Port Chester Resident Launches Community Gardens




Weber Community Garden gardeners

Port Chester resident and community advocate Alex Payan has launched Port Chester Community Gardens (PCCG), a registered public charity in New York State. The goal is to help break down barriers to food access, healthy eating and environmental sustainability while promoting volunteerism and civic engagement.

“As a resident of Port Chester, I have enjoyed helping members of my community gain access to fresh-grown produce through the development of Weber Community Garden,” he says. “I’m proud to be part of the team that transformed vacant land into sustainable gardening space, thanks to the Port Chester Housing Authority.”

Low-income focus

According to Payan, PCCG will use highly collaborative and member-driven efforts to promote access to locally grown food, inform the community about healthy eating and sustainable living, and reuse vacant or underused land, all through the operation of community gardens as well as advocacy and education about their benefits.

In a partnership with the Port Chester Housing Authority, PCCG will oversee the transformation of vacant plots of land into sustainable gardening space, he says.

“By supporting food security and financial savings for individuals, especially the unemployed and those with low incomes, we will equip local housing authority residents with 29 garden beds. That will enable residents to grow their own organic vegetables and herbs, thus supplementing their food supply.”

He cites a study called “Hunger in the Town of Rye,” which found that 11 to 13 percent of town residents are hungry every day, and 85 to 90 percent of them live in the Village of Port Chester. Payan says it’s especially important that residents in the housing authority, who are among the poorest citizens in Rye, have healthy food that they can provide for themselves.

“Our goals are to grow food and forge new community bonds and relationships through mutual hard work,” he says. “We’ll offer neighborhood youth a place to develop and grow through hands-on learning, so they can later share their knowledge of healthy and sustainable living. Port Chester Community Gardens will encourage food, social and environmental sustainability through practice, awareness and advocacy in public policy supporting community gardens.”

A sustainable model

Weber Community Garden was the first of the Port Chester Housing Authority community gardens and a model for future gardens. Established in April 2016, it covers more than 2,000 square feet, with 19 raised beds, four composting bins, a shed full of garden tools, two spigots and a wheelbarrow.

“It is a robust, volunteer-run garden where residents do more than grow food—they grow community,” Payan says.

Last year the Port Chester Housing Authority received a grant from the Westchester County Board of Legislators to construct two additional community gardens at their senior housing locations. Then in April 2018, Drew and Terrace Community Gardens were established, each with five elevated beds, a vertical shed, a 150-gallon storage bench, garden tools and one spigot.

“With the help of community partners and donor support, Port Chester Community Gardens will act as a beacon of permanence and a reassurance that the gardens continue to thrive,” Payan says.

Future plans include tours, classes, a farmers’ market, a composting program, community bottle gardens, Earth Day festivities, a fall cleanup, an internship program and a scholarship fund.

For more information or to volunteer or make a donation, contact Alex Payan at 914.623.3077 or email PortChesterCommunityGardens@gmail.com. Visit Port Chester Community Gardens online at PCCommunityGardens.org or on Facebook.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

News Briefs

Eco-Justice Group The Greenheart to Perform in Ossining

Eco-Justice Group The Greenheart to Perform in Ossining

8 to 10 p.m. on November 24, at Good Choice Kitchen, in Ossining
Thanksgiving Day Plant-Based Potluck in White Plains

Thanksgiving Day Plant-Based Potluck in White Plains

1 to 4 p.m., November 22, at Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Mindfulness and Empowerment Retreat in Ossining

Mindfulness and Empowerment Retreat in Ossining

5 p.m. on November 30 to 1 p.m. on December 2
Awaken Wellness Fair Returns to Tarrytown November 18

Awaken Wellness Fair Returns to Tarrytown November 18

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors to this entertaining and educational event can browse products and services designed to support a healthy lifestyle, listen to expert speakers on a variety of issues, and consult with intuitive readers and holistic healers.
More Couples Want Inspirational, Nontraditional Wedding Ceremonies

More Couples Want Inspirational, Nontraditional Wedding Ceremonies

Michael Rosenbaum, an ordained minister and spiritual counselor, says he’s seeing a growing trend among engaged couples.
Beacon of Light Offers Fall Healing Events

Beacon of Light Offers Fall Healing Events

Events include women's healing circles, shamanic circles, breath work and sound meditations, live chanting and workshops on dance, drawing and Thai massage.
Open House at Yellow Monkey Village

Open House at Yellow Monkey Village

2 to 6 p.m. on November 3
Mindfulness Workshops and Retreats at Garrison Institute

Mindfulness Workshops and Retreats at Garrison Institute

Cultivate mindfulness, awareness and compassion.
Hudson River Museum Is Thanksgiving Weekend Destination

Hudson River Museum Is Thanksgiving Weekend Destination

November 24
Boscobel Hosts Holiday Twilight Tours

Boscobel Hosts Holiday Twilight Tours

Holiday tours will take place from 3:30 to 7 p.m., November 23-25, December 1-2 and December 8-9.
Bodyworkers’ Approach to Pain Transcends ‘Mechanics’

Bodyworkers’ Approach to Pain Transcends ‘Mechanics’

"The majority of chronic pain is actually caused by injuries to ligaments, joints, tendons and fibrous connective tissue.”
Hudson Valley Vegfest Returns for Second Year

Hudson Valley Vegfest Returns for Second Year

‘The BloodDetective’ Opens Katonah Office

‘The BloodDetective’ Opens Katonah Office

Grand opening event at the new office will be on October 26, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Holistic Skin Care Studio opens in Fishkill

Holistic Skin Care Studio opens in Fishkill

Offers an alternative to commercial spa services
Local Group Hosts Alexander Technique Week Events

Local Group Hosts Alexander Technique Week Events

The method teaches awareness of one’s postural habits and how one responds to stimuli, she says, and it enhances mobility, poise and performance while reducing stress and tension.
Tai Chi Studio Now Open in Brewster

Tai Chi Studio Now Open in Brewster

By combining slow, controlled breathing and gentle stretching movements, tai chi creates harmony between the body, mind and spirit.
Bedford Hills Wine and Beer Bar Hosts CBD Talk

Bedford Hills Wine and Beer Bar Hosts CBD Talk

October 9 at 6 p.m.
Lisanne Elkins Introduces ‘Scalp and Sole’ Treatment

Lisanne Elkins Introduces ‘Scalp and Sole’ Treatment

Focuses solely on the feet and head and borrows techniques from Asian disciplines.
Xeno-Estrogens Promote Breast Cancer

Xeno-Estrogens Promote Breast Cancer

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one out of eight American women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.
Stressed? Try Jin Shin Do Acupressure

Stressed? Try Jin Shin Do Acupressure

Jin Shin Do (JSD) is a form of clothes-on bodywork based on the energy system discovered and developed thousands of years ago by Taoist monks in China.
Putnam Valley Hosts Annual Psychic Fair

Putnam Valley Hosts Annual Psychic Fair

October 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To Break Addiction, Fill the Void

To Break Addiction, Fill the Void

“Addiction has its roots in feeling the need to find balance, to seek peace, comfort or excitement that somehow isn't present in a life."
Heart Songs: An Evening Of Chanting and Sacred Music

Heart Songs: An Evening Of Chanting and Sacred Music

October 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Susan Adler Adds Reflexology to Massage Practice

Susan Adler Adds Reflexology to Massage Practice

“Reflexology is based on the premise that the foot is a map of the whole body, where specific areas on the foot correspond to different organs, glands and body systems.”
‘Medical Medium’ Publishes Liver Rescue

‘Medical Medium’ Publishes Liver Rescue

It provides answers to a number of health conditions, from eczema and acne to diabetes and autoimmune disease.
Heeding the Warning Light

Heeding the Warning Light

Taking a pain reliever doesn’t fix the problem; it just covers it up.
Heritage Applefest in Garrison

Heritage Applefest in Garrison

October 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Festival Benefits Families in Medical Crisis

This family-friendly event will include a 10:30 a.m. fun walk (9:30 a.m. registration), hayrides, a pumpkin patch, touch-a-truck and local vendors.