Tuesday, November 25, 2014

City Green wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Winter is progressively longer. Cooler days allow us to shift our focus from outdoor gardening and agricultural activities to further developing our programs, appreciating what we have collectively accomplished and preparing for spring. 

Looking back, we have had a dizzying series of successes and fond memories to talk about in upcoming posts. Most importantly, our accomplishments also belong to you because we could not have realized our goals without our community’s immense and consistent support.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and our deep appreciation, City Green wishes to extend our warmest gratitude to ---

The community members and local organizations:

What would City Green be without the communities we live and work in? Our work would have no meaning without the children that learn and grow from our gardens, or the families that come to our kitchen to cook healthy recipes, or the community members that visit our markets to purchase delicious, locally grown food. We are proud to partner with the many organizations and citizens that strive to improve the quality of life in our cities and neighborhoods and through our collective action we undeniably make a difference.

Our sponsors, donors, and funders:

An integral part of City Green’s success is the network of financial support that gives us the fuel to actualize our mission to create happier, healthier and sustainable cities. It cannot be overstated how critically important your donations are to the continual efforts of our staff, programs and partners. Thank you for what you have given City Green that has allowed us to serve local communities for 10 fruitful years (Pun intended)!

All the local municipalities and government officials:

We would like to thank the local municipalities and cities we work with that strive to foster a better, more just future. Not all cities so magnanimously offer their space, resources and support in the ways that they do. Their backing and partnerships help bring a variety of direct action and essential programs to our communities that provide innumerable benefits and instill a true sense of pride.

Our staff, interns, volunteers, friends and families:

And last but certainly not least, City Green would like to thank our staff, interns, volunteers, friends and families, and all those that offer support to our organization and community efforts by consistently giving your time, energy and compassion.

The work is not always easy, but with our collection of talent, commitment, and community support, our mission to create sustainable cities is realized every day. Thank you all and have a wonderful holiday!

From all of us at City Green. Prepared by Colin English.
Colin is a recent graduate of Ramapo College who is now serving with AmeriCorps as a Youth Programming Assistant for City Green.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Celebrating the harvest and reflecting on the past year

 “You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”
 Ernest HemingwayA Moveable Feast

Here on the farm life is slowing down. The fields have been put to rest, markets are coming to an end and we are given time to pause and reflect on the year.

On a farm, workflow is determined by the seasons. Spring is hectic. As the soil warms, a small window is allotted for planting. The heat comes and with it a flush of summer crops. There is little time to collect our thoughts during summer between the weeding and harvesting, but we push on. As the sun rises lower on the horizon and temperatures begin to drop we welcome fall and reap the fruits of our labor. 
Crops at the City Green Farm this summer
Whether it is the German celebration Oktoberfest, the Korean holiday of Chuseok, or the American Thanksgiving, harvest festivals are a time of gratitude and reflection. Many cultures worldwide celebrate the harvest in some form, the focus always a feast with family and friends. In our busy lives today it is easy to forget to slow down and show gratitude for all that we have.  
Sunflowers at the City Green Farm
With Thanksgiving approaching, I want to take this time to thank all of the volunteers and interns who made this year a success. Have a warm and restful winter and I look forward to working with you all again next year.

by Todd Gustafson
Todd is the Urban Farm Manager at City Green.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Building a Brighter Food Future

Food Day was widely celebrated in the US on October 24th. In honor of Food Day, City Green staff made signs about ways they are building a brighter food future. Pictured above are three staff members: Urban Farm Manager, Todd Gustafson; Director of Community Engagement, Jasmine Moreano; and Program Operations Manager, Claudia Urdanivia.

Jasmine is building a brighter food future by "engaging my community about important issues related to food justice, nutrition and the environment." Claudia is building a brighter food future by "cultivating community gardens, one seed at a time!"

We've been quite busy this autumn season at City Green. From running our farms and markets to helping to develop community gardens to conducting garden education programming for children, we are happy to be a part of the growing movement to build a sustainable food future.

We'd love to hear from our readers: how are you helping to build a brighter food future?