Archive for November, 2012

2012 fall 211

Covering a garden bed with a cold frame or low tunnel is an easy way to extend your growing season by months in both the spring and fall.   While most people aren’t going to build a bioshelter in their backyard, this is an easy, quick, relatively cheap, and highly scalable way to get a little more food out of your garden.

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We are currently accepting applications for Spring semester internships.

Internships are unpaid, but college credit can be arranged.

Click here for more information about the program.

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Bringing the farm to city kids

Farming collective uses living classroom to link urban youth with farming
By Scott Waldman
Updated 8:17 a.m., Thursday, November 29, 2012

ALBANY — A greenhouse on a former vacant lot in one of Albany’s most troubled neighborhoods shows us how sustainable we could be.

On this damp November afternoon in the city’s South End, the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center is blooming with tomatoes hanging from the loft. The basil is fragrant and the watercress has a sharp bite. Tilapia swimming in a tank brimming with plant life wait to be harvested.

On a sunny winter day, you can wear your T-shirt in here.

The Radix Center at 153 Grand St. is a living classroom. There are lessons here for kindergartners, such as that banana peels and apple cores, when composted, turn into great dirt. And there is something to learn for older students, like the role of nitrogen in the life cycle of fish and plants.

Scott Kellogg and Stacey Pettigrew founded the center, which is a not-for-profit, in 2010. Now they’re looking to expand their educational outreach, to get more schoolchildren in the doors through a fundraising campaign that will support ecological literacy workshops for young people. Radix has hosted groups from elementary school all the way through college, and is looking to increase the number of young people who come to learn about how an urban environment is an excellent place to farm.
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Midsummer Visits

In addition to the many neighbors that have stopped by to see the chickens and find out what is happening inside the greenhouse, we’ve also had a number of visiting youth groups in the past month.

A group of students and parents from the Howe Library came for a tour.

High school students working for Youth Organics, a program of Grand St. Community Arts, spent a morning at Radix.  They received a tour and then helped move mulch and sift compost.


We also spent a week with a group of high school students who participated in Siena College’s Civic Engagement Summer Camp.  After learning about the different systems at the Radix Center, they laid stones for a walkway between our stone garden beds, planted bulbs, got to practice organic insect control (squashing bean beetle larvae – they returned the next day with a box of rubber gloves!)  and spent some time with the bunnies.

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