Look!: Getting the Yard Ready for Winter

Look!: Getting the Yard Ready for Winter

Maxwell Ryan
Oct 18, 2007

Black Gold. Last Sunday we finally got the chance to clean up the little scrap of yard behind our apartment and break down our compost. After throwing kitchen cuttings in since last spring, we were really proud to have so much dark, rich soil to lay on top of our suffering plant beds...

We thought we'd share a few pictures with you and advocate the beauty of composting in the city in general. We've composted for years on our street. We always start with the fall leaves and then add in kitchen cuttings (no meat or dairy) on top. We also buy red wriggler worms from the Union Square Farmer's Market once a year to help the compost break down.

We also got an email from our friend, P, who was working on the communal gardens in his building this past weekend as well. His are fabulous. Check them out.

He also sent along a bunch of good info.

Hi max, pictures from our condo garden. Went to pick up free compost in Bronx yesterday & free daffodil bulbs at union square greenmarket on sat.

The gardens are part of our children's garden project. You might like to read our statement of principle: This was written by one of our garden committee members, Nina Massen:

"What is the expression on a kid's face when he sees a cucumber dangling from a vine for the first time, pops a basil leaf in her mouth, picks the first string bean of the season, or yanks a carrot out of the ground? Well, hang out by the communal garden and you will see such scenes daily.

The plants and seeds that were planted in the Spring are now in full bloom – six different kinds of tomatoes, pole and bush beans, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower, lettuce, herbs, and carrots. The butterfly garden next door to the vegetable beds offers a lovely assortment of flowers, appreciated especially by butterflies!

These communal gardens – tended by 12 volunteer families in our building throughout the summer months – do more than just add a welcome bit of color and nature to the courtyard. A 2003 Harvard Medical School study concluded that children who are taught about sustainable food systems through hands-on experiences such as gardening perform better in school, have fewer discipline issues, and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Kate Adamick, a nationally known food systems consultant, who has visited our garden, said "The beautiful garden at 1400 Fifth is an outstanding example of a community caring enough about its children to teach them about the bounty of nature, the virtue of physical labor, and the delight in working together to achieve a common goal."

You want to also mention that the Dept of Sanitation is doing another weekend, Oct. 20, 21 of free compost on Staten Island, at Fresh Kills? Here's the link: //www.nyccompost.org/program/givebacks.html">www.nyccompost.org/program/givebacks.html.

The Daffodil Project:


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