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 →

Annual Winter Potluck image

Annual Winter Potluck – 2016

Join us on Sunday January 29th from 6 pm – 8 pm
for our Annual Potluck and Angel Card Ceremony
at the Bitternut Homestead, 717 Otisco St Syracuse, NY 13204.

We’ll share food, enjoy a burning fire, pull Angel Cards, create art, and catch up. Vegan food is preferable for sharing. BYOB.

Share and RSVP on the Facebook page for this event if you can, and in any case, feel free to come and bring good company!

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.


Equality, liberty, and efficiency – finding a balance

Our society has skyrocketed in efficiency. I see this efficiency and how it’s been a long-time in the making. I also see in politics how the left-right arguments tend to highlight a supposed battle of equality vs liberty-and-efficiency. How, if at all, does liberty and efficiency go together nowadays, and how does our prioritization of efficiency impact equality?

I think our preference for efficiency has led us to an imbalanced state. In mainstream tendencies, I see that we prioritize efficiency highest of all. Because of this, equality has suffered, and even liberty is at loss; concentrating power in few makes it more difficult for the many individuals and common goods to reach real opportunities and to contribute to their personal and our collective potential. What kind of liberty do I have in a setting rigged[1] by powerful few, keeping their own high-and-mighty interests & direction in mind? What kind of liberty can both my neighbors and I enjoy, if we found our success in debt-based finances[2]? Though I hear folks claiming to fight for liberty by supporting high prioritization of efficiency, I see the preference for extreme efficiency breeds an authoritarian oligarchy, destroying liberty in the same breath as it blocks equality; destroying our common resources and environment in the same breath as it blocks the human spirit.

Liberty is something important in the middle I think. In libertarian philosophy there are subsets which sway to the left, favoring equality, and subsets which sway to the right, favoring efficiency. What is the middle ground? In the United States, we are familiar with the word as we pledge our allegiance “…with Liberty and Justice for All.” How can we move in this middle way?[3] The last word of that pledge is “All.” The core value of equality comes from that word “All” and its meaning, and it fits naturally in a saying calling for liberty and justice.

Statue of Liberty with Sunset (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BAI_wySCcAEOgaK.jpg)

Continue reading →

Gardening Day at 610 Gifford St

Don’t miss our opening Gardening Day at the 610 Gifford St Community Garden on Saturday April 23rd from 1 pm – 3 pm.  It’s a good opportunity to come and meet one of Syracuse’s newest community gardens, in the heart of the Near West Side.  Plants and tools will be provided, you only have to show up.

April 23 2016 Gardening Day Capture

Starhawk Audio Archived from Syracuse 02.24.16

DSCN0042Select audio portions of Starhawk‘s visit to Syracuse on February 24th, 2016 courtesy of The Alchemical Nursery Project.  Both clips PART 1 and PART 2 are about 30 minutes in length each.

Don’t forget to sign up for our plant swap this spring, and/or plan to come for the sale.

And finally, if you appreciate the Permaculture work we are doing here in Syracuse as a 100% volunteer run and operated organization, please consider being a supporting member of our $1 for Permaculture Club ($1 per month for 12 months = $12 annual donation, please give more if you can, try $2 per month :>)

PART 1

PART 2

Perennial Plant Swap & Sale on May Day!

Natives and edible perennials, with Bread and Roses Collective
405 Westcott Street, Syracuse
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Sunday, May 1, 2016
Swap: 10am (pre-register)
Sale: 11:30am-2pm
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Berry bushes, shrubs, rain garden plants, ferns and perennial vegetables! All welcome at the sale, but you must have at least 10 appropriate plants and pre-register to participate in the swap. Proceeds benefit the urban planting work of the Alchemical Nursery Project and Bread & Roses Collective.
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Details & Registration: 315.422.4924
jessica@breadandrosescollective.org
www.facebook.com/breadandrosescollective
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www.alchemicalnursery.org
www.facebook.com/alchemicalnursery
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https://www.facebook.com/events/1055103591213510/
Swap Images CaptureSwap Info Capture