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Rahma Clinic Edible Forest Snack Garden
Rahma Clinic Edible Forest Snack Garden
Last updated:
3100 South Salina St, SYRACUSE, NY, US
Climate zone:
Cold Temperate

Dominique Chanovre Mark Domingo Roxanne Masters
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Rahma Clinic Edible Forest Snack Garden

Project Type

Urban, Community, Demonstration

Project Summary

The Alchemical Nursery and the Rahma Free Clinic will establish a "Snack Garden" on an unused portion of land adjacent to the clinic building, on clinic owned land at 3100 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY. The Snack Garden will provide fresh healthy food for the community to self-harvest as an alternative to pre-packaged convenience bought snacks of little nutritional value; as well as an educational opportunity for experiential and workshop learning of nutritional eating choices. This community garden will be unique in Syracuse by being the first to utilize Permaculture design principles to establish a perennial edible forest system, moving the current community gardening movement past an annual production focus into a truly regenerative and self-sufficient food production model. Some features of the garden which demonstrate this methodology include: > Use of perennial plant species to reduce annual maintenance of propagation, cultivation and planting needs > Use of native species and ground covers to reduce watering needs > Use of multi-story design to utilize vertical growing space without expensive built infrastructure > Use of diverse plant products for self-mulching and self-fertilizing (maintenance of site integrity)

Project Description

The Rahma Clinic is a new resource for Syracuse providing free health care services at 3100 South Salina St.  An important part of health is nutrition and healthy eating; it is a well known fact that the southside of Syracuse currently does not have a grocery store providing fresh produce and healthy food choices, and is commonly referred to as a food desert.  Young and old are often tasked with finding food options at local corner stores, which often specialize in pre-packaged sugar laden snacks and processed “foods”.  More healthy food options are needed for southside residents and visitors. 

The founding Directors of the Rahma clinic have noticed that persons often patronize a convenience store on a neighboring parcel in which they purchase sugar laden, processed, and pre-packaged food items which are the antithesis of Rahma's mission and vision.  The Snack Garden edible forest ecosystem will provide an alternative snack source and showcase a model which can then be replicated in many other communities within Syracuse and beyond.  The Rahma Free Clinic is excited to be able to provide wellness services both within and outside their doors on Syracuse's southside.

The primary Objective of this project is the establishment of a perennial food forest system as a "Snack Garden" and gardening educational resource at the Rahma Free Clinic .  However, it will also create program infrastructure for the continuation of the Design Open as an annual event, bringing community supported Permaculture design services and perennial food system implementation to additional areas of need in future years throughout Central New York. 


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Urban Community Demonstration
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