Art, Health & Wellness Workshop Series with New Britain ROOTS



Art, Health & Wellness Workshop Series with New Britain ROOTS


As part of the Greater New Britain Community Seed Library program, the New Britain Museum of American Art and New Britain ROOTS are hosting a 6-part workshops series that is free and open to the public. Each workshop will explore different gardening topics, including gardening 101, seed-saving, propagating, introducing children to the wonder of gardening, and more. Through this series, community members will learn the skills they need to grow their own food while sustaining the community seed library as a community resource.

ROOTS received the Catalyst Grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain to launch four community seed libraries located at the Berlin, New Britain, Plainville, and Southington public libraries. The Greater New Britain Community Seed Library is a free program committed to empowering community members to feed one another by offering seeds and education. Through the time-honored tradition of seed saving, libraries will encourage participants to celebrate biodiversity and nurture locally adapted plant varieties, all while fostering community resilience and a culture of sharing.


Workshop Schedule:


Sunday, March 27, 12 p.m. | Gardening 101 

Presenter: Corey Thomas & Joey Listro of New Britain ROOTS

The first of six free workshops, Gardening 101 will be a crash course for beginning gardeners. Led by ROOTS staff members and former vegetable farmers Joey Listro and Corey Thomas, attendees will learn the steps they need to take to start their own home garden. Joey and Corey will share their best tips and tricks for growing vegetables, flowers, and herbs.


Saturday, April 9, 12 p.m. | Kids Gardening 

Presenter: Rita Neal - Education Coordinator for New Britain ROOTS

We invite families and their children (ages 5-10) to join this interactive workshop that is sure to excite gardeners of all ages. Through hands-on-activities with ROOTS Education Coordinator Rita Neal, adults will learn how to engage their children in the garden, while children will explore the excitement of gardening and leave with their own plant-starting kit to use at home.


April 21 | Earth Day SoilSHOP 

Soil Health Lecture 6 p.m.

Soil Testing: 3:30-7:30pm

Presenters: TBD

This workshop will explore how to identify, make, and keep healthy soil to grow a productive garden. Attendees will have an opportunity to engage with the US EPA’s SoilSHOP Mobile Lab - a mobile testing unit for residents to bring in their soil samples for a free screening. The free screening includes a lead test, which is a dangerous soil contaminant. If you live in an urban area or in a neighborhood with older homes, having your soil tested is an important safety measure, especially if you have young children or are growing veggies in your yard.

Click here to learn how to collect a soil sample.

Note: Masks are required to attend this lecture


Thursday, May 5, 6 p.m. | Seed Saving 

Presenter: Sefra Alexandra

Learn the basics of seed-saving from local botanist and seed expert, Sefra Alexandra. Sefra will share techniques for harvesting, processing, and preserving seeds from your garden for planting next year.


Thursday, May 26, 6 p.m. | Eat your Art! (limit 20 people) - POSTPONED - New date to come

Presenter: Rita Neal - Education Coordinator for New Britain ROOTS

We invite attendees of all ages to come and create their own garden art focaccia bread. Using the bread as a blank canvas, we will arrange vegetables and herbs to create magical and edible garden-inspired pictures! Using vegetables in creative and fun ways is a great way to engage children in healthy eating practices, who are always more likely to eat food that they’ve made. Focaccia Art

Thursday, June 9, 6 p.m. | Propagating from Cuttings, Roots, and Bulbs

Presenter: TBD

During this hands-on workshop, attendees will learn how to propagate their own perennials from a local expert. More details to follow.

Register here

About New Britain ROOTS:

New Britain ROOTS’ mission is to cultivate community connections and equitable access to quality food through empowerment and learning with the people who grow, prepare, and eat food in New Britain. Our mission comes to life through three areas of focus: food access, urban agriculture, and education.