caitlin abber

MyMoon Gets a Makeover

If you’ve lived in North Brooklyn for a while, you’ve likely walked by MyMoon a handful of times. Situated on North 10th and Driggs, this sprawling indoor/outdoor restaurant has been around for quite some time by Williamsburg standards  (I remember a friend having a birthday party there in 2006 or 2007, so that should give you an idea).
But the MyMoon of my younger years is not the one I visited last week. While the space is still massive, draped with trees and curated with large metal sculptures and purple curtains, the menu has shifted direction from a classic Greek, to Spanish-influenced Mediterranean.
A perfect example of these new flavors lies in the Chef’s Choice Tapas Sampler. At $24, the sampler provides ample variety, while relying on customer favorites, as well as what is fresh and seasonal. While we were there, we tried the salmon ceviche, which was at once spicy and cool, citrusy and minty. It was the perfect scoop of flavors for a hot summer day. Continue reading

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The Garden Spot, Week 19

Goodbye tomatoes. Goodbye summer squashes. Goodbye radishes.

what do I even do with these skeletons?

Like any proper New Yorker, I am going to be away for the next six weekends of the summer. This is the hardest part of having a small, highly sensitive, needy garden — you have to make a choice about how worthwhile it is to have a friend come by to water it, when you aren’t getting any produce to begin with. My crops are just too temperamental, and simply not bountiful enough to devote another person’s time to. It’s like any one-sided relationship — at some point, you have to let go. Continue reading

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The Garden Spot, Week 18

I was looking forward to yesterday’s storm, as my plants (and I), needed a little reprieve from the heat. It started rolling into Greenpoint around 3pm, and I moved some of the smaller plants with lighter pots inside for protection. Those winds were fierce!

scary clouds over greenpoint.

The storm went on for a few hours, with shocking claps of thunder and loud bursts of lightning. Henry the cat, the brave little that dude he is, sat watch on the kitchen table.

A glimmer of sunshine arrive around 6pm, and it remained calm for the rest of the evening. Continue reading

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The Garden Spot, Week 17

I did a post a while back about all the other farms in Brooklyn that I was planning on visiting this summer. While I have been slacking on that a little, I did get out of town this weekend and managed to swing by a place that is pretty inspiring for any small space gardener.

Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, Massachusetts was nothing more than a tiny farm stand when I was a kid, but now it is a flourishing 4H with a giant greenhouse, a fully stocked store, and more baby sheep than you can shake a stick at (please don’t shake a stick at them).

I tried to steal one of these but I don't think they'd get along with my cat.

I am a total softy, and I die for baby animals. My partner and I spent 45 minutes feeding the cows and goats and lambs grain pellets and trying to talk sheep with them. It was totally magical in a way that is hard to find some days in New York.

On our way out I spotted a Charlie Brown-style blueberry bush, and knew it had to be mine. It is now out on the balcony, adjusting to the sounds of McGuinness Boulevard, and the slightly smoggier air of our dear city.

please be bountiful.

Have you gotten out of town recently? What are some fun, farm/garden day trips I should take?

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The Garden Spot, Week 16

So, um, do you guys have a favorite herb?

In my post-college life, my favorite leafy green substance has to be basil. I seriously cannot get enough of it. I put that shiz on everything!

Last week I did a major overhaul of the garden and decided to sow some seeds that seemed to be flourishing on my balcony. I now have the beginnings of what just might be more basil than I know what to do with.

Maybe I should start a small business?

Basil for days!

Do you have any plants that are doing particularly well? I want to hear your success stories!

 

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The Garden Spot, Week 15

If I’ve learned anything about small scale gardening in the last 15 weeks, its that you really do get what you give. This past weekend I attacked my garden for a few hours, pruning and weeding, and saying goodbye to some bolting radish plants and sad looking lettuce. It was a rewarding process, as now my garden is in tip top shape.

I now know which plants really thrive in the space/light I give them — summer squashes, basil, kale, and sunflowers. I decided that I can never have too much basil, so I combined some of my squash plants in a larger container, and used their old pots to plant some more of the delicious green stuff (pesto for days!).

I also did a fair bit of harvesting, which I cooked up that same night in the style of a salad from my beloved Anella. All fresh, all local, all totally grown by me. It was truly a beautiful thing.

Are you eating anything from your garden yet? I want to hear all about it!

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The Garden Spot, Week 14

we're hot :-(

Summer literally just began and already it’s a scorcher! My balcony garden has seen it’s fair share of extreme weather in the past 14 weeks, but I still wanted to make sure that I was doing everything I could to preserve my multitude of squashes and newly sprouting cilantro.

Here are some of the best tips I found:

  • Water early in the morning or in the evening to avoid evaporation.
  • Increase the shade or even move some of your more sensitive plants indoors if you can.
  • Weed often so the plants save their energy and use water in the most productive way.
  • Give your plants some space – I am planning on doing some serious re-potting over the weekend with fresh, moist soil to burst some life back into my crowded tomatoes.
  • Some plants wont survive the heat, so decide if you want to replace your most wilted greens, or move on and plan better next year.

What are you doing to protect your garden from the heat? Leave some tips in the comments!

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The Garden Spot, Week 13

I admitted in my very first post that I was not necessarily a skilled gardener. I am definitely a novice, and someone who is prone to mishaps, or rather, serious missteps along the way. This week proved that theory, as I cruelly neglected my little balcony garden while caught up in other life things, and noticed only yesterday how very bad it’s gotten.

The rain has drowned many of my new flowers, leaving a small swamp for me to deal with. My radishes have sprouted flowers, which I am not sure they are supposed to do, and my lettuces have straight up perished.

I am going away this weekend for a wedding (’tis the season) and I am at a loss at how to solve all of these problems before I take off tomorrow morning.

Leave your condolences in the comments, I need as much support as I can get!

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The Garden Spot, Week 11

Nobody likes a wilted basil!

An appropriate title for this week’s column might be, “Sad, Droopy Things”. I mean, wasn’t that what we all were this past week?

The H was O, as they say, and we were all wondering how this could possibly be just the beginning of summer (or, technically, still the end of spring).

Pathetic.

My plants were no exception, and as I checked on them this morning, I noticed that many of them had shriveled a little under the stress of the humidity. My most promising squash seems to have deflated, turning in on itself in an almost painful display of undernourishment.

Don’t worry little guy, I got you! This week is all about making sure the basic needs of my baby seeds get met.

How are your plants taking the heat? Tweet me @everydaycaitlin

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The Garden Spot, Week 10

I know I talk about the weather a lot, but this is a column about gardening, so deal with it! So, did you guys see the weather forecast this week? I mean, actually pull it up on your iPhone and look at it? It made me want to curl up in bed with Henry Littleboots and all the delivery burritos in the world and never be heard from again.

But alas, my garden needs me! So what is one to do when life hands her the weather equivalent of an entire lemon tree? Plant flowers, of course!

This week I headed to – where else – World of Flowers and picked up some new seeds: Cosmos, Chinese Lanterns, and Calendula — all red, orange, and yellow. My flowers are going to be so fashion forward!

I love having fresh flowers in the house, and frankly, it doesn’t make any sense for me to purchase them when I can grow them in my tiny garden.

Have you planted any flowers this year? How are you coping with the rain?

Tweet me @everydaycaitlin

weather photo c/o Buzzfeed

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