KSG functions as a source of pride for the local community. As a result of COVID, the impact this community already experience will be amplified for many months to come. Having access to a source of free fresh food will be of key importance to any recovery plan. Money raised will be used to support our core staff through stipends that encourage regular care of the garden. Directly, we have expanded use of our community spaces which are now predominantly being used for growing and caring for our own seedlings as well as engaging in a host of experimental indoor projects. Also a thorough upgrade of our data collection which monitors production and distribution is already underway.
This pandemic has forced the garden to rethink how we continue to operate in a time of social distancing and stay at home orders that could continue in some form into the foreseeable future.
Interns and garden assistants work on a strict rotating basis to maintain the garden and keep us on track for a successful growing season. Following Green Thumb guidelines for COVID, we will not have any more than 4 people working in the garden at one time. Social distancing restrictions have also eliminated our ability to host youth groups this year as well.
Our farm market will continue but will be retooled into a CSA model in which we will pre-bag shares of the harvest and then distribute street side free to the community. This will allow a fair and equal distribution to those who take advantage of our free, freshly harvested produce. Unfortunately, we will not be able to host open hours where residents are free to enjoy the garden.
Our community spaces have been going through a period of reorganization. Our data collection, crop planning and indoor growing spaces will all be undergoing changes that will make for a more efficient working environment. The goal at Kelly Street Garden has always been to utilize the entire space to its fullest.
WHY WE DO IT
Ideally, humanity is a global electrical circuit of energy. It is meant in its essence to be a connection on a grand scale—one whose purpose is to receive energy from the greater universe and transmit it to nature, to the earth. Everything is in a process of evolution. In the South Bronx, as in many places, the circuit has been disrupted. In truth, it has been broken into a million pieces.
Kelly Street Garden has become a model of social engagement. Here we say, ”We don't grow food. We grow community."
We see the garden as an important presence in helping to heal. It is a proven fact that putting our hands in the soil helps to release biochemical processes that alleviate depression. Our aim is to exist as a hub of positivity in a community that has been repeatedly oppressed by economic trends that are the direct result of hyper capitalism. The purpose of Kelly Street Garden is to reestablish a connection to ourselves and the earth.
During the year of COVID Kelly Street Garden harvest and distributed over 1300 pounds of produce. In addition, through a partnership with Harvest Home Markets and the Nourish NY grant we distributed over 25,000 pounds of produce as part of emergency food supplementation. Over 70 families each week came for a free share and during the week prior to Thanksgiving, 116 families received free shares. We were able to share our supply with La Morada, Acacia Network and Banana Kelly CIA.
Kelly Street Garden is a fiscally sponsored Community Based Organization.
If you wish to make a tax deductible donation to the garden, you can do so through our fiscal sponsor:
Open Space Institute, 1350 Broadway, 201, New York, NY 10018. 212-290-8200 x1315 • www.openspaceinstitute.org
Please indicate that it is for Kelly Street Garaden