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Friday, May 20, 2011

Bronx Foodie: What I Learned at the Bronx Urban Farm Tour (Slideshow)

[Slideshow: These photos by Adi Talwar are from the last stop of the Urban Farm Tour at Rincon Criollo, 156th Street and Brook Avenue. For more of Adi's photography, check out his website: rawlat.com/adi.]

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the stops on the Bronx Urban Farm Tour, the Garden of Happiness, at 182nd Street and Prospect Avenue. The tour -- which also stopped at La Finca del Sur at 138th and Grand Concourse and Rincon Criolloa at 156th Street and Brook Avenue -- was part of Bronx Week and organized to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Bronx Food Summit, which was held last May. This year's eco-tourism event was organized by The Bronx Tourism Council, the Bronx Food and Sustainability Coalition, and the New York Botanical Garden. They are planning monthly farm tours through out the summer, so stay tuned for more details. You can also visit ilovethebronx.com for updates.

Anyway, here's what I learned:

Bronxites can (and are) raising chickens.

State laws allow residents to have hens (but not roosters) as long as they are kept in clean conditions. The hens at the Garden of Happiness are kept in a chicken coop that allows them to walk around and protects the chickens from the wind and rain. The Garden has about a dozen hens and they all lay eggs in the most beautiful shades of blue and white.

It's easy to compost
I used to think indoor composting was kind of gross because it meant having a bin of dirt and worms somehwere in the house. But Jodie Colón, compost educator with the NYC Compost Project, assured me that composting is much easier, and cleaner, than I thought. You also don't need that much space. You can start with a container that is the size of a shoebox. And if you do it right, the worms, who prefer the darkness, will never want to leave the bin. Composting is a great way to get ride of garbage and keep it out of landfills. To learn more about composting, visit the NYC Compost Project in the Bronx (located at the NY Botanical Garden) for information and workshops.

The Bronx has an organic restaurant
The Peace Love Cafe was the food sponsor for the event and I got to try a veggie burger, which tasted great. The Peace Love Cafe is located in Melrose and serves organic food and beverages. To learn more about the Peace Love Cafe, visit www.peacelovecafe.com.


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