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RE: Clinton Corner-Biointensive Internship Challenge Plot UpdateMay 21, 2003

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Clinton Corner-Biointensive Internship Challenge Plot UpdateMay 21, 2003
  • From: Sharon Gordon gordonse@one.net
  • Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 11:21:36 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

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

***I chose the size of mine as closest to your 5x7 ones in square footage,
so my 4x9 would give one extra square foot for those or 4 more feet compared
your smaller 4x8 plots.

 in our rear
garden.  We need to see pictures too.

***Am trying to work out something for that.


***It always amazes me what the Clinton community accomplishes in their

Now, I'm a fairly productive veggie gardener

***You are getting quite a bit of variety too throughout the year!

   I'm fortunate in that I have the fence

***I am still debating putting up some fence/trellis.  At the moment I went
for bush beans and tomato stakes.

 My flowers in the veggie plot are marigolds, said to
be beneficial to tomatoes in the same way that basil is.

***I debated using all edible flowers, but only a few of the ones are.  If I
do this again, that would be one way to increase the edible yield--table
flowers for a night or two and salad ingredients later :-), but only if all
edible flowers were in a clean food safe vase.

Sand traps:  I don't get the greatest sun because our garden is surrounded
three sides by tenements and is a block and a half away from 40 -50 storey

***We've got forest on three sides of our plots.  Two of the sides shade my
plot directly and the third side is far enough away to only have minor
impact.  The forest most likely gives me an advantage with humidity, but
wouldn't give me the sort of temperature moderating effect you'd have from
the brick/stone buildings.

   We do get 50 varieties of birds which make pit stops on their
migrations which sometimes glom on our some of our insect blights,

***We have some good insect eating birds and also hawks, barred owls, and
black snakes which help with rodents.  We also have rabbits, deer, racoons,
ground hogs, squirrels, possums, chipmonks, mice, crows, gold finches,
purple finches, doves and a few other birds who like seeds.  No hives at the
present, though we do have some wild bumble bees, and occasionally a wild
honey bee.  It's likely the bee mites have been hard on the area's wild
honey bees.

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.

***Luckily we do not have anyone like this or their equivalent.  Some areas
have dealt with pidgeon problems like this by feeding the pidgeons bird food
with birth control medication.  It has helped immensely.  Perhaps a sane
person who could be trusted not to eat the medicated seed themselves could
be supplied with the seed to feed them at a distance???

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.

***Now that's a volunteer job you don't see on just any community garden
volunteer check off list :-).

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
to get this lady on her way.

***Good thing you are clever and flexible, and surrounded by good supporting

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

***Yes, there is no way to get all the plot conditions the same between
plots in the same garden, let alone in gardens hundreds of miles apart.  So
I am leveling the playing field on space, and fairly similar growing
conditions, and potential loss hazards.  However, I am NOT renting an insane
pidgeon lady to even up that aspect :-).  Perhaps we could consider the deer
as an equivalent hazard.  It would be fun to compare yields with a real
Clinton gardener or other community gardener conducting a similar
biointensive gardening experiment even if we are all planting different


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