YMCA and South Pine Street City Farm Team Up to Build Community Greenhouse in Kingston

YMCA and South Pine Street City Farm team up to build community greenhouse  Innovative urban farm project receives funding from SARE

KINGSTON, NY – This season the South Pine Street City Farm and the YMCA are partnering on a new greenhouse at the YMCA Community Garden in mid-town Kingston.  The 12′ x 20′ greenhouse will be used for seedlings and winter production for South Pine Street City Farm, but will also be open to community gardeners and others wanting to participate in growing their own seedlings.

The idea of a city greenhouse was initiated by Jesica Clark, farmer at South Pine Street City Farm, out of her desire to grow seedlings for the farm and for community use in Kingston.  In addition, Mrs. Clark applied for and was awarded funding from Sustainable Agriculture Reseach and Education (SARE) to conduct an innovative projectdesigned to heat the greenhouse without electricity or fossil fuels, using compost made from used coffee grounds and yard waste such as leaves and chipped branches.

“I’m so excited to be able to grow seedlings sustainably in Kingston.  What an opportunity for those who want to grow food from seed, but find that their sunny window is just not enough,” says farmer Clark.

Lee Anne Albritton, Child Care Director at the YMCA of Kingston and Ed Blouin, Site Steward for the YMCA Community Garden, picked up on the project and suggested the YMCA Garden, located in the playground on Summer Street, as an ideal place for the greenhouse.  The site is accessible to many neighborhoods in Kingston and project will draw attention to the burgeoning garden space created for the community and the youth that participate in YMCA programs.  The YMCA Community Garden will again be expanding this year to accommodate more families who want to garden, but do not have the space or resources at their home.

Ms. Albritton comments, “This is such an exciting collaboration, using Farmer Clark’s expertise and experience to help the YMCA mission of social responsibility to expand our community gardens and to bring accessible gardening and food production to our members and their families. Participating in this “groundbreaking” program will be especially stimulating for our after-school youth gardening curriculum, as well as for our new program to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients with seeds, tools and garden space to provide real food for their families.”

The greenhouse is scheduled to be in place by the end of this year and will be ready for seedling production in 2013.

For more information about the greenhouse or South Pine Street City Farm – A program sponsored by The Queens Galley in partnership with The Kingston Land Trust and Binnewater Ice Company, please contact Jesica Clark at jesicaclark21@gmail.com.  For information about the YMCA and their gardening programs, please contact Lee Anne Albritton at lalbritton@ymcaulster.org

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