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Bocas!

WHY BOCAS? 

A  friend of mine and I are transforming a small plot in Corona into an educational, welcoming, and safe space for its community. Bocas means mouths in Spanish, and defines the many people we hope to reach out to through our food when we get this started! 

Time

We are committed to going at least once a week per person for the next month, but will go more frequently as the season starts - 3 -4 times a week. Community members that we've reached out to are also extremely enthusiastic about getting involved, and are ready to attend meetings whenever we get updates about getting access to this plot. 

What will be in there?

We'd like to use the space to grow foods that are culturally related to the community (and us, since we live nearby), while teaching the folks about growing and eating healthy and sustainably. We may not be ready for full scale planting and maintainence of plants this year, but we are planning to first set up a food waste recycling system using the bokashi composting model.

Bokashi composting system: gathering compost from participating community members weekly into the system. Perhaps members can rotate in the way where every other day, someone will check and turn the buckets?

Planting: I imagine the first season will have to be only some general planting for educational purposes, as there will be a lot of set up and collaberative designing needed before everyone gets a share of the space for actual planting. For this, I feel like certain weeds, herbs, flowers, and other low maintainence plants can be the starters on the plot before we finalize a system. 

THE DESIGN

RESOURCES:

Thinking of using mostly salvaged items from home/restaurants/craftstores/the streets/BIG/freecycle. The garden will probably be a hodgepodge of all sorts of things that members bring in to use.

Compost: finding plastic buckets with airtight lids 

 

Planters: ANYTHING WORKS - I think it would be fun to have the community be creative by choosing what they want to plant their things in. Raised bed and planters would be great, but until we get funding for building those, I think using what we have a home or come across in other places would be nice. 

 

urbangreens:

submitted by Louise Faulkner

hmm. interesting o.o” How does the water bottle attachment work though O.o?(found on "urban greens" tumblr)

Rain collection: umbrella cloth to make big "petals" to capture the water, and then using bamboo as pipes to bring the water into a big container. 

It would be such a nice treat if we could somehow use a "rain chain" as they do in Japan to bring the water into a container. It'll be a nice sensory touch into the garden for sure, since these chains produce sounds as water goes through them.

Chill Area is also workshop/harvest station! 
some outdoor furniture would be nice, although i'm not sure if we'd be able to get some for free

Other resources:

Waiting for GreenThumb to reply us about access and resources. Also preparing for soil testing from Brooklyn College. Need to ask MTA about plot's history and future plans in any, since this plot is owned by them.

TEAM SKILL ASSESSMENT

Farm skills: I have more experience doing hands on farmwork
Irrigation: Rena has more experience designing, while I have more experience working with different irrigation systems.
Pest/Disease Managements: Me
Composting: Rena has more knowledge with the system that we are trying to start (bokashi), while I have more knowledge with composting in general, although both of us never really had one of our own before. Both of us has had general experience working with compost, but never really making it from start to finish.
Harvest and Food Prep: Me
Grant/Communications Writing: Rena
Education/Presentations: We are both comfortable doing this part.

WHAT TO LEARN

Rena went to the GreenThumb Conference while I went to the Just Food Conference to get useful information on composting, grants, growing food, resources, and educating youth in a garden. 

** I haven't included a detailed crop plan, crop layout, and schedules because we are still in the planning and accessing process and chances are we will not be planting a lot this season. Also, because our plot is for the community to use, we may not actually be starting a CSA because space would be very limited once shared between 10+ members. 

Currently planted indoors (so we can transplant/show the folks once we have access): 

scallions
chives
quinoa
peas
tomatoes
cucumbers
flowers

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