Hot Pepper Project on NY1

See this great clip about our collaboration with Bronx Hot Sauce.  All year long young adult participants in our Alternatives to Incarceration program with Community Connections for Youth have mostly been responsible for tending the Serrano pepper plants.

Weeding all year, watering, especially on the hot Summer days, spreading mulch and more.  Besides learning urban farming skills and teamwork and an appreciation for Nature, they get paid.  A great initiative that keeps our youth out of the criminal justice system and cultivates community,

See the clip by clicking the photo below.  And you can contribute to our  End of Year Fundraiser Drive click here, or contact us for other ways of giving.

From the NY1 piece:

Nineteen-year-old Junior Leiva has carefully plucked peppers that will end up in stores across the country in bottles of Bronx Hot Sauce – a product made with produce grown at community gardens across the borough.

“We give these 23 urban gardens seeds. They grow the seeds. We buy them back from the people and we pay them $4 per pound,” said Julia Fitzgerald, Bronx Hot Sauce VP of Sales.

Those gardens already have grown 750 pounds of peppers this year. It’s enough to make 30,000 bottles of hot sauce and earn Leiva and three others working at Brook Park some pocket change.

“I think it’s pretty cool because instead of going to big companies they come to us,” Leiva said.

The folks behind all of this want Bronx Hot Sauce to become a kitchen staple, but there’s more to it than that.

“When you purchase a bottle of this sauce, it helps a lot of people,” said King Phojanakong, Creator of Bronx Hot Sauce.

A major goal is supporting struggling communities in the Bronx and the often overlooked people who live there like Leiva, who’s growing peppers at Brook Park as part of a program for teenagers who got in trouble with the law.

“They can have a sense of the possibilities for them as a result of  learning the really fine art of urban agriculture and now having an opportunity to take it up to a level where they could earn income,” said Ray Figueroa, Program Director at Friends of Brook Park.

The peppers which become hot sauce virtually go from community gardens like the one in Brook Park to businesses like the Bronx Beer Hall where they sell the product to their customers….” See the rest by clicking the photo below.

Click the photo for the short video form NY1.

Click the photo for the short video from NY1.