plants

Bushwick Inlet: Leave it For The Birds

Have you seen the giant “Where’s Our Park?” banner on Franklin St on a fenced off piece of grassy shoreline near No. 14th St? Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park are pretty pissed off because Mayor Bloomberg promised a park there but has not followed through, according to DNAinfo. There was a rally downtown yesterday demanding answers.

Satellite of Bushwick Inlet Now

I say, “Where Is Our Nature?” It’s actually right there behind that fence. And we should leave it alone. The best thing we can do on an industrial shoreline with high rises going up at an incredible rate is leave Bushwick Inlet, that little spot behind the banner, for the birds – literally.

According to: Where’s Our Park? “The community vision for the park includes a boat launch, a museum dedicated to the Civil War era battleship USS Monitor, picnic grounds, athletic fields, volleyball courts, wetland preserves, gardens, performance spaces, a dog run and a two-mile bicycle and pedestrian path.” Continue reading

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The Garden Spot, Week 12

A Forest of Chives

Twelve weeks of gardening, and I can finally enjoy the fruits of my labor! Well, not so much fruits as herbs.

A few days ago I went out onto the balcony and plucked basil, rosemary, and chives, all ready to be chopped up and thrown into a lovely herb crusted chicken dish – which I of course, forgot to take a picture of.

However, now that food-eating season is upon us, I plan to start including lots of my favorite recipes and tutorials. After all, I grew these plants for a reason! And that reason is for them to be in my mouth.

Some of my favorite summer recipes are things like simple Caprese salads, grilled corn with lots of butter, asparagus (by the way, RIP my asparagus, they did not like it outdoors), and most kinds of mojitos. What are some of yours? Are you picking up what they are putting down at the new McGolrick farmer’s market? Tell me everything @everydaycaitlin

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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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Pick A Card: Pink Serissa

Terrarium at Go! GreenpointThis game is fun! I randomly pick a business card from a pickle jar and introduce a local business.  Today I grabbed a card that said Pink Serissa Terrariums. We love terrariums around here! I remember seeing these lovely and unique terrariums at the Go Green! Greenpoint Earth Day Festival in McCarren Park a few weeks back.

There were underwater and hanging terrariums, and plants that required no soil, which blew my mind. I remember the prices to be very reasonable. The website needs updating, but the Pink Serissa Etsy Store was informative with beautiful photographs.

Continue reading

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The Garden Spot, Week 9

It’s been a rainy, muggy week here in Greenpoint. I’m going to be honest and say I’ve spent more time catching up on TV and frequenting the brand new Beloved than gardening. However, sometimes the plants take care of themselves (hey, they’ve been doing it since literally forever!).

This morning I awoke to a really special sight. Out of nowhere it seemed that my squash had blossomed! I have a whole mess of little yellow flowers. I was told I should try catching some of these before they bloom, stuff them with cheese and fry them, ….maybe I will give it a shot tonight.

This past weekend, before the rain, I transferred all of my cowpots into regular-sized pots. They seem to be doing well and growing ten times faster. It’s amazing what a little space can do (am I right, Brooklyn renters?)!

How are your gardens coming along? Tweet me @everydaycaitlin

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The Garden Spot, Week 4

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 !

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The Garden Spot, Week 2

I don’t want to be too hyperbolic, but given my devotion to this project, my seedlings are sort of like my babies. That’s why, when I took a four-day trip to Florida last week, I was a little nervous to leave them alone. Though I had a trust-worthy friend coming by to water them (and take care of the cat), I was still fretting what I might see upon my return.

A few examples of my fears:

  • Mold all over the seed starter kit.
  • A hungry Henry Littleboots ravaged the baby plants, leaving nothing but bits of roots and paw-prints on everything.
  • Nothing. No growth. No change.

As you can see from this picture, I was pleasantly relieved. Spring had sprung in my little plastic container! The main crops you see on the right are lettuces – spinach and kale, as well as some mixed salad greens. We also have sunflowers jutting up, chives, and a little basil for good measure.

I spent the next morning transferring the larger seedlings into their adult pots and placing them in the greenhouse. It’s going to get up to 80 degrees this week, so I think it is certainly time for them to be placed outside.

When I transferred them I used organic potting soil (purchased from A World Of Flowers), and I mixed in some coffee grinds and orange peels. I know this isn’t proper compost, but I have read that both of these things are good for plants. So far, the mixture is helping my radishes grow into pork taco garnish at the speed of, well, light.

As you can see, my greenhouse is filling up quickly. I don’t want to extend the garden over the entire balcony, as I need somewhere to sit and yell at teenagers this summer. However, I am interested in some kind of tree or vine – lemons or tomatoes. Has anyone had particular success growing either of these outdoors in Greenpoint?

I also decided that I would accept the challenge of planting asparagus. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, and something I look forward to all year. Like tomatoes, it is truly better in season. The unfortunate thing about asparagus is that it is not easy to grow, and you can’t cut the stalks the first year. This means that though we may have a green village to look at, we will have to wait until next summer to harvest them and wrap them in prosciutto and smother them in butter. Also, the roots look like alien tentacles.

While it’s all been good news so far, we do have a little problem. Henry cannot seem to leave my indoor palm tree alone. We wake up to this sad sight almost every morning. Does anyone have any tips for keeping cats out of houseplants?

(For some reason I thought putting wine corks over the soil would deter him. Silly me.)

Has anyone else started their small garden yet? Let me know how it’s going @everydaycaitlin !

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The Garden Spot, Week 1

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.

Continue reading

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Terrarium Class with Jon

Our last terrarium class was a blast. Sign up quickly for this one because it will sell out fast!

Sunday April 1, 2012, 5pm at the Diamond (43 Franklin St)

$40 includes all materials and a pint of beer.

Email greenpointers (at) gmail.com

There are a few spots left for this Wednesday’s Chutney Class at Good Yoga (73 Calyer St). Click here for more info.


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