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New Bronx food collective wins a USDA award to make salad dressing and marinade. We need your recipe!   

A collaboration of Bronx-based food and social justice groups has formed the Bronx Canasta, an innovative food production and economic empowerment program. The Bronx Canasta aims to build self-reliance of Bronx communities to grow their own food and create, market, and distribute value-added products.  To support these efforts, The Bronx Canasta secured four years of funding through a USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grant! Now we are looking the first value-added product – a Bronx salad dressing and marinade recipe!

The recipe’s ingredients will be grown in the Boogie Down Bronx! Urban farms and community gardens around our borough will plant and harvest the freshest ingredients for the salad dressing and marinade.
“Grassroots projects like this create roadmaps to be emulated and copied by community gardens in other urban areas throughout the country” Said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, “I congratulate Bronx Canasta for their efforts to date and look forward to trying the winning recipe later this year.”

Bronx community gardens have already proven the viability of commercial production by growing over two tons of serrano peppers used to make The Bronx Hot Sauce™. This community effort generated $15,000 that has been reinvested into participating Bronx community gardens. The Bronx Canasta is hosting a recipe competition to collect culturally important and delicious recipes from Bronx residents. Recipes will represent our cultures and communities and promote healthy eating.

“The community gardens are vital assets to Bronxites throughout the borough. The gardens combining their efforts to create a product that promotes a healthy lifestyle from plants grown right here is exciting,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I encourage all New Yorkers with an epicurean flair to take part in this recipe contest and bring the flavor of Bronx to their own special cuisine.”

We are looking for a recipe, ricetta, وصفة , recetë, receta, 食谱 , recette! (Italian, Arabic, Albanian, Spanish, Chinese, French).

The recipe competition opens Friday, March 1st and will close on Monday, April 15th at 5 p.m.
Visit to submit your recipe.

Carrie Rebora Barratt, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden expressed NYBG’s enthusiasm for the project, stating: “The New York Botanical Garden is thrilled to partner with the Bronx Canasta team on this inspired project, which will create many opportunities for community engagement with gardens and food. First up, we will create a delicious dish out of the world’s best ingredients: Bronx-grown produce, Bronx urban farming expertise, and Bronx culture and spirit.”

On May 16th, The Bronx Canasta will host a kick-off event to announce the recipe winner. The creator of the winning recipe will receive a cash prize and a lasting legacy. The chosen recipe will be used to create the value-added product to be launched in early 2020. More details about the May 16th kick-off event will be forthcoming.

“The community gardeners have come together to make their own product, full of the same great tastes and flavors the market has raved about. This is a first of its kind progression.  We are excited for the future of this very important project,” John Crotty, of Small Axe Peppers, the makers of The Bronx Hot Sauce.

Carmen Bardeguez-Brown, a Bronx Canasta Partner and Director of Morris Campus Educational Farm, encourages everyone, toStay tuned for more from the Bronx Canasta as we build partnerships, increase food production and distribution, provide advanced agricultural, culinary, and entrepreneurship skills training, and create a sustainable community-led business entity.”

For more information about how The Bronx Canasta is working to strengthen the food system in the Bronx, visit

About The Bronx Canasta

The Bronx Canasta is a partnership of groups already serving the Bronx in a variety of capacities: The Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center, Bronx Green-Up of The New York Botanical Garden, International Rescue Committee, Morris Campus Educational Farm, Friends of Brook Park, La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition, and Small Axe Peppers. These organizations are all working closely together to create and implement innovative food and farming opportunities for Bronx residents.