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We are eager to introduce the newest member of the FSNYC team. Fabina Itana Benites is joining us as our Resouce Mobilizer, and we could not be more excited to have her on board. Fabina is a native of Carhuanca, a small rural village in the Andes mountains of Peru, and was raised between Peru, the Bronx, and Ithaca, NY. She brings over 18 years of experience working on both the front lines and behind the scenes of racial justice and decolonization movements. Read more about her here.

𝗖𝗶𝘁𝘆𝘄𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺
Citywide students recently wrapped Preparing for Winter where they explored the best ways to transition a garden for the winter season. Students are now in class with alumni-turned-facilitators, community organizers, and GrowNYC garden coordinators, DK and Chantel. We are excited for the lessons on building spaces for and with community that continue to emerge from this Urban Farm and Garden Planning iteration. Stay tuned for updates next month as students move closer to wrapping up the Citywide Program as they begin its final offering, Seminar.

𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵 𝗧𝘂𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗹 𝗕𝗮𝘀𝗶𝗰𝘀
High Tunnel Basics is well underway. We have four co-facilitators leading the course who took it in its previous iterations. Pictured below are Rayland, Zach, Kim and OA Cole from left to right. They are gearing up to lead a modified high tunnel build at the Plesant Village Community Garden next weekend. We can’t wait to show you the new structure and share how students will use what they’re learning in their growing spaces!

𝗥𝗲𝗴𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗱𝘃𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗰𝘆
Our Advocacy course begins tonight, but there are still a few spots open! If you want to understand NYC, state, and federal policies that affect food access and food production in an urban setting, register today. Participants will examine city, state and federal policy with a focus on Food Justice, the Farm Bill and a variety of other justice issues. Join the four session course to develop skills in campaign building, community organizing, and writing to streamline messaging.

𝗔𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗔𝗹𝘂𝗺𝗻𝗶 𝗡𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗲!
We are excited to announce our brand new Alumni Network Committee (ANC). This committee will help us create pathways and strengthen connection with all alums. They are eager to engage and organize the entire alumni network, and we know they’ll ask for input soon. The current ANC members are Rayland Van Blake, Claire Clift, Rose Weiss, Cole Nadawni, Anna Cheung, and Kelly McLane. We will keep you posted on how to help, and in the meantime, please share questions, comments, or concerns with alumni@farmschoolnyc.org.

𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿
• Two Upcoming Events at Ayni Farm
– Volunteer Day – October 21, 11am – 4pm
Join the last volunteer day of the season and help get the field ready for winter. Participants will focus on mulching, weeding and covering beds followed by a plant-sit activity led by khadija khansia. A plant sit is a practice of attuning to plant lessons using our senses to learn from them. All are welcome, no experience necessary!

– Garlic Fest – November 4, 11am – 5pm
Join the third annual garlic planting tradition to celebrate the magic and medicine of this powerful plant kin. This celebration includes cooking and herbalism workshops, a communal lunch, music, vendors, seed exchange, and garlic planting activities for all ages and experiences.

Please register online for both events at ayniherbfarm.com/events

• UCOC Public Meeting
The NYC Urban County Committee is hosting a public meeting today Monday, October 16, from 5pm – 7pm. You can attend in person at the YWCA building located at 30 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 or remotely using this link.

Please email Ana.Villamil@usda.gov if you plan to attend in person.

• DFAP Deadline Extended
The USDA extended the application deadline to January 13 for the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program (DFAP). This program offers financial assistance for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who experienced USDA farm lending discrimination prior to 2021. Folks who did not apply due to fear of discrimination may also be eligible.

• Support Kelly Street Garden
Kelly Street Garden is raising funds for a new Plant Medicine Program so they can dig deeper into the Kelly Street Community and make plant medicine accessible to those who might otherwise not be able to afford it. Learn more and donate here!

• 11th Annual Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners (BUGS) Conference
The annual BUGS Conference is full of engaging and participatory workshops, panel discussions, farm tours, and fun social events that will help us take time to honor our past, celebrate our present, and dream up the future of Black Food Sovereignty. The conference will provide hands-on, skill-building workshops on sustainable agriculture education, including soil health, land reclamation, financial literacy, seed saving, and other related topics. Join from Friday-Sunday, October 20th – 22nd, at Temple University. Purchase tickets here!

• Growing Stories with the Land – Crop Planning for Gardens & Farms
Amara Ullauri of Ayni Herb Farm & Larisa Jacobson of Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust share their passion and knowledge about Crop Planning in this instructional and interactive workshop! Join Soul Fire Farm on November 2nd from 3 pm – 5 pm in the visionary practice we call crop planning, an iterative process of shared storytelling that involves input from all the beings that sustain our gardens – our communities, seeds, soil life, water, the sun, and our own experience.

Co-create a story about who, what, when, why, and how our growing season will unfold that helps implement resilient strategies to ensure an abundant season. In this workshop, participants will learn how to define a crop plan, including different crop planning methods that can be adapted to best-fit harvest goals and the learning styles of farmers and gardeners. This workshop is intended for current and aspiring farmers and land stewards seeking to grow with small to mid-sized urban farms, community gardens, and/or rural farms.

Participants will learn how to:
– Identify key elements of a crop plan
– Create a story of our relationship with the Land and our communities through crop planning
– Choose a crop planning method that aligns with our needs
– Develop a crop plan that reflects our farm and/or garden goals
– Get started on our own crop planning processes
– Language: The instruction will be delivered in English.
– Cost: The sliding scale is $5-100.

Learn more and register here!

𝗭𝗼𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘂𝘁
We attended the virtual session Digging into Urban Ag Priorities in the Farm Bill hosted by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture (MOUA) and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). The discussion about the Farm Bill came at a critical time. There is still time to impact the Farm Bill and uplift racial justice, climate justice, and urban agriculture. You can follow MOUA and NSAC on social media for updates and additional resources on engaging in urban agriculture policy and advocacy: @NYCUrbanAg and @NSAC_sustainableag.

Here are some of the resources they shared in the virtual session:
• USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
H.R. 3902 – Growing Opportunities for Innovative Farming Act
S. 2591 – Supporting Urban and Innovative Farming Act

Randalls Island Park Alliance – Horticulture Manager
Grow NYC – Seasonal Farmstand Site Staff
Farm Project – Grants Steward
Plantus NYC – Crew Member
North Star Fund – Controller