Author Archives: sandramc

Many Hands (and Feet) Did Great Work!

Yesterday we hosted our first annual “Slow Food NYC Dig In” at Ujima Garden. There were close to 3o volunteers who showed up for a day of hard work. We got tons of work done and then celebrated our efforts with a delicious pot-luck lunch. We built a new 3 bin composter, prepared the beds for fall planting, started a new mural, installed new shelving in the classroom and much more.

I would like to send a big shout out of thanks to all the Slow Food members who volunteered their time and effort to make our Dig-In such a fantastic success.


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Slow Food NYC is sponsoring a work day at Ujima this Saturday, September 25th from 10am – 4pm. If you want to help us put the gardens to bed, paint a mural, re-upholster chairs or fix up the classroom, come on by.

At 4pm, we will share a potluck supper, so bring something to share.

See you then!

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Ujima Hosts Hecksher for Garden Workday

Today the students from Ujima Garden invited the gang from Hecksher Garden to come over for a workday. The Ujima students were super excited about being team leaders and hosts. When they arrived, we quickly split up into work teams: weeding, painting, watering, harvesting and snack making. We all worked together for about an hour and a half and got a lot done. We harvested 15 cucumbers, 6 bunches of swiss chard, 18 bunches of kale, 15 bunches of collards, 11 bunches of basil and 5 bunches of Thai basil. There were also cherry tomatoes¬† but they all got eaten before we could count ’em.

We made 3 types of bruschetta from our harvest: tomato, pesto and sauteed swiss chard.

Thursday is our last day. We have about 15 ripe eggplants hanging off the vine and we plan on making an eggplant stirfry and serving it with a watermelon salsa.

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We Are in the News!

Take a look at our kids in action!

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McLeod – International Celebration

We made homemade corn tortillas, Vietnamese spring rolls, pasta with pesto, and zucchini salad.

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A Greenmarket Adventure

On Wednesday, we took the kids from Ujima and Hecksher to the Greenmarket at Union Square. Things got off to a rocky start as none of the kids from the YMCA showed up at Hecksher. It turned out that there was some sort of problem with the counselor/student ratio for the trip, so they couldn’t come along. We were sad that they couldn’t join us. That said, there were still 12 kids and that was about all that could fit into the education tent at one time…so perhaps it was for the best.

One of the biggest ongoing challenges for the teachers has been trying to get the partner camps’ schedules to jive with our camp’s schedule.¬† I have to say that the teachers have been amazingly resourceful with their ability to make everything work. Next year we will have to set our partnerships earlier to make sure that everything is clear among all the parties.

Back to the Greenmarket. It was hot! Holley (our uber dedicated Slow Food NYC vice chair)  bought a big container of lemon cider from Red Jacket to get the kids properly watered before the teacher from Greenmarket got started. Once the teacher arrived, she gave a nicely interactive presentation about farms and farmers. I was so proud of our kids. They were engaged and asked lots of great questions.

Then, we all went on a short tour: we visited Andrew and his bees (what a character!), the fish stand, the ostrich farmer, the goat farmer and lots of vegetable farmers. Most of the kids had never tried honey before and none of them had ever seen an ostrich egg. They were fascinated. Do you know how many chicken eggs fit inside an ostrich egg?

Next, we were off on a scavenger hunt to find all sorts of local treats and at the same time spend our “Snail Bucks”. Each student got a certificate to spend $2 at the stands. This, not surprisingly, was the hit of the day. The farmers were generous and they came away with bags of fruit, a cantaloupes and other goodies. Some of the kids tried their hand at bargaining and, from what I saw, did quite well!

A great trip!


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Worm Composting at Hecksher

Creepy, Crawly, and Fun. Here are some pictures of Sonya with her students getting the worm bins ready and saying hello to her new garden buddies.

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