Stephen in Action











Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx educator who believes that students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn, and earn in a better one. Moving generations of students into spheres of personal and academic successes which they had never imagined — while reclaiming and rebuilding the Bronx — Stephen’s extended student and community family have grown more than 85,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance.


  • “In his new book The Power of a Plant, Stephen Ritz weaves a beautiful personal tale of how boundless passion, purpose, and hope can move generations of students in New York’s tough South Bronx to realize their untapped human potential. Stephen uses the power of kindness and purpose to not only teach kids about the world but to create a better world for all of us.”

    Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and founder of KIND Snacks

  • “Through Steve Ritz, we’re telling a new Bronx story!”

    Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr.

  • “Stephen Ritz is one of the most innovative, genuine, and tenacious educators I have ever met. He is the kind of superhero we need standing for our kids and their well-being. He uses gardening to inspire, challenge, and get kids growing in ways that transform their lives and communities. His story will touch your heart and propel you to plant a seed!”

    Nona Evans, president and executive director of Whole Kids Foundation

  • “Building a new and effective Good Food system is everyone’s obligation, and it starts with education. Stephen’s epic story teaches us how to turn every community into a place that nourishes bodies and minds. He’s my hero.”

    Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power and author of The Good Food Revolution

  • “Thank you! The feedback we received from our people was fantastic! You were super inspiring and we’re very much looking forward to our next event together.”

    Boston Scientific

  • “The hyperkinetic, self-described ‘world’s oldest sixth grader,’ Ritz only has one speed: warp”

    Fast Company

  • “Education should unleash human potential, which is infinite in its capacity to create, know, and solve every conceivable problem. Stephen Ritz has opened a door to this unbounded field of possibilities, which he elegantly describes in The Power of a Plant.”

    Deepak Chopra, New York Times bestselling author and author of You are the Universe

  • “Stephen Ritz is the most inspiring and enthusiastic speaker on issues of food, sustainability, and education I have ever seen. He has the ability to take an audience on his journey to save the world through his little corner of the Bronx. Si se puede!”

    Bob Brinkmann PhD., Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies, Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability, Director of Sustainability Research, National Center for Suburban Studies, Hofstra University

  • “I know, for one, that your presentation to our Clinton Foundation staff energized us to dream bigger. We thank you for taking the time to do so.”

    CEO, Clinton Climate Initiative

  • “Stephen Ritz personifies inspiration. In the face of adversity most people wilt – not Stephen – he turned despair into opportunity and introduced a school and a community to possibility. His words of motivation translate well beyond the South Bronx children he has taught for three decades.

    Mitch Roschelle, Partner and Practice Leader PwC, Trustee PwC Charitable Foundation

  • “Stephen’s program is sustainable because he has brought in all the stakeholders, (teachers, parents, administrators, and students) and uses state accredited curriculum. By using food and plant life cycles to teach other subjects he incorporates health, wellbeing, and the environment around them with positive steps to academic success.

    Dr. Katie Wilson, USDA, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

  • “Things went fabulous. We continue to hear from conference attendees saying how much they were inspired by Stephen.”

    West Virginia University

  • “Here’s proof positive that one person can make a difference. Stephen Ritz uses food plants―Green Bronx Machine―to transform kids and their school environments. You can do this too!”

    Marion Nestle, professor of food, nutrition, and public health at New York University, and author of What to Eat

  • “Your presentation was a big success! Lots of people sent us positive comments on the entire event, but your presentation drew particular attention.”

    International Institute for Learning, Inc

  • “The only thing bigger than the impact Stephen has had helping countless students understand the importance of their food choices is his infectious personality. The Power of a Plant outlines the remarkable work he has done to date and provides a blueprint for how educators around the world can implement his learnings effectively.”

    Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality

  • “Best keynote ever!”

    Deputy Chancellor, NYC Department of Education


We grow vegetables…
and our vegetables grow students, schools, and communities!

Green Bronx Machine is an impact driven, for-purpose organization with 501(c)(3) status rooted in the belief that we are all Amer-I-Cans! Green Bronx Machine was born via collaboration between life-long educator Stephen Ritz and his students who observed that as waistlines expanded, engagement and opportunities in school decreased, school performance suffered, and hope and ambition became minimized. Originally an after-school, alternative program for high school students, Green Bronx Machine has evolved into K-12+ model fully integrated into core curriculum. Our students grow, eat and love their vegetables en route to spectacular academic performance.

© 2019 Stephen Ritz