Eunyoung and I are going to the Urban Agriculture Summit in Toronto, Canada. Our proposal, Yes, You Can Grow Rice in NYC has been accepted by the programming committee. The summit is sponsored by Food Share and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and will take place August 15-August 18.
By the time we arrive in Toronto, our second rice paddy will be in full swing. Last Thursday, volunteers from Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks built a new section of The Learning Garden, which included the second rice paddy, under the direction of James Burns, our horticulture crew member and paddy builder extraordinaire.
The first row of bricks was the most taxing. The ground is uneven and leveling it was a job.
James demonstrates how to lay the bricks. He is kind of a precise guy and that is good thing. The bricks are not exactly bricks; they fall somewhere between bricks and cinder blocks. They are heavier than the usual brick. The extra weight is extremely important in holding the water within the plastic liner.
Getting the liner in the completed paddy was a little like shaking a sheet after its been in the dryer.
Eunyoung stomps the one foot depth of soil. The soil was an organic mix of compost, sand and loom.
PART II – propagating rice with small plastic cups. Each cup has holes punched in the top in. The cups are filled with soil 3/4 to the top. water is added and the rice seeds. We wait and see what happens. But there isn’t too much waiting, the rice propagates fairly quickly and what looks like thin blades of grass start showing. By the time we get to the Urban Agriculture Summit, we will be able to report on the first and second rice paddy.