Friday, May 30, 2008

An Escape Quandary

We're in a quandary. Here's the problem. We know New York City is not sustainable nor is it a place we want to be when people get panicy about an rotting economy, high food and energy prices and other signs of a collapse. But here we are, buying membership in a community garden, taking position on its board and helping to rejuvenate it. I'm talking about Chenchita's Garden at 112th Street and Madison Avenue in Harlem.

We're really enjoying creating our little garden plot and helping to set up other plots and planting tomatoes, lettuce and other veggies. There's a lot of work that can be done there and it's exciting to be part of its transformation into a permaculture garden. You'd think we'd put our thoughts of escaping aside. Not really, but it's a source of more than a little confusion as to what we really want to do and how we want to extract ourselves from the city.

I met an old acquaintance recently and we had lunch today. He told me that he and his partner bought a house hours from the city and he takes the train to and from every day. Initially, they had arranged that he would work from home several times a week so the commute wasn't an everyday routine. Then his employer changed the rules and he could no longer telecommute. Now they've told him that they are moving his department from Times Square to Seacaucus, NJ. Well there's no way he would commute there, there are no direct trains nor hardly any indirect trains that go there. That's the scary part of escaping to me, being stuck where you've escaped to.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2008 NYC PDC Workdays - May 31 and June 1

This weekend the students and organizers of the 2008 NYC Urban Permaculture Design Certificate Course will be practicing what they've learned at two sites in the region.

On Saturday, May 31, 2008, we will be working in Chenchita's Community Garden at 112th Street and Madison Avenue, placing constructed raised beds and filling them with drainage material, compost and soil.

This Sunday, June 1, 2008, we'll be helping Kevin and Sarah of Regeneration CSA in High Falls, NY make sheet mulch beds and transplanting. We may also take on the construction of a hoop house at Epworth Camp.

To find out more about Regeneration CSA, go to their website at:

Workdays are free for 2008 NYC Urban PDC students; non-students are welcome to join us for a sliding scale fee of $10 to $40. Don't worry, you'll be put to work, and you'll learn a lot!

Here's some photos of the last workday at Regeneration CSA