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Re: Clinton Corner-Biointensive Internship Challenge Plot Update May 21,

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Clinton Corner-Biointensive Internship Challenge Plot Update May 21,
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 08:27:17 EDT


I have shared your project with some of my friends at the Clinton Community 
garden who grow a variety of stuff in the 108 4 x 8 foot  plots in our rear 
garden.  We need to see pictures too. To get an idea of our space, and the 
general layout of the garden, please go to our website at   <A 
HREF="http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/";>Clinton Community Garden</A>  . 

Now, I'm a fairly productive veggie gardener in a 4 x 8 foot wooden framed 
wooden plot.  I'm fortunate in that I have the fence that separates the back 
and rear gardens at the rear of my plot, so I do not have to use up much 
space for the various varieties of pole and hyacinth beans that I plant. This 
year, once the frost was gone (and I didn't want to use a cold frame or 
cloche this year)  which the space was first planted with arrugula, red leaf 
lettuce, as well as the scallions that seem to winter over in my plot. 

I have 8 foot high wooden poles in my plot for the tomatoes (untreated wood, 
bought cheap when a lumber yard went out of business - after a few years 
they've been rotting away  nicely) and the traditional, waist high bargain 
basement tomato cages.   Early season netting for birds also adds to the set 

With two neighbors next to me, I have bricks to maneuver through what becomes 
a tomato jungle at the height of the season. We all use bricks to maneuver 
through our plots as we do not touch or disturb our neighbors tiny places - a 
causus belli. 

Currently, I've planted 9 tomato plants ( some heirloom, sweet 100s, etc) 
about 8 basil plants all over my plot, 4 egg plants,  4 hot jalapino peppers, 
4 sweet italian peppers, dill, and what ever herbs I think will fit and get 
enough sun to survive.  My flowers in the veggie plot are marigolds, said to 
be beneficial to tomatoes in the same way that basil is.  In the fall, until 
frost, I usually have some brussel sprouts and lettuce going along with 
carrots, beets and onions.   I amend with, soil, humus,  compost, chicken 
manure, compost tea and fish emulsion. 

At the height of snail season, I've lined the wood with copper stripping in 
the past, mostly I use diatomaceous earth and beer traps.  And while I've 
experimented with all kinds of suds, the suckers really like bargain basement 
Ballantines XXX Pale Ale out of a "40".  Hell's Kitchen snails.

Sand traps:  I don't get the greatest sun because our garden is surrounded on 
three sides by tenements and is a block and a half away from 40 -50 storey 
buildings on the 8th avenue periphery of the Times Square Area (we're 5 
blocks south and  2 and a half block west of where the ball is dropped on New 
Year's Eve).  We do keep beneficial insects and follow organic practices.  
Our toads survive until the feral cats (who kill the rodents that our traps 
don't tease) eat them. Three  guys keep koi and frogs (which he brings in 
during the winter) .  We do have a beehive, which helps,  decent composting, 
maniacal gardeners, piped in water, and the police and carriage stable 
nearby.  We do get 50 varieties of birds which make pit stops on their 
migrations which sometimes glom on our some of our insect blights, sometimes 
eat our preying mantises.  But somehow it works out. 

Big problem: but we also have an insane, religiously inspired pigeon lady a 
block a way who is restrained most of the time from throwing crumbs in the 
garden by highly profane pitch fork toting individuals like myself who 
interrupt her  mission when she comes by the garden.  

With my  pitchfork and  beard , she believes I am the Devil: we have not 
disavowed her of that idea - it may save our tulips and some of our veggies 
from the onslaught of pigeons. 

However, here catcalls of "Satan" through the front garden gate made a tour 
of the garden that I gave to  a group of Roman Catholic religious 
particularly memorable.  A basket of cherry tomatoes to their soup kitchen 
was our donated in honor of an improvised mock exorcism performed on the site 
to get this lady on her way.  

Seriously, this lady has been such a nuisance to the block and to her 
neighbors - think Alfred Hitchcocks "The Birds",  thousands of well fed 
pigeons, eating and defecating like horses -  that she's been arrested by a 
task force of police, sanitation and the health department (sometimes in 
tandem) and fined rather heavily.  And no, pace Tom Lehrer , we can't poison 
the pigeons in the park - it's illegal here. 

 The rats that she's attracted have literally eaten the cables under parked 
trucks.  We believe that it is the gentrifying nature of our neighborhood, 
her alliance with various homeless guys who she sporadically feeds and drinks 
with (and perhaps divine intervention)  that has saved her from being thrown 
headlong into the railroad cut that runs between 10th &  11th avenues. 

Please keep these challenges in mind as you proceed with your project. 

Best wishes,

Adam "Prince of Darkness" Honigman

<< Subj:     RE: [cg] Clinton Corner-Biointensive Internship Challenge Plot 
Update May 21,
 Date:  5/21/03 9:03:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time
 From:  gordonse@one.net (Sharon Gordon)
 Sender:    community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
 To:    community_garden@mallorn.com
   Sharon, all I can say is wow. Are you going to be able to take photos for
 us to see this? I would love to see the plants in all their glory. Wow.
   [Sharon Gordon]
   I am trying to work out something for that.  Right now, it mostly looks
 like a bed of tiny transplants, though some of the overwintered transplants
 are bigger.

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