Green Bronx Machine Posted on February 7, 2012 by Yves Smith This is a departure from usual NC programming because it is uplifting (hah) and about plants (which will make Lambert happy) and making a real difference in a poor urban community). Hat tip reader John L. Post navigation ← Links 2/7/12 Philip Pilkington: What Has Bill Gross Been Reading? → Subscribe to Post Comments 26 comments Tyzão February 7, 2012 at 11:24 am positive message, feel like moving to the bronx MyLessThanPrimeBeef February 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm It’s not easy to get pass all those animal-chauvinists, but finally, some positive plant coverage! MyLessThanPrimeBeef February 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm Past. Tyzão February 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm true true — beans are so underrated if you ask me Lubbock Texas Property Manager February 8, 2012 at 11:01 am Yeah I agree they are but I think they are delicious with deserts :) llyod blankstein February 7, 2012 at 11:31 am Speaking of poor urban community, these kind of articles will never get featured in biased nc blog – http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_1_nj-supreme-court.html bobh February 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm Yeah, NC should get into echoing right-wing propaganda. There’s so little competition. Susan the other February 7, 2012 at 11:44 am That was one great fat white guy. Stephen Ritz beats the hell out of Bill Gates and Richard Branson. When we can have the greening of the Bronx be so spontaneously natural and successful, it makes it far less feasible to distribute sulphur dioxide particles 30 miles above the planet without knowing precisely how to keep them there, let alone precisely how or if they will achieve anything. ambrit February 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm Dear Sto; The task can be easily accomplished with a Yellowstone ‘supervolcano’ eruption. The prevailing winds guarantee deposition on and above the Bronx too! Lafayette February 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm Right! Can I find one of those on Amazon.com .. ? ;^) MyLessThanPrimeBeef February 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm The key is still, I think, to consume less. Here is a good mantra – Consume Less, You Will Have More Happiness! Lambert Strether February 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm Eat food. Mostly plants. Less of it. different clue February 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm Eat as much pasture-and-range fed meat as it takes to keep pasture and range meatgrowers in bussiness sucking carbon dioxide down out of the air with their perennial pasture and range plants and sequestering that carbon back in and under the soil. Bob Kavanagh February 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm Sorry: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-02-02/news/31019179_1_ritz-first-vertical-garden-summer-jobs jerrydenim February 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm Wow, That’s really too bad. I think these Ted talks were recorded about a month ago. My wife works at a south Bronx non-profit that is involved with some of the initiatives Ritz mentions. The food choices readily available to the community there are appalling. Ray Duray February 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm Here’s more on what is clearly an exasperating situation in the Bronx: http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=5733&story=bronx-breakdown-star-bronx-teacher-banished-to-basement-more/ Best of luck to Mr. Ritz to figure a way to “beat City Hall”, so to speak. Aquifer February 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm From your link: Ritz – “I don’t understand why the program was shut down.” He answers his own question in Ray’s link: “We’ve certainly met and exceeded expectations. And we’ve done it all for free!” That’s the problem Steve, you were too successful. Your program was supposed to be a nice little niche for “inspiring” stories of life in the Bronx, suitable for framing and for bringing in grants from here and there, for photo ops for the pols. You were never meant to produce a program that could prove a threat to the predominant paradigm for “doing business”. You were undercutting the profits of the folks who were making a living off the misery of your neighborhood and you had to be shut down. You were just too damn successful, and adding insult to injury your kids were making a living wage, not a minimum one, but a living one. Your principal may be a good guy – but the squeeze was put on him, big time. If OWS wants a really good local cause – strike at the heart of Wall Street by showing what a GOOD green wall looks like. The contrast between Ritz of the Bronx and Ritz of the Carlton is what OWS is all about – I hope they take it up ex-PFC Chuck February 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm MacArthur fellowship, anyone? Sock Puppet February 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm Thanks for the update. What a bummer. Hope this can be turned around and/or picked up elsewhere. Psychoanalystus February 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm Looks like smoking all that weed he’s been growing is working out great for the guy…LOL William Neil February 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm It was a great view, and I’m sorry to hear he lost some funding/support of the school. Here’s some thoughts, both close to the ground, and from the reaches of political economy. I first saw urban gardens in Trenton, NJ in the 1990’s through the work of Marty and Liz Johnson of a group called “Isles,” and they were taking vacant lots, improving the soil and engaging residents to grow flowers and vegetables, some for sale at urban “farmer’s markets.” Our urban areas have lots of vacant land and in some cases like Camden and Newark, Detroit, you could do larger scale agriculture if the soil and implements are there (Detroit and Philadelphia have vacant lots abandoned houses in the tens of thousands); certainly an underemployed and unemployed workforce is there…needs training and some nurturance…in places like Cleveland,Ohio, Professor Gar Alperovitz tells us, co-operative enterprises – laundries – for example – are finding their customers at the public institutions, schools and hospitals…and one suspects one could add all of them into the market for good organic produce, plus restaurants…further out in the suburbs, in Calif. more intensive organic gardening is attempting to link up to restaurants in an organized way…it’s too early to tell if it works as a full commercial enterprise without subsidies…but even if it needed some in down and out urban areas, there seems to be positives nearly all around…and how did (does) Canada manage their greenhouse and hyroponic tomatoes, given heating and transportation costs? Something missing in the US when Canada grows tomatoes for our supermarkets… Now here’s the ironic thing in the age of neoliberal globalization, just in time inventories and the fine division of labor of international manufacturing platforms,high input-hi pollutin farming (which has essentially eliminated the occupational category,viewed in historical numbers) that we’re learing more and more about as we peer into the way our electronics are made. Our urban areas, abandoned as unwanted, unworkable, the polar opposite of the Thomas Friedman’s workforce requisites, are starting back at the beginnings of civilization, in agriculture, “reverse economy evolution” trying to hold people and neighborhoods together as the rest of “advanced” capitalism turned its back upon them. It’s worth a shot, and a gamble,and there is a nitche to be filled, we just don’t know if the economics can work to be self-sustaining. And ironically, I’ve seen the same path recommended for Haiti, because when you can’t answer the question – what can Haiti make for the world market (Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal ask the same; after they achieve labor market “flexibility,” the question remains…) that someone else in Asia can’t make as well and better,then you look to more fundamtental processes and start over…wonder what Wendell Berry thinks of this…. Aquifer February 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm Precisely. It is time to stop worrying about exporting and time to decrease importing – each country’s (preferably bioregions) thrust should be on self sufficiency – concentrate on growing/making everything that is needed by folks in the region IN the region. Be as independent as you possibly can be – “import substitution” the phrase of the day. Will produce local employment, reduce transportation costs, encourage, nay, necessitate, resource conservation and pollution prevention, reduce exposure to outside disruptions, reduce incentive to “expand the empire” for resource and market control, provide redundancy and diversity as the only “hedge funds” needed or worth having. And as a foreign policy we could transfer technology to other countries to help them be self sufficient as well .. William Neil February 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm Thanks for that. Not to complicate matters for readers here, but I couldn’t helpbut remembering Charles Baxter’s fine review of Don Delillo’s new collection of essays called “The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories,” which appeared in the Feb. 9th edition of the NYR of Books. That title of Delillo’s comes from his book “Underworld,” and the amazing characters of two nuns and a forelorn child lost in the wilderness of the de-industrialized Bronx. Baxter writes in this review that the Bronx “serves as this book’s Capital of Death and the Dying, a locale of permanent night.” (I remember my first glimpse of Camden,NJ in the early 1970’s…it could have served as a makeshift set for Berlin in 1945…literally streets of rubble and half-demolished buildings) The review is a great read in itself, and so is “Underworld,” my nomination for the closest anyone can come in the postmodern world to the “Great American Novel,” and I base that claim in good part on the way DeLilo handles the America which walked away from the Urban ghetto, grounded in his story of the these nuns amidst the debris. It turns into a story of transcendance, or as close as we can come that feeling…in “‘the landscape of no context'” and you can glimpse some of those emotions in the reaction of the audience to viewing this film and this teacher’s mission… aletheia33 February 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm i bet a lot of these kids’ parents who haven’t been in this country all their lives know from experience how good the food is that you cook in your own kitchen out of your own garden. Lambert Strether February 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm Contact info for Discovery HS. I’m not well-versed enough in the NY School system to know which of these numbers is truly important. Maybe some NCer with a free minute could find out why the heck they killed this great program and forced the teacher into a basement. Up here in ME, we’ve got programs like this, and they are incredibly hard to do. That this teacher got results like this is incredible, so why are they punishing him? And if the teacher’s the issue, for some internal reason not stated in the stories, why didn’t they save the program?! Discovery High School Address: 2780 RESERVOIR AVENUE BRONX, NY10468 Phone: 718-733-3872 Fax: 718-733-3621 PRINCIPAL: ROLANDO RIVERA Parent Coordinator: Karina Sanchez PTA President: Borough Director of Family Engagement Office Phone: 718-828-2578 DSSI Cluster 05 (Fordham) DSSI Network Leader: BATISTI, ANITA/Struk, Margaret Phone: 646-579-7082 High School Superintendent Office Phone: 718-741-5852 High School Superintendent: STAPLE, CARRON 718-741-5852 Aquifer February 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm Mr. Strether, c’mon, I think you know why the program was scuttled – it was too successful – it produced a working model of a bottom up non corporate program for feeding “the locals” – and depriving the Big Boys of their racket. Governments have been toppled for doing that (Allende in Chile, e.g.), shutting down a school program was a no brainer .. Remember, this is “Kick ’em out of the park” Bloomberg’s city … Phone calls may work – but I suspect the only thing that might turn this around is embarrassment for the school officials/city admin. big time – like the public outrage expressed at the SGK foundation. I hope OWS takes this up … Comments are closed. Tip Jar Please Donate or Subscribe!