5th Graders hold class at 61 Franklin St community garden

by Heather Van De Mark on

Ege Ozbek, a fifth-grader in PS 31 Samuel F. Dupont Magnet School for the Arts & Humanities, hosted a composting workshop at 61 Franklin Street Community Garden in Greenpoint on Wednesday, October 30.

© 2013 Sibel Ozbek.

Over the years, Ege has developed a great interest and big love for gardening, planting trees, farming, and the environment, especially greening his neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. As a volunteer with The North Brooklyn Composting Project, 61 Franklin Street Community Garden and the Parks Department’s MillionTrees NYC initiative, Ege wanted to share his knowledge on how to keep NYC green with his classmates. He’s shared with them how to care for street trees as a TreeLC Captain.

“In cities, there are very limited areas for farming. I wanted to introduce my community garden to my friends and teach some useful information about farming so that maybe they would like to set up their own community gardens to grow their vegetables and have fun. I also had a chance to show them the tool shed I helped build!” said Ege.

© 2013 Sibel Ozbek.

Ege taught basic information on composting and demonstrated how composting is easy and fun to his 25 classmates, who also brought their own compostables to the garden. When Ege opened the compost bin, students were surprised that the half-full compost bin didn’t smell at all! The students really enjoyed smashing a large-sized pumpkin for composting.

The class also discussed urban farming and the benefits of community gardens in urban settings and the importance of growing crops locally and sustainably.

© 2013 Sibel Ozbek.

At the end the workshop, students had a tour of the community space which includes a tool shed, compost area and vegetable garden. They tasted some herbs and visited the neighbor Jersey, who was happy to receive a snack from Maria, one of the students.

Students also planted Turkish Filbert seeds in seeding pots. The students are hoping to get to plant them in the ground next year and harvest hazelnuts from the tree once the tree is mature. One student, Roselyn, even asked how to make Nutella out of the hazelnuts, yum!

The event was organized by Sibel Ozbek, PS 31 Principal Mrs. Scarlato and teacher Mrs. Tapper. Special thanks to the 61 Franklin Street Garden!

© 2013 Sibel Ozbek.

Heather Van De Mark

Heather Van De Mark

Heather is a designer/writer specializing in non-profit organizations and social causes. Originally from central NY, Heather settled into the charming Greenpoint neighborhood in 2011. While most of her community activism takes place from behind a computer screen, Heather can often be found at CB1 meetings, the McCarren Park track and any of the parks along the waterfront.

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