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GrowNYC Provides Online Assistance to Gardeners and Launches Virtual Teaching Garden at Governors Island

Published 04-10-20

Submitted by GrowNYC

GrowNYC announces expanded online help for gardeners.

GrowNYC is, and has always been, a resource for New Yorkers who want to support farmers and a healthy regional food system, as well as for those who endeavor to eat local foods and even grow their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Our Green Space program encompasses community gardens, school gardens, and a Teaching Garden on Governors Island.

The work we do is vital to the health of the City, now more than ever.  To continue this important work during these challenging times, we've launched a Virtual Teaching Garden, where people of all ages can access our Garden programming. Additionally, GrowNYC's gardening experts are offering tips and answering questions on Instagram. 

Every spring at GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden on Governors Island, since it opened in 2014, has been filled with garden preparation for the many groups--including 5,000 school children and groups of differently abled adults and senior citizens--who visit each season. This year is no different, and the GrowNYC’s gardening team leader is currently out on the island planting the one-acre urban farm. However, due to COVID-10, instead of receiving visitors at the garden, we will offer all of the lessons online.  

“Thankfully, during this crisis we can still show people how to plant, harvest, water, and even cook all of the fruits and vegetables that the garden provides,” said Shawn Connell, Program Manager of the GrowNYC Teaching Garden. “Right now we are working on a number of lessons and videos, including the ‘how-to’s’ on planting a garden bed, planting peas and strawberries, thinning seedlings, and stepping up transplants.” 

The GrowNYC Teaching Garden at Governors Island features over 20 vegetable beds made from recycled lumber, farm-style rows, an aquaponics system, an outdoor kitchen, a large solar oven, a high tunnel greenhouse, fruit trees, several rainwater harvesting systems, and a rain garden. Programming provides visitors with all aspects of the farm, connecting them with nature and science in exciting ways. 

“With the Virtual Teaching Garden, we can keep connecting New Yorkers to gardens and promoting health, nutrition, and environmental stewardship," said GrowNYC CEO and President Marcel Van Ooyen. "Last year the Teaching Garden at Governors Island produced nearly 15,000 pounds of produce, which was shared and used by school children as well as donated to food rescue groups.  This season, with our visitor and school education programming undetermined, we are planting with an eye to donating for emergency food access throughout the City. We think of this as a nextgen Victory Garden, and we want to enable New Yorkers to do the same through our online ‘how to’ platform, including direct messaging us with your garden questions. Whether with one acre or windowsill, we can all be part of the food supply chain."   

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