Tired of being stuck inside all day? Don’t have a backyard or outdoor space to call your own? Want to get your hands dirty, enjoy the beautiful weather and meet some great people that live in your neighborhood?
Stop by to help build the garden this Saturday June 1, 2013.
Garden work begins at 2pm and the open meeting for new member begins at 3pm.
That’s right! After years of remaining vacant, the city-owned lot on Franklin is blossoming into a new garden space and outdoor environmental classroom for Greenpoint.
Unlike the traditional community garden model, in which individualized plots are spread out between a few lucky participants, the 61 Franklin Street Garden will function as more of an open green space for community use. Individual membership is $25/year and family memberships are $40/year.
The 61 Franklin St Garden is open! Ryan Watson, of GWAAP and Brooklyn Seed Company giddily unlocked the gate to show me the beautiful (and mugwort-filled) space this morning. Before the garden parties can begin, help is needed to pull up an entire lot overgrown with weeds. It’s super easy – just grab and pull, grab and pull.
If you’re looking for a productive morning in the great outdoors of Greenpoint, grab your gardening gloves and show up at the 61 Franklin St garden tomorrow – Saturday May 18 at 9:30am – and get to work!
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!
Can I just brag about something for a minute? 8 Weeks ago I started this humble column with the intention of using it to help me stick to my gardening and spread information related to the neighborhood. I wanted to feel inspired every week to plan, maintain, learn, and ultimately be a better grower and producer. This week I took a step back and looked at what I had accomplished thus far.
My lettuces are not big enough to eat yet, but they are lush and healthy. My basil emits the most intense, wonderful smell at the touch. Sunflowers and radishes are shooting out of the dirt over night. But there is one plant I am particularly excited about.
My summer squashes are as sturdy as trees. They have these big, vibrant leaves and every time I look at them I am filled with a great sense of pride. They were once tiny seeds, and now they are big, beautiful plants. Way to go, little guys!
I guess this is the rewarding feeling everyone talks about. While I haven’t gotten to taste the fruits of my labor, I get to witness it every day and know I am doing something right. It’s totally awesome.
So, how is your garden coming along? I want to see pics! Tweet me @everydaycaitlin
I recently bought bee pollen at the Greenmarket because I am bi-curious about bee products. It is termed a SUPERFOOD! Meg Paska, the infamous Brooklyn Homesteader, who keeps bees (among other things) right here in Greenpoint, is kind enough to school us on bee pollen.
Meg: Pollen is a reproductive matter created by angiosperms (ground-dwelling flowering plants) to aid in species propagation. It’s made up of many small grains that contain the male gametes that are required for plant fertilization. Bee pollen is just pollen that has been collected and prepared by honeybees.
Last week I shared my excitement about Hayseed’s Big City Farm Supply opening up like, 3 blocks from my apartment. I finally got to head down there today and check it out – and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more. More being the fact that I got to hold this rabbit named Carrot!
The shop itself is airy and bright, with heaps of seeds, soil, pots, books, shovels, bee keeping equipment, and of course, bunny raising supplies. If you are feeling a bit blue today, this is what you should do. Go down to Hayseed’s and hug the rabbit.
Megan Paska, one of the owner’s of Hayseed’s and creator of BrooklynHomesteader, was more than helpful when it came to answering all the customer’s questions. She told me about the reasons behind opening the shop (to get affordable supplies to eager urban farmers), as well as what some of the most popular products are (books and seeds, no surprise there!).
Hayseed’s is not just a shop, they are also growing their own garden in the lot next door. This is quite a sight next to the big rigs and gas stations that line McGuinness Avenue.
I left with a few lbs. of dirt, a set of CowPots and some hot pepper and cilantro seeds (definitely a Mexican food theme happening in my garden) for less than $20.
All in all, Hayseed’s is an excellent addition to the neighborhood, and I look forward to many visits over the next couple months. They are only open through June, so go check them out while you still can!
Hayseed’s is located at 218 India Street in Greenpoint.
Gardening can sometimes feel like an ominous fitness regimen. You’ve committed to a challenge, invested in supplies, and now you must maintain the project every day in order to succeed. You watch other people around you excel with leaps and bounds, all the while your tiny basil plant has just start to make it’s way out of the ground.
I can see why it might be discouraging to some people – but just like the world of diet and exercise, there is a ridiculous amount of resources and information out there to help you reach your goals. What I have found thus far is that sticking to one plan is best, and seeking inspiration from the world around you only improves your drive. I mean, I see a particularly pretty rosemary bush, and I want to go home and COMPOST, know what I mean?
Anyway, it’s been a little chilly outside, so my garden is still hanging out indoors – which means there not a lot to report right now. So this week I thought I’d hook you up with a couple of my favorite inspiration resources, as well as share something I am very excited about.
If you have a few hours to spare and want to fall into a container gardening worm-hole (haha) there is Life On The Balcony. It’s filled with all sorts of Pinterest/Apartment Therapy-looking inspiration that pretty much screams, “do this on a Sunday afternoon.”
I’m not always the DIY type, but I love to support those who are. It’s no surprise that Etsy has some of the best, most original gardening accoutrements around. You can also look for stuff directly from Brooklyn sellers, if you want to keep things wicked local.
And finally – this is sort of my dream come true. There is going to be an urban gardening pop-up shop in Greenpoint from April 4 through the end of June. HaySeed’s Big City Farm Supply will provide everything from soil to lessons to bees. And it’s just down the street on India!
Until then, do you have any great resources you’d like to share with me? Tweet them to @everydaycaitlin !
This is one woman’s journey with small-space gardening in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Here is an appropriately corny picture of me with some flowers.
So let me start off with some back-story: Last year my boyfriend and I moved from one apartment on Eckford, to another apartment directly across the street. We upgraded from a small ground level two-bedroom (that we shared with a roommate), to a modern monstrosity with floor to ceiling windows and the tiniest bit of outdoor space. The first thing I did that spring was set up a garden on our balcony.
By garden I mean, I bought some pots, threw some seeds in the dirt, and waited. Occasionally I would go to Sprout and buy a new plant and mix it in with rest and wait to see what happened. By the end of the summer our balcony looked like a wilted graveyard and I had one sad sweet potato that sort of resembled a swollen thumb. I was envious of all the Brooklyn/Urban/Small Space Gardeners who had buckets of squash and full heirloom tomatoes to cook dinner with. We still had to go out and buy produce at Key Foods when we needed it.
At the end of the season all I knew was that, next year I will be doing it RIGHT.
So I present to you: The Garden Spot. This is a weekly column where I will share the ups and downs of gardening in a small space, specifically in Greenpoint. I will buy all my supplies at local stores, stay abreast of local farming/gardening news, create and share recipes from my garden and the local farmers markets, and generally provide information for all you gardening newbies out there. Like I said, I failed miserably last year, so I make no claims that this year will be any more fruitful. However, sharing it with you will hopefully prove fun and informative for all of us.