Journal Square . Marion . Little India . Bergen Hill . The Island . McGinley Square . Sparrow Hill . Hilltop . Western Slope . Bergen-Lafayette . Greenville . City Line . Lincoln Park . West Side . the Heights . 440 . Dog Patch . Hackensack River Waterfront . Country Village . West Bergen . Society Hill ... what did I leave out?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sustainability in Jersey City - No, really.

I got a message recently about an amazing initiative. It's the kind of thing that could benefit everyone in every neighborhood in Jersey City, so it belongs here. These folks are truly Uptown Crewzers*.

Here's the petition link:

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Call to Action - Save the Date:
Farms in the City - Know Food. Know Freedom.

Dear Friend:

We are pleased to announce that Jersey City has been selected as one of eight cities nationwide to participate in a community building exercise sponsored by GOOD magazine that could change the future of Jersey City.

Our first initiative will be a workshop and brainstorming session, on the afternoon (2-6pm) of August 21st, that will CALL TO ACTION Community Leaders, Systems Thinkers, Artists, Students, Seniors and other Motivated Citizens to participate in a dialogue about how to create a community-supported Urban Agriculture Program in Jersey City.

The working title for this afternoon dialogue is:
"Farms In The City - Know Food, Know Freedom."

Our objective is to create an Urban Agriculture/Food Access document and action plan that is realistic, easy to implement and empowers every day citizens to take action towards environmentally beneficial projects in Jersey City.

We think such an initiative will have the following impacts (above and beyond increasing the availability of affordable, fresh and healthy food in Jersey City):

Educational: we want to involve students and young people so that they can learn about where our food comes from and what is required to grow food. Gardens are “teaching labs” that can engage students, and citizens of all ages, to develop core skills and values that inspire life-long learning.

Recreational: we hope to have seniors join us in this endeavor so that they can enjoy healthy fun exercise and bring invaluable inter-generational learning to their neighborhoods. We consider our seniors a valuable resource as many of them have tended gardens, a hobby that was once quite popular and even vital to our nation's security during the war years.

Economical: fresh local organic food is the fastest growing segment of the food production industry. We know that our initiative can stimulate entrepreneurial activities and employment opportunities in all segments of the economy. Diverse, local, urban food gardens and farmer’s markets become hubs of connectivity in the larger context of urban revitalization.

Social: urban gardens serve as great places for people to come together and strengthen community bonds and share cultural diversity that promotes appreciation and peace.

Mental: there is something powerfully soothing and relaxing about working the earth. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of this type of activity. We can better manage the hectic quality of our modern lives by participating in activities such as gardening.

Ecologically Sustainable: well designed gardens serve many purposes. Gardens can serve to capture and filter storm water run-off, ameliorate erosion and flooding, increase aquifer recharge and organic composting opportunities.

We hope that you will join us to discuss and design Jersey City's urban agriculture plan and we invite you to forward this invitation to interested parties. We are still confirming location details but please contact Gillian Allen at 646-388-1825 or gillian@jcfoodcoop.com for further information and we hope to see you on August 21st!


The Jersey City Green Team
Washington Park Association
Jersey City Food Coop
Riverview Community Gardens
Greater Good Giving

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* By the way, you can thank Ed Ramirez of Ed's Salvage Co. for coining the term "Uptown Crewzer" to mean the people who make it all go. Yeah, that's you! -TS

1 comment:

  1. To advance the economic objective of this project, you might want to consider incorporating SPIN-Farming. which can get entrepreneurial commercial farms up and operational quickly. SPIN stands for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive, and it makes it possible to earn significant income from land bases under an acre in size by growing common vegetables. Minimal infrastructure, reliance on hand labor to accomplish most farming tasks, utilization of existing water sources to meet irrigation needs, and operating close to markets all keep investment and overhead costs low. SPIN therefore removes the two big barriers to entry for first generation farmers – land and capital – and shows how to incorporate agriculture into the built environment in an economically viable manner. Contained in the seven SPIN-Farming Basics Guides is everything you'd expect from a good franchise: a business concept, marketing advice, financial benchmarks and a detailed day-to-day workflow. In standardizing the system and creating a reproducible process, it really isn’t any different from McDonald’s. This systematized approach to farming greatly reduces development and startup time, eliminates much initial trial and error, and increases the chances of success.