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!