RE: Compost systems and kids involvement
Your roto-tillers were voted down by our steering committee ( democracy has
its' limits, unfortunately.) I too am a barrel fan, but I was out-voted.
C'est la vie.
Unfortunately, rabbits and guinea pigs running around in our garden would be
verboten under our lease with the NYC Parks dept. Can't keep cows, chickens
or pigs in the city limits either. Our mayor, Rudolph Giuliani ( known to
the cognocenti as Adolph Mussolini) has a real problem with ferrets as pets
and views community gardens as "the last vestige of communism."
We include kids in the http:/www.clintoncommunitygarden.org 's plans and
work with them on plantings ( we do kid's birthday parties, story telling,
plant workshops etc.) however, the big problem with using the garden as a
playground for running games is the liability issue.
In the USA, litigation is a bigger sport than basketball. While the au pair
is talking about the wonderful time she had at a club the previous night
with her girlfriends, the 4 year old she's ignoring might run and split his
face open on part of our rock garden. Two boys playing touch football can
destroy the tulips or cause a dangerous swarm if the ball hits the bee hive.
Plus, we're on roughly a third of an acre and often have about 30 sunbathers
on our lawn during a sunny day as well as picnic parties ( not to mention
the dozens of garden volunteers who maintain our lawn and flower beds.) Our
small garden has more than 2000 key holders and services an area between
59th and 34th Streets, Eighth Ave to the Hudson River. And, we're entirely
run by volunteers who usually have days comprised of two jobs, families,
community work and think in terms of "New York Minutes."
We maintain an insurance policy, but one good lawsuit could clean us out.
Hence, more rules and a more structured atmosphere than you have in your
Berlin atmosphere. In NYC there is very little working class cohesion, the
general ethos is, "Hooray for me, screw you." We're really lucky that we've
made friends in the neighborhood, but with the violent anarchy of our
society, a fence is necessary for the survival of our garden.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Oliver Ginsberg [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2000 8:16 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [cg] Compost systems and kids involvement
> Here is an effective and efficient composting system you might want to
> Three major problems often occur with ground based composting systems:
> 1. Too wet and not enough air inside the pile
> 2. Too dry on the surface (especially in the summer)
> 3. It attracts rodents
> Instead of bins use horizontal rotating barrels for the composting.
> rotation the compost always gets enough fresh air, within the massive
> barrel (made of wood, that doesn't decompose itself for a very long time)
> however it doesn't dry out and there is no way rodents or decomposing
> pitbulls get inside. Instead of fencing the whole thing in all you have to
> do is lock the flap of the barrel.
> In the summer the compost will be finished within 6 or 8 weeks. Because of
> this efficiency you will need much less space for the system.
> Two barrels of 1 m³ capacity will be sufficient for most community
> If you imagine turning of the barrels is a hard job, think of what you can
> do with a simple transmission system - check out your local bike shop for
> appropriate items. An advanced system can be supplied with a washing
> motor run by solar energy or a small wind power plant. No more shovelling
> around piles of half-decomposed compost needed with this and no massive
> concrete basement
> If you want to take a look at a working system check the following
> Klick on "Abfall" then on "Kompostierung" The description is in German,
> you will get a visual idea of the system, which really works
> You may consider promoting rodent husbandry for a different reason:
> Rabbits and guinea pigs are attractive for children and they eat some of
> leftovers of the garden which further decreases your compost pile. A
> and guinea pig building on a ground area of 20m² can host up to 40 animals
> on two levels and also some kids in case it is raining outside. Add
> to some enclosures, which can be closed at night and you will find a lot
> kids busy petting animals instead of running through your gardens and
> ripping out plants.
> A site for construction of (tree)houses and tents might inspire some
> youngsters to use hammers and tools and engage in constructive play
> of vandalizung. Including children and young people and giving them a
> of having achieved something will support pride and identification with
> Most ordinary playgrounds are just for running and climbing which can be
> pretty dull and also excludes children with certain disabilities. Also
> children do prefer contacts with different age groups instead of being
> pushed aside into a children's ghetto. Excluding children from community
> gardens is not contributing to sustainability. Think of ways to include
> them, After some time you might convince local authorities that investing
> money in play work schemes on your site would be more reasonable than in
> prisons or traditional forms of crime and drug prevention.
> Oliver Ginsberg
> BdJA educational consultant
> Admiralstrasse 16
> 10999 Berlin
> fon: ++49-30-614 02 172 fax: -614 02 173
> e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
> community_garden maillist - email@example.com
community_garden maillist - firstname.lastname@example.org