Monthly Archives: March 2018

Planting the seeds of sustainable urban gardens in Syracuse

Adding to Alchemical Nursery In The News, here’s a throwback to article “Planting the seeds of sustainable urban gardens in Syracuse” from 2015:

The article details some of Alchemical Nursery’s origins, quotes leaders of the Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden at the Rahma Free Health Clinic, and shares some of the hopes that animated the organization years ago and still today. Frank Cetera, co-founder and current president of Alchemical Nursery, is quoted: “A lot of people that don’t have a high income can’t afford produce,” he said. “We can help reduce the overall load to tax payers and social services agencies by providing a resource for people to grow their own food.” Get involved!

ANP President Joins PAN Educators Pledge

The Alchemical Nursery Project’s President and Co-Founder Frank Cetera has joined the initial cohort of early adopters in taking the Permaculture Association of the Northeast’s Educators Pledge.  

“PAN’s Permaculture Educators’ Pledge is a voluntary commitment to uphold integrity in permaculture education. It describes a set of best practices permaculture educators use to design and teach their classes and events. This Pledge was created so that permaculture practitioners in our region, from beginners to emerging leaders, receive high-quality educational experiences and mentorship. It clarifies expectations in permaculture educational experiences and allows students to know teachers that sign the pledge honor and are committed to these practices.

This Pledge is a “living” document. PAN will continue to work to create opportunities for continued learning, sharing, feedback and suggestions regarding this pledge to ensure it continues to reflect the network’s values and desired best practices. These community-developed education practices were co-created BY members of the network FOR members of the network over a multi-year period, including input from the 2014 NAPC POC and Allies caucus. Those who sign the Pledge may advertise this designation on their websites and outreach materials. Permaculture educators who adhere to the Pledge must sign it annually. PAN does not make any guarantee that the individual educator is complying with the Pledge, though the network is open to exploring methods of increasing accountability.


Honor and acknowledge the indigenous origins and techniques in permaculture. 
Teach to a diversity of learning styles, abilities and experiences. 
Teach to reach- auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. 
Accommodate access; i.e hold classes in spaces that are ADA compliant, scent free, allow for interpreters
or translators. 
Conduct the classroom as a safe space for learning. We do not discriminate based on race, gender, sexual
orientation, ability, immigration status. 
Recognize and engage students as bearers of knowledge. 
Cultivate ample diversity in the classroom. 
Are transparent with curriculum, teachers’ qualifications, and teachers’ bios by posting them on your
website and/or promotional materials. 
Share syllabus, daily schedule, etc. with all prospective and registered students. 
Cite or acknowledge material used or built upon from other teachers and sources. 
Design in breaks and easy access for food, water, and bathroom. 
Articulate and model a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. 
Create mechanisms for feedback from students. 
Read and incorporate feedback into future teaching. 
Teach with diverse teaching teams, and highlight the work of women, people of color and other marginalized groups in case studies, field trips, works cited, etc. 
Highlight and connect with local teachers, projects and community members. 
Decrease financial and other barriers for attendance, i.e sliding scale, early bird pricing, payment plans, work trade, scholarships, child-care, weekend formats. 
Pay a living wage or offer equitable barter to all guest teachers, assistant teachers and organizers. 
Create opportunities for continued mentorship and pathways to leadership. 

For full details on the pledge visit

Member Patrons Benefits and Supports

Become a member patron today by giving only $1 per month ($12 annually or more if you can), and support our ongoing projects:

  • caring for and growing 3 plant communities (gardens),
  • plant sale and swap,
  • film events (this year we will feature “Project Wild Thing” as part of the Gifford/Artrage What If? series),
  • curating information for followers on social media,
  • leading community clean-ups in 2 neighborhoods for Earth Day/Clean Up Cuse,
  • continuation of the garden art signs project,
  • SALT-CNY list-serv

and some new projects:

  • partnership and fiscal sponsorship with Spark Art Space,
  • lionhearted zine gallery in the wild,
  • seed saving and seed library introduction to Syracuse,
  • Board diversity campaign,
  • 2nd location/date for the spring plant swap/sale added to calendar –
  • and more to come, with more details about each of these projects in abundance.

Please donate today as we celebrate 10 years of serving the Permaculture/CNY Community.

NOTE: $12 minimum annual patrons receive one free garden art sign yearly (extra signs available to purchase for $10 each); and $10 in credit to our annual plant sale.