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City Gardening Secret: Have Horses Nearby

  • Subject: [cg] City Gardening Secret: Have Horses Nearby
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 09:08:31 EDT

You wouldn't think that within the concrete canyons of NYC there would be 
readily available sources of horse manure (with the possible exception of 
City Hall and the multi-national corporate media broadcasters.)

But we do...

The legendary Adam Purple and his ex-girlfriend/wife used to be seen in twin 
mopeds collecting horse manure from Central Park bridal paths and the area 
near the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue where drivers collect tourist for horse 
drawn carriage rides in the park.  
The West Side Community Garden between 89th/90th Streets off of Amsterdam 
Avenue:  (http://ps166.org/WSCG/) is adjacent to Claremont Stables which 
serves the Central Park Bridal Path.  I have no doubt that the horticultural 
success of that garden has been in no small part due to the use of that 

Hell's Kitchen in midtown Manhattan still has stables for the police, those 
Central Park carriages and theatrical horses.  The horse who appears as 
Brunhilde's steed in Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" at the Met one night may be 
pulling a wedding carriage the next.  While we depended heavily on that 
manure during the early days of the Clinton Community Garden, we selectively 
wheelbarrow it in the fall as an additive for our compost bins and to amend 
some of our vegetable beds. 

One late Fall, as we were seeding our lawn, some mounted cops rode by on the 
way to the stable.   We waved them in, which delighted the kids in the garden 
and gave us some nitrogen for some particularly worn patches on our lawn.  

It's nice to have horses as part of your community garden family.  Just 
follow prudent gardening practices in handling this "brown gold"

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman
 <A HREF="http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/";>Clinton Community Garden</A>


<< Subj:     [cg] sawdust and bark chips for compost
 Date:  4/21/03 7:44:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time
 From:  gfcp@mindspring.com (a.h.steely)
 Sender:    community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
 To:    community_garden@mallorn.com
 I realize that composting in the country is a lot different than city
 gardening but, the only time I really had any luck was when someone gave my
 now ex a goat that was a real brat.  She was tied behind the trailer in a
 doghouse over the winter with about 2 foot deep sawdust (free for the
 hauling) for bedding.  The area was a perimeter of 60 by 30 ft.  The mobile
 home protected her from the winds.  Her hooves turned up the sawdust and
 manure as well as the feed and hay over the winter.  Untutored in letting
 the stuff set, I planted beet seeds and pumpkins immediately in the spring.
 Wow, the beets were about 3 inches in diameter and the pumpkins and other
 stuff really grew well!  However, the smell did not bother anyone because we
 had about an acre between us and anyone else.
 The trick was the manure which provided the nitrogen.  Everyone, including a
 local farmer told me that the sawdust would sour my ground.  I have no idea
 what souring your ground means.  Since I had a dog tied to the tongue of the
 trailer at various times during the day, the critters didn't eat all the
 tender plants before they came up.  That is one difference between the
 country, suburbs and the city.  My cats keep the suburban critters at bay,
 i.e., rabbits, squirrels and birds.  In the city, I never saw critters
 stealing my seeds or small plants.
 Master Gardeners composting courses tell us not to use manure or meat scraps
 but that of course is where you would find nitrogen unless you have access
 to alfalfa hay or grow alfalfa and clover instead of grass.
 Best of luck in finding non smelly nitrogen in the city.
 Helen Steely
 Hbg., Pa.

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