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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label farm. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label farm. Show all posts

      Saturday, November 24, 2012


      Introducing Lucy Platt Guest Blogger.
       I went to the  American Museum of Natural History. I saw the plant exhibit it showed how you can grow  plants in a apartment. there were all sorts of plants.chives, cabbage and all sorts of other plants they had growing there.
       In the other plant and food exhibit there was a "reguler" water melon and a sqare water melon the sqare is grown by puting it in a box when it as just a small fruit but you must keep it on the vine until you are ready to eat it.
       Potatoes come in alot of shapes, colors,and sizes there are pink, purple, red, yellow, and alot more.
       Back in the olden days before they had any supermarkets they would use just an out door flat spot and they would set up what we call a farmers market all the people would go around and get all that they needed for there families.

      Hi there! Guest Blogger Annabelle Platt here today! I went to the American Museum of Natural History. There is currently an exhibit there called the  "Global Kitchen." It's about how people grow and eat food around the world, how agriculture has changed, and about the rising problem of too many people and not enough food. 
       But over-producing is also a problem. For example, fishermen have been taking the fish from the seas. Obviously, they want the big strong fish, not the puny one that'll feed maybe half a person, right? But they have taken so many of the big fish that most of the ones left are little and under-developed. It's a big problem. 
      Talking about how agriculture has changed...well, now scientists can cross-breed DNA. Maybe they like how this plant grows quickly. Maybe they also like how this plant that grows really slowly is really crunchy and sweet. They can take characteristics like that from plants and breed them together, so they have two things they like in one plant. You know how berries always look smaller in the wild? That's because farmers are going to plant the biggest seeds from the previous year, so they get bigger berrries. Melons? The original melon was very small and hard and bitter. Overtime they have become big balls of water and sugar (plant sugar, not artificial sugar.) Gardeners can even make watermelons square! 
       Waste. Geez, you don't even want to know how much an average person throws out in a year. I'm going to tell you anyway. The average person throws away/discards 414 pounds of food per year. For a family of four? That's 1,656 pounds of food. That's a LOT. So next time you're looking at the menu and thinking I'm gonna get the double cheeseburger with extra fries, maybe the thought that crosses your mind next could be Am I really going to eat all of this, or am I just going to throw it away? 
      For further information about the American Museum of Natural History in NYC visit ... The exhibit is on until August 11, 2013

      Wednesday, August 18, 2010

      fly like an eagle

      The Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A farm? On a rooftop? In Greenpoint? That's right. You heard me.

      Founder Annie Novak gave us a guided tour of the 6000 square foot growing space and explained the farm's philosophy. Her realism was refreshing. Annie has no illusions that NYC rooftop gardens can feed NYC. Instead she sees her urban farm as an opportunity for education. The farm supports a CSA, supplies several local restaurants with VERY local produce, and partners with Growing Chefs ("food education from field to fork") to bring city-dwellers closer to their food source with a range of educational programs.

      Financed by Broadway Stages (the sound stage located beneath the green roof) and designed by Goode Green, the base system is comprised of polyethelene, a drainage mat, and retention and separation fabrics.

      They start all their own seeds and grow everything in a mere four inches of mix. No, it ISN'T soil. The growing medium is a combination of compost, rock particulates, and shale; it's lightweight, retains water, and provides good aeration. Annie top-dresses the garden with compost made on site, and rotates the mobile chicken coop to spread chicken manure throughout the garden.

      Now in its second year, Annie collects data on what grows best in these unusual circumstances. One of this year's big winners is hot peppers. Tomatoes, salad greens, kale, and chard also perform well. The Biggest Loser: winter squash. (Sorry, winter squash!) She refines her crop choices based on performance and market value.

      In addition to a carefully chosen palette of vegetables, Eagle Street harvests honey from three (now legal!) apiaries and includes occasional eggs from its six resident chickens in their CSA shares. There are also some very cute bunnies on site (in cages, where they can't munch freely), which are NOT being raised as meat, I'm told. Mmm...rabbit... I'm just saying.

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