Archives for category: News

This year four D75 classes are partnering with the Genovesi Environmental Study Center in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, making multiple visits over the year to study plant and animal adaptations. An added bonus: lunch with the chickens! (They are very friendly!)


Greetings, dedicated PLGers! As the outdoor growing season is soon coming to an end, the new school school year is just beginning and we are very excited to share new resources and opportunities with you. Our Plant Learn Grow 101 PD will be on October 18 at 373K, in addition to our full menu of Hydroponics/ Aquaponics, Composting, Sustainability, and of course the Teaching in the Garden Series with BBG and NYBG. Check out the current course offerings here. In the meantime, here are some late but awesome photos from our Garden Day event last June. Enjoy!


We just received this note from 368K about gardening-as-therapy and felt we had to share:

We’re writing today to highlight the success our school community has had using the garden at our site as a tool to build upon student skills, while incorporating its therapeutic benefits into conversations with our children and teenagers. We support, teach, and encourage students in one of the most restrictive school settings in New York City; our garden is a way to show our students that we care about their emotional and physical health and well-being.

Last year 368K focused on “student involvement in the preparation of the garden beds, student creation of signs, students maintaining the garden, staff helping to create an on-site market to share produce from the garden, and finally students were able to bring produce home from the garden.” This year their goals are “a Halloween pumpkin fest; a green market where we hope to have students using scales to weigh and share produce; students … actively involved in making compost for the garden; and, finally, students … using the garden along with their therapists to develop healthy coping habits.”

Thank you to The Garden Committee at P368K at New York City Children’s Center for sharing your thoughts and plans for the year.

Here are some photos from the 721X Green Bronx Machine Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday. As you can see, it was kind of a big deal! Representatives from the Mayors Office, Empire Blue Cross and Anthem Health, local new organizations, our Superintendent, coaches, teachers, parents, students, and many more were in attendance. Thank you to Stephen Ritz of GBM, teacher (and farmer) extraordinaire Jeremy Kottcamp, and Principal Frank Degennaro for a very special day.





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Read all about it below in an excerpt from urban ag news!

Press Release – NEW YORK – Green Bronx Machine (GBM), a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to helping students live happier and healthier lives, is partnering with Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) to launch [a fully] wheelchair accessible farm and teaching kitchen in America at P.S. 721x, a District 75 school in the Bronx dedicated to educating students living with disabilities.

“Our students and faculty are so excited and so grateful to Empire and Green Bronx Machine for this classroom makeover that inspires healthy living, healthy learning, and creates 21st century career and college readiness.”

~ Frank Degennaro, Principal, P.S. 721x

On Wednesday, February 13th, GBM and Empire will host a ribbon-cutting event at the school to unveil the new, in-school farm. In addition to the wheelchair accessible farm and teaching kitchen, P.S. 721x teachers and students will receive GBMs fully integrated health and wellness curriculum, a GBM Mobile Classroom Kitchen—a fully portable “indoor food truck” complete with sink, refrigerator, convection oven and food warmer and a media studio where students can participate in video conferences with other schools and organizations, post updates to social media, live stream educational programming and older students can record practice interview sessions.

Congratulations to all of the D75 schools that were chosen for the Grow to Learn and Office of Sustainability grants! This year 14 school gardens were funded through Grow to Learn and another 9 schools received Sustainability funds for projects including water bottle refill stations and environmental education programs. Way to go, D75!

Have you ever been to the Genovesi Environmental Study Center in Brooklyn? These D75 students have! They are participating in a six week study, making predictions, observations, and collecting data about aquaponic and hydroponic growing systems. They are also working the farm and hanging with the Turkeys in their spare time.

A teacher who came to the District 75 Blogging workshop has created a food/cooking blog entitled Learn.Prepare.Cook. Please take a look and you will be inspired.


Okra, green Creole vegetable

Okra is a small green vegetable that gets a tad slimy when cooked, and is delicious pickled. It is very popular in New Orleans’ creole and cajun cuisines. A vegetable seller in New Orleans who drove his cart around town went by the name of “Mr. Okra.”

Mr. Okra, vegetable peddler

Recently, Mr. Okra passed away; his legacy lives on.

Read about Mr. Okra.

Mr. Q at 993Q shared this photo of their new aquaponics system at MS 73. Big thank you to Mr. Eddy and the teachers at 811X for their inspiration!

993 Aquaponics