This past winter, talented filmmaker Jeff Zelevansky spent some time at the Orange Greenhouse. He captured some of the loveliest images of the greenhouse to date, and hopefully it will give you a small sense of what we’re all about. Thank you so much for your hard work Jeff!
Over the last week we have been hard at work with the Friends of Lifers to get the newest lot ready for planting. We finally were able to transplant the first vegetables of the season here in Jersey City, a row of mixed tomato plants. This vibrant corner is on it’s way to becoming a green oasis in the city.
This week we planted our first outdoor collard greens of the year. We had help from the Friends of the Lifers Youth Corp, whos mission statement is “to provide programs and services that promote self-sufficiency for citizens who were formerly incarcerated or have a criminal record; and to develop programs that assist in juvenile delinquency prevention, individual development, and community improvement.” They were training on our Newark Beth Israel Farm Lot before they start growing their own Earthbox farm in Jersey City. It’s shaping up to be a fun summer season!
For over six months now we have been selling our delicious greens at Newark Beth Israel every Thursday from 1-4pm. We’ve spent the past month repurposing a lot across from the hospital, and next to the Maple Avenue School, into a beautiful Earthbox farm. The farm will provide produce for the farmer’s market across the street, as well as the local community. Turnips, radishes and beets are coming up now, with tomatoes, eggplant and okra going in the ground for the summer. Come visit us sometime at 177 Lyons Ave!
Steve Ritz, of Discovery High School in the Bronx, took a visit to our greenhouse this past weekend. His students grow an amazing bounty of food inside their school, enough to feed 450 students! On top of that they run a profitable community based farmer’s market. His work and enthusiasm is remarkable and inspiring. We can’t wait to get to work collaborating with him and his team. Check out the video below that got them invited to the White House.
From the very beginning, Dan Richer, chef at Arturo’s in Maplewood, has been an avid supporter of the efforts at Garden State Urban Farms. And even more importantly, he is an awesome chef at the helm of one of the most exciting restaurants in the state. Recognition has come their way in the past, but just this week he was named a semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef in the entire country. Hats off to you and your team!
We are very excited to introduce our first green wall to our greenhouse. Right now it’s loaded up with leafy vegetables from our propagation tables, but in the future we will experiment with tomatoes, beets, radishes and much more. We’ve always been interested in finding innovative ways to grow as much food as possible in tight spaces, and we believe this is another fascinating possibility. Take a closer look!
One leafy green we are having fun growing and eating is baby Bok Choy. It is a delicious, crisp, nutritious alternative to cabbage, and is perfect for these long winter months. It is super easy to cook, and can be a real crowd pleaser. Apparently the New York Times agrees as they recently printed a great recipe for Sauteed Baby Bok Choy. Check out ours, grown right in Orange, NJ, below.
Even right after the blizzard of 2010 (or snowpacolypse or whatever it is you prefer), the greens needed tending and harvesting. The Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Lettuce and more all look beautiful, but more importantly, taste great.