Gardening, upcycling taught at Ava Dorfman


SUNY Poly students and seniors at the Ava Dorfman Senior Center spent the afternoon Thursday thinking outside the box — and inside the egg carton — when it comes to gardening.

Members of SUNY Poly’s Maker Club presented a workshop on “upcycling” household materials — like egg and milk cartons, soda bottles, and glass jars — and repurposing them as flower pots.

The workshop engaged seniors in hands-on sowing and transplanting of herb seedlings, using pots from upcycled materials that participants brought themselves. After decorating their upcycled pots, the participants were able to take their seedlings home and to put their new gardening knowledge to work.

The event was the brainchild of Christina Carambia, an interdisciplinary studies major at Poly and the owner of Underground Greens, a startup company with plans for year-round indoor and outdoor local crop cultivation.

Carambia has sad that Underground Greens also aims to use public workshops, like the one at Ava Dorfman, to show Romans the need for sustainable food cultivation practices.

“If we add members of the community, living in the food desert, to the Underground Greens team, through workshops and critically listen to their insights, we can establish localized food production, provide local jobs, and create new food knowledge that will eliminate our food desert,” Carambia has said on her startup’s blog.

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