Workshops/Collabs

Common Knowledge works with other educational initiatives and community groups to host plant walks and workshops that engage children and adults in the incredibly rich language of wild edible species found city wide. Contact us today to see how we can work together!

image: Alyssa Dennis

image: Alyssa Dennis

Grow Brooklyn — Brooklyn, NY

May 20th, 2017 we had a table set up at GROW Brooklyn Festival where we invited kids from the neighborhood to color and chat with us about urban edible plants. GROW Brooklyn was conceived of by grass-roots community leaders from Garden Kitchen Labs to create a program of discovery, knowledge sharing and festivities. GROW Brooklyn "celebrates our diversity and empower visitors to adopt healthy habits and try their hand at growing and eating their own food.” 

image: Alyssa Dennis

image: Alyssa Dennis

Imani Garden — Brooklyn, NY

We collaborated with Imani Garden in Weeksville, Brooklyn to host a free plant dying workshop to experiment and connect with the colors that plants within the urban wild are able to offer.  

image: William Keefer

image: William Keefer

Swale: A Floating Food Forest — Brooklyn, NY

June 10th, 2017 we collaborated with Swale: A Floating Food Forest in hosting a plant tour to talk about species of edible plants which can be found citywide. We covered about 12 species which included taste testing. At the end we gathered for a discussion about the ethics and safety of harvesting urban edibles while enjoying an herbal infusion and tea tasting. Swale is dedicated to the education of food, agriculture and ecology through community engagement. Everything growing on Swale is edible and free for the public to harvest as nourishment. Swale docks its floating barge at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Concrete Plant Park, Bronx, Governor Island, and other locations.

image: Natalie Conn

image: Natalie Conn

Greater Ridgewood Youth Council — Brooklyn, NY


We collaborated with Candace Thompson of The CURB to host a workshop on the incredible ways we can have a relationship with one of the most hated/demonized invasive plants, Japanese Knotweed. Candace taught them how to make native bee houses from the dried hollow shoots and we talked about how the roots are used as medicine and as an incredible yellow/orange dye. This workshop was done with young teens from the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council as part of their environmental justice programing. They have been attempting to eradicate Knotweed in Highland Park, Queens all summer with the conservation group NYC H2O so we decided to show them how their hard work can turn into creative ecological solutions. Read more

image: Alyssa Dennis

image: Alyssa Dennis

Poly Prep Country Day School — Brooklyn, NY

For our five day collaboration with Poly Prep Country Day School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn students, together with art teacher Helena Elko, we employed several ways of working with pigments derived from plants in the form of paints, dyes and stains. Two out of the four colors we worked with were foraged from species found in Brooklyn. For one of the classes students painted images of plants with the very color they produce. Students were shocked that we weren't using green as one of the paint options. These types of exercises were oriented to expose the students to ways of building reverence for their surroundings instead of simply being passive observers. Ultimately the goal of this collaboration was to provide access points for students to think of other ways in which we can cultivate and maintain our relationship to nature without seeing the walls of the city as a limitation.

Plants Are Magic — Vol 4 — Uk


Alyssa had the pleasure of writing and illustrating an article called Urban Tending for Rebecca Desnos’ Plants Are Magic magazine Vol 4 which carries the theme of ‘home’. This article talks about the wondrous world of plant language and the importance of place-based identity as defining aspects of rooting to home. You can read a portion of the article here or the full 3 page article and the rest of this amazing compilation here.