Spring Forward with BSCAH
Growing Veggies. Growing Community. Growing a Healthier You.
Here at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, we are busy preparing for the spring. Warm weather is just around the corner, which means that our garden and educational programs will be in full swing in just a few short weeks. Here are all the ways that you can spring forward with BSCAH!
You might be surprised to learn that the BSCAH Urban Farm has been active all through the winter! We have twelve hens, and the four mature birds have been laying eggs for several months now. The younger members of the flock just started laying, too, providing even more fresh eggs for distributing to our pantry customers. There is also still a lot of green on our Urban Farm. Kale and collard plants are growing. Winter rye, which looks like a mat of verdant grass, is covering two garden beds to protect the soil from eroding and losing its minerals and nutrients. Most importantly, we have continued to produce compost. The pantry is always receiving deliveries of fresh produce, and rather than letting anything go to waste, we use the spoiled fruits and vegetables to make highly nutritious soil for the garden. We even add the chicken droppings to further enhance the nutrient value, integrating all of our garden activities in a sustainable cycle! We will use this soil for planting lots of veggies in the spring. Everything from rotten tomatoes to bruised apples will be used to grow more fresh, sustainable, and healthy food for our pantry customers and our community. We are also developing another 8,000 square-foot plot of land for a garden expansion. This will greatly increase the impact of our garden, yielding a larger harvest and bringing the message of health and sustainability to many more of our neighbors.
Children are in the spring of their lives. BSCAH is kicking off another session of our Healthy Bloomers program to foster their growth toward a healthy, successful future. According to community profiles of our area, adults are more likely to be obese compared to the rest of Brooklyn and New York City. It is crucial that we engage children at an early age and lay the groundwork for healthy habits and lifestyles. Our Healthy Bloomers after-school program for children ages 6-11 years aims to do just that. Lessons increase children’s knowledge about the ecosystem, healthy eating, and food cultivation. Lessons are designed to reinforce science, math, reading and analytical skills, and incorporate dynamic, hands-on learning, games, and visits to our own Urban Farm.
Stomp Out Obesity
Young adults are poised to become our future leaders and advocates. Our Stomp Out Obesity program pushes youth ages 12-21 to reach this potential, by teaching them a message of health and wellness that they carry to the broader community. During 8 weeks in the classroom, students learn about nutrition, healthy cooking, physical fitness, and gardening. With the tools and knowledge to improve their own health, they are ready to undertake a community garden project. They partner with senior citizens in the community, and help the seniors to start gardens in their own backyards. This empowers the community with another source of fresh food, and empowers the youth with the leadership skills and credentials to continue moving our community forward.
Health 360 is a comprehensive wellness program that brings seniors together to improve their health and the quality of their lives, especially seniors suffering from hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Participants learn healthy eating habits, home-gardening skills, and strategies for staying physically active through weekly sessions held over the course of 12 weeks. During a typical class, seniors get their vitals taken, engage in light exercise and stretching, participate in gardening and nutrition lessons, watch healthy recipe demonstrations, and receive fresh fruits and vegetables so they can eat better and practice what they have learned in class.
Bee’ing Against Hunger Beehive Management Program
Bee’Ing Against Hunger is the second phase of our green leadership development program.