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An African American "First", Toadstools/Mushrooms & Insurance

  • Subject: [cg] An African American "First", Toadstools/Mushrooms & Insurance
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 01:46:00 EST


Go figure - I like to deal with potential problems before they become 
problems. And while I can posit suggestions, there ARE wiser heads than mine.  And I 
figure if I cast this problem on the waters, so to speak, we might come up 
with a solution and perhaps some action. 

So here goes.... 

Among our garden community is a Mr. Aaron Fears, who was the first African 
American cameraman hired by CBS during the 1960's , and because he worked "twice 
as hard and was twice as good," like  most African American firsts, he really 
 screwed up his back hauling video cameras for close to 30 years. Watching 
Aaron walk is painful to see, but as an "African American First",who trailblazed 
a path for thousands of African American television techinical professionals 
his painful back is a badge of honor. He's our neighborhood's unsung  Rosa 
 I mention this, because I really love this man, who has been a great 
personal friend, garden colleague colleague, longtime Parks volunteer at Hell's 
Kitchen park around the corner, who, with his wife Elka have really helped make 
West 48th/47th Street a great place to live. 

So Aaron comes into  the garden this afternoon with an interesting problem. 

He says, " I need a horticultural expert," to which I said," there ain't one 
here now, but I know some." Aaron shows me a bag of toadstools/mushrooms. And 
a photo of how they presented in his back yard. I look at the 
toadstools/mushrooms and scratch my head - hence my reaching out to you.  I figure someone out 
there has had to deal with toadstools/mushrooms that have appeared from 

To explain, Aaron has a plot with his wife in the Clinton Community Garden's 
back garden, and additionally has a  back yard garden behind his home that 
abuts a shared hurricane fence with the Clinton Community Garden. 

On the other side of this hurricaine face is a garden plot that is gardened 
by a mother and a 10 year old boy.  Aaron was trying to plant tulips in his 
back yard garden and dug up about two dozen white toadstools/mushrooms on his 
side of the hurricaine fence. Knowing that they could be trouble and might invade 
the garden, especially the plot with a mother and child, Aaron's  looking for 
a solution. 

And if the toadstools/mushrooms became invasive, the garden and Parks could 
have an issue involving insurance exposure as in, "Gee Mom, we don't need to 
buy those Campbell's mushrooms for our spaghetti sauce as we have them growing 
in our plot," other more complacent types down or across town might not see 
this as so. 

Thinking bureaucratically,  Parks and Greenthumb might  rightly say, and 
there's some logic in this, "lookit, our job is not to deal with private back 
gardens and we don't want to set a precedent," So I suggested to Aaron he reach 
out to the  Horticultural Society of New York where he's been paying dues for a 
good while. I gave Arron  Kate Chura's name ( who should have a warm spot in 
her heart for a community gardener, being an ACGA board member) as a likely  
HSNY contact.   

So head's up, Kate! :)

Aaron will be contacting Kate, but if anyone else out there has any ideas on 
how Aaron Fears can best deal with a toadstool/mushroom problem that could 
very easily spread to a community garden  plot worked by a ten year old kid and 
his mother, please forward them to  this listserve.  

Aaron is one of our local heroes and I'd like to get some good answers and 
assistance to him ASAP, please.   

Thanking you in advance for your advice/assistance. 

Best wishes, 
Adam Honigman

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