Dear GCF Community,
We had an amazing time at our annual Harvest Festivals! Thank you to everyone who came out to each of our Eco-Hubs over the past month to join in the festivities.
We welcomed nearly 650 NYCHA residents, alumni, staff, partners and supporters including Chef Sarah, NYCHA Interim Chair Lisa Bova-Hiatt, NYC Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture Director Qiana Mickie, NYC Department of Environmental Protection staff Charles Sturcken and Eva Lynch, and Bklynsaus.
It was wonderful to come together in community for a fall celebration!
NYCHA residents picked up fresh fall produce like collard greens, radishes, turnips, kale and apples (in reusable custom GCF tote bags from our partner Eva NYC!). And community members of all ages enjoyed pumpkin carving and decorating, potato sack races, ring tosses, music and dancing, arts and crafts, compost exploration stations, photo booths, healthy snacks and raffles!
A few Cohort 24 Corps Members shared their reflections about the day:
- “My role at the celebration was to run the photo booth which entailed me taking photos of all the families who wanted a photo and providing them with a picture from a Polaroid camera also just to capture moments from the first festival of the season, to have memories. I feel like this experience was something that really brought the community together as a whole and typically it’s not common that we see black and brown communities celebrating together in that kind of way, so it did mean a lot to me that people showed up and enjoyed themselves the best way that they could, and just had a good time. And the fact that we were the cause of that speaks volumes about the work we do at GCF. To see something that I do not see very often in the areas that we live in manifest into a day of positivity meant a lot to me, and I hope more is to come.” – Lillian Counts
- “Since I was doing sign in, I got to meet and greet mostly everyone who enjoyed Harvest Fest. It was admittedly very hectic, but there was a lot of energy coming from everyone; good feelings all around. I’d say personally it was a growing experience for me, as I got to be able to engage with the community on a large scale. Definitely you could see the different types of people coming into the event. A lot of parents came in with their kids, and the kids were having a good time especially with the dance-off competition. There was also one guest who was a deaf mother that came in with their child who acted as an interpreter for her mother by hand signing with her. I think it really showed the diversity of the community we engage with. Another guest that came to Harvest Fest also happened to be the partner of someone that does farm operations for GCF. I think it was very thoughtful of them to come to Harvest Fest to support their partner and show up for the community in the way that they did.” – Cohort 24 member
- “This year’s Harvest Fest at Wagner Houses was a fun experience for children and adults alike. For those who don’t know what a Harvest Festival is, it’s a festival in October that celebrates the fall season with NYCHA residents and visitors to enjoy with their families. Kicking off Green City Force’s annual Harvest Festivals on October 8th, we started the day with decorating and harvesting as many crops as possible for residents and visitors to take if they liked such as collard greens, swiss chard, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. As it was a Saturday, our farmstand was set up alongside the festival…Some of the other tables were face painting, a photobooth, games and snacks, pumpkin picking and pumpkin carving. Throughout the day, raffle tickets were called and some people won kitchen supplies such as a baking sheet, cupcake tin, and utensils…Over 150 happy families and visitors came out to our site and went home with carved pumpkins, goodie bags, kitchen supplies, free organic produce and smiling pictures. To end the good day, my team and I took a group picture to hang up in the shipping container.” – Jade Diaz
Photos from all the festivals are available here. We’re already looking forward to next year’s!
And if you’re a NYCHA resident, don’t miss our last few farmstands of the season (ending after Saturday 11/19/22)!