providing as mutual aid, and are scheduling that right now; will update the group once I know more.
OTHER
The Oswego Shonnard Orchard Meadow is also flowing with black currants, we picked 6 quarts in a half hour on Sunday, please visit if you’d like to harvest (701 Oswego St, corner with Shonnard St).

Raised Beds for Food Sovereignty Mutual Aid

WHAT IS IT

Do you struggle to afford fresh food? Do you wish you had the tools and resources to grow your own vegetables? Apply to The Raised Beds for Food Sovereignty Mutual Aid program to request a raised garden bed, soil, seeds, and gardening instruction for your household.
With support from the Gifford Foundation, The Alchemical Nursery Project is able to provide 15 raised garden beds to 15 households in Syracuse, NY that face financial and health vulnerability (based on U.N. and C.D.C guidelines).

WHO IS ELIGIBLE

If you fall into any of the following categories below you will be considered a priority recipient while materials supplies last. We do not have the capacity to analyze all applicant’s personal data or health records, so we are using the honor system, based upon what you tell us. The raised beds and materials will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from those applying who fall into these categories:

HOW TO APPLY

Requests are accepted on a rolling basis; the first round of submissions that have been received will be processed starting on Wednesday June 17th. Requests must include:
  • Your Name, Address, and Contact Information,
  • Your Risk Category from the list above,
  • Why you are interested in receiving a raised bed,
  • and what support you will need gardening.

Submit requests via:

  • email to info@alchemicalnursery.org; OR
  • Text or phone call to 315-308-1372; OR
  • FB message to https://www.facebook.com/AlchemicalNursery, OR
  • Postal letter to 717 Otisco St, Syracuse, NY 13204; OR
  • Come in person to 610 Gifford St Community Garden on Saturdays at 11:00 AM

Spring Crowdfunding Campaign for the Marcellus Street Gardening and Bicycling Center

Crowdfunding a community resource tool library and materials depot for gardening, bicycling, and home landscaping.  Building capacity for food sovereignty, mobility needs, and pride in home and self.

For our spring fundraiser, The Alchemical Nursery is announcing the creation of the Marcellus Street Gardening and Bicycling Center.  The project began with the goal of saving another green space from going under the pavement of another developer for a parking lot.  That campaign was successful, and now we’re moving on to developing the small structure on the back of the site.

See all the details of the project, including the budget, and make your donation at https://ioby.org/project/marcellus-street-gardening-and-bicycling-center

All donations will be matched 1 for 1 by Ioby since the Near Westside is a target neighborhood for The Healthy Neighborhoods Challenge, which “supports residents as they take an active role in creating a culture of health in neighborhoods across New York State”.

 

 

Community Seed Network & Map

The Community Seed Network is here to help facilitate the saving and sharing of seeds. The reasons for saving and sharing seeds are as diverse as the people who are doing the work. Some people in the community seed movement are activists – keeping seed in the public domain by sourcing, swapping, and freely sharing. Others are educators, organizers, innovators, and conservationists – training the next generation of seed savers while helping to secure the world’s biodiversity. And still others are home gardeners – saving and sharing seeds to carry on family and cultural traditions, or simply for the joy it brings them.

via https://www.communityseednetwork.org/why

Benefits of seed saving & sharing:

  • Keeping biodiversity alive
  • Keeping Seed in the public domain.
  • Contributing to the development of regionally adapted (i.e. Landrace) varieties.

Map:

https://www.communityseednetwork.org/map

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 and 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

VIDEO #1: A 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.

VIDEO #2: A tour of garden beds at the 610 Gifford Street Community Garden; and a look at a few edible spring perennials.


2. Garden Advising

Have questions about gardening? Need some advice? 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://bit.ly/SyracuseGardenAdvising). 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.

Our Syracuse & CNY Seed Share document is up and running at https://bit.ly/SyracuseSeedShare

You also may be interested in our CNY Public Harvest map, to source plants and public edibles.

Let us know if you have questions. For now, consider posting what seeds you have to share and your contact info, or reach out for seeds! 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!

To view the Stewardship Team Scheduling spreadsheet, please visit https://bit.ly/AlchemicalStewardshipSchedule and subscribe to our Calendar of Events!


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