Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Urban chickens

Indeed! I was blessed to visit an urban garden and an urban farm in New York City on my recent visit. Walt L. Shamel Community Garden is in the Crown Height section of Brooklyn, managed by Greg and Debbie Anderson.

That's me on the right, talking with Rodney Duncan, a volunteer at the garden, Greg and Debbie. They have taken a vacant lot and turned it into a community garden in the past five years. Local residents are assigned sections where they grow whatever they like. Tomatoes are popular.

They keep seven chicken s there for their eggs and the delight they add to the garden. While we were there, the girls roamed the garden, enjoying scratching and pecking.

We also visited Abu Talib, who has cultivated the one-acre Taqwa Community Farm in The Bronx, two blocks from Yankee Stadium, for 17 years. Tallie took over the site after the city had demolished the duplex that had proved otherwise resistant to efforts to eliminate drug dealing. He planted fruit trees right away, so he has mature pear, apple, peach, cherry, nectarine, plum, apricot, crabapple and fig trees now.

Community members garden their plots in the farm. Kids play on the playground structure that was donated. "Kids bring the family in," he says.

His ten chickens occupy a comfortable coop and provide eagerly sought eggs.

He's got a hydroponic project in the works. I look forward to hearing how that works out.

Visiting these gardening projects and seeing how they influence the community around them was inspiring. The flower beds around the trees on Dean Street in Brooklyn were all carefully kept. Growing plants soothes us and keeping chickens warms our hearts. These are wonderful projects that help all around them.


Anonymous said...

Kudos to these enterprising people! It's wonderful to hear stories like this.

SPPA Leadership said...

They are truly inspiring people. I was honored to meet them and feel part of what they are doing.