Category Archives: General

Sustainability, Agriculture, Landscape, Transition ListServ Launches!! – SALT-CNY

Salt represents the action of thought on matter, be it the One Mind acting on the One Thing of the universe or the alchemist meditating in his inner laboratory.

SALT-CNY listserv logo

SALT-CNY listserv logo

SYRACUSE, NY, JANUARY 16, 2017 – The Alchemical Nursery Project, Inc. and Partnering Hosts today announced the launch of a new e-mail list for people in Syracuse and Central New York who are interested in the topics of Sustainability, Agriculture, Landscaping, and/or Transition (toward greater resilience, reduced environmental impact, and stronger local economies).

Called SALT-CNY, this listserv is to will facilitate connections, information sharing and communications among groups and individuals dealing with these environmental topics.

Robbie Coville, a board member of Alchemical Nursery, who helped set the listserv up, said: “There are many ways we can improve our ways of life, reducing our negative environmental impacts, enhancing our positive impacts, and cultivating resilience in the face of economic and ecological changes and challenges.

“By connecting people around these topics in our region, SALT-CNY will germinate new ideas, and foster possible collaborations that will benefit the environment and the community.”

This mailing list is public; it is being set up and maintained by The Alchemical Nursery Project, Inc. and hosted by Lists.RiseUp.net, both non-profit organizations that run on mutual aid. SALT-CNY will be operating with the support of many volunteers and such partnering organizations as Mainstream Green, Inc.; Bread and Roses Collective House; Climate Change Awareness & Action; and the Whole Earth Club at Onondaga Community College.

To join SALT-CNY listserv. people need only to send an email to salt-cny-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. They will receive a confirmation email, then will be added to the list once approved by a moderator.

Says Mr. Coville: “We hope people will join us, subscribing to this listserv and participating in conversations, helping organize a movement transitioning to more widely prosperous ways that support the ecosystems which support us.”

Alchemical Nursery, a local permaculture non-profit and Syracuse’s Food-Not-Lawns chapter, works toward the mission of regenerative lifestyles & landscapes using the principles of permaculture. Learn more online at alchemicalnursery.org or facebook.com/alchemicalnursery.

RiseUp.net provides online communication tools for people and groups working on liberatory social change. RiseUp.net is a project to create democratic alternatives and practice self-determination by controlling our own secure means of communications.

“Be The Crowd vs Climate Change” is the slogan for Mainstream Green, Inc., the New York 501C -3 nonprofit corporation that uses media and grassroots outreach to popularize habits that cut waste and pollution while shrinking use of fossil fuels. Learn more online at mainstreamgreen.org or facebook.com/mainstream2green.

The Bread and Roses Collective House is a non-profit organization that provides a model of cooperative living, ecological sustainability, and affordable housing in the heart of the city. Learn more online at breadandrosescollective.org or facebook.com/breadandrosescollective.

Climate Change Awareness & Action is a group of CNY residents working toward ‘net zero’ in home energy use and other climate saving actions. Founder Pete Wirth comments “There will always be small numbers of us interested in [living with greater self-sufficiency, resilience, and reduced negative impact on the world]. The challenge is to get these ideas to the 1/2 million people who live in Onondaga County!”

For more information, contact: Robbie Coville rcoville@syr.edu 516-840-9692   or   The Alchemical Nursery Project, Inc. info@alchemicalnursery.org 315-308-1372

SALT-CNY listserv sign-up

Balkan Ecology Project takes note on value of diversity in polyculture gardens

The Balkan Ecology Project is finding success with regenerative design, and is taking to sharing the fruits of their labor through literal fruits (available through their Bio-Nursery Project) and through open-source, empirical note keeping on the inputs, outputs, and observations of their permaculture projects.

At the end of their Market Garden Study – Year 2 post, they share more on what their research is about:

If you are reading this you’re most probably aware of the environmental damage caused by industrial agricultural practices We believe this damage is unnecessary, and aim to provide healthier models of agriculture that yield nutritious affordable food while at the same time promoting biodiversity and general ecosystem health.

Industrial methods are heavily researched and funded, and there is a general belief among many farmers and growers that this is the only practical way of operating. Following 12 years of cultivating polyculture gardens we are seeing that small scale biologically cultivated polyculture gardens are a realistic and practical way of providing food for humans whilst preserving biodiversity and general health in the environment. Furthermore we believe this type of agriculture can help create thriving local economies that strengthen community, provide dignified work and enhance the amenity value of an area.

Little data exists showing the productive capacity of polyculture systems and the economic viability of them. There is a big need to fill this gap and provide solid data and concise coherent models that can be replicated easily and provide real solutions to the environmental damage caused by industrial agriculture. This project intends to go some of the way in filling this gap.

We aim to address the following questions;

  • How productive can polycultures be?
  • What advantages can polycultures provide ?
  • How much time do polyculture gardens take to establish and manage?
  • How economically viable are these gardens?
  • How bio-diverse can our food producing systems be?
  • Can we provide clean, nutritious, affordable food whilst enhancing biodiversity?

You can read that full study here:
https://balkanecologyproject.blogspot.ca/2016/12/the-polyculture-market-garden-study.html

As noted, the Balkan Ecology Project’s research is open source, and you can see all their data on their publicly viewable Google spreadsheet. They also express openness to share their sheets and discuss with others who want to undertake similar research.

Citizen Science: Testing a small-scale rapid aerated composting system for urban environments

Update January 4, 2017: Success! With an abundance of support for this research, the project earned sufficient funds to proceed with the study, and was awarded a $500 grant for placing first in amount of pledged supporters for the project by a common deadline between other projects within the realm of Cities & Transportation on Experiment.com! Thanks for supporting this citizen scientist, Syracuse resident, and backyard forest gardener in their proactive research efforts – we look forward to learning from his findings, and putting them to practice!


A local Syracuse resident is engaging their passion for environmental science and waste management with composting. Through crowdfunding, Ethan Bodnaruk hopes to kick off a science project to explore efficient, decentralized composting systems that can be used throughout Syracuse and other cities around the world. Here is an excerpt from Ethan’s research proposal:

Urban food and yard wastes can contribute in multiple ways to greenhouse gas production and water pollution. But they can instead be transformed into resources through efficient neighborhood-scale composting. I will test and demonstrate the use of a novel small-scale aerated composting system for rapid composting coupled with bicycle-powered collection of neighborhood yard and food wastes. I aim to make it simple and fine-tuned enough to replicate in many locations.

Ethan with compost piles

Almost half way through the crowdfunding campaign, the experiment is just over 50% funded. If you have the means, would you contribute? Visit this experiment’s proposal page to learn more about his qualifications, research idea, its significance and its goals. In any case, this may be something worth considering and sharing to help cities achieve increased resilience, less environmental footprint and degradation, and greater community empowerment and connectivity. Continue reading →

SALT-CNY listserv kick-off approaching

With the beginning of 2017, we are launching the SALT-CNY e-mailing list to serve and connect people in and around Syracuse and Central New York who are interested in and working on the topics of Sustainability, Agriculture, Landscaping, and/or Transition.

SALT-CNY listserv sign-up

To sign on as part of the initial cohort please send an email with your full name (First and Last) and email address to info@alchemicalnursery.org, along with the name of an organization you represent if applicable. Continue reading →

THANK YOU for Supporting Alchemical Nursery in the SeedMoney Crowdfunding Challenge

We have met our goal in the matched grant crowdfunding challenge through SeedMoney! You helped us raise $600 in donations within a month and we’re now eligible for an additional $400. Thank you! We hope you can come to the Gifford St. Community Garden to enjoy its fruits and help put these funds to use!

Take a look at our SeedMoney page to see how we intend to use it at the 610 Gifford St Community Garden and make a contribution.


Alchemical Nursery description on Idealist.org

You can see a clear & concise overview of what the Alchemical Nursery Project is about on our Idealist.org page:

http://www.idealist.org/view/nonprofit/z4f3NfKk4K5P/

Salt City Sorcerers: Alchemical Nursery article on Jerk Magazine

An article about the Alchemical Nursery Project which shares some background history, an overview of founding and ongoing intentions, and some outside perspectives.

Alchemical Nursery members believe that integrating permacultural methods will save energy, eliminate waste, and pave the way toward increased sustainability and self-sufficiency. The organization’s efforts also focus on providing an economic and social catalyst for urban areas by weaving agriculture into Syracuse’s inner city.

Read more here: http://www.jerkmagazine.net/salt-city-sorcerers-alchemical-nursery/

Hello world!

Welcome to the web site of the Alchemical Nursery project! What can we create together towards a sustainable future…?

We have recently installed WordPress software and are in the process of editing and creating the initial pages and content of this new website. You can register an account and then write posts and share information on our site – see our About page for our Vision and Mission which contributions should adhere to. Please be respectful.

Contact us at info [at] alchemcialnursery.org or the Alchemical Nursery page on Facebook.