West 104th Street Garden

July 26, 2009

Night of the Gnomes

Filed under: Events — by west104garden @ 9:43 pm
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I’m delighted to report that preparations are underway for our gnome night.

Remember, nice snacks and prizes will be available.

Some of you have asked, ‘Jean, why a Gnome Night?’ I can only answer, ‘Why not?’

The garden’s gnomes have been in Barb Garson’s bed for some year’s now, hanging tough in good times and bad, an eyesore to some, a delight to others. Why not show them some love? Plus, I needed a theme for the food drive.

So I hope you will join us and bring friends to:


+Yes We Can Can…Food Drive Summer Edition!

Yes, join us for the unveiling of the refurbished W. 104th St. Garden gnomes.

WHEN: July 29, Wednesday starting 7PM ish (rain date July 30)

WHERE: The West 104th St. Community Garden

(Eastern lot, closer to Central Park West)

WHY: Come on…garden gnomes, why ask?

Also, hunger does not take a summer vacation.

SPONSORED BY: 3 Flamingos & Jean J.

Light refreshments, games, valuable prizes and value-challenged prizes. Good cheer will abound!


-Joie de vivre or a reasonable facsimile

-A can for our can drive* (bags/boxes of rice and/or pasta/grains and or baby food definitely accepted)

-Friends, neighbors, the kids (You will be surprised by how many people are eager to attend a gnome-related event!)

As dusk falls, the garden gnomes come out.


Hummingbird Moths Spotted in West 104 Garden

Filed under: News — by west104garden @ 9:34 pm
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Here are 2 shots of a Hummingbird Hawk Moth, (along with a definition gleaned from wikipedia) some of us spotted on a butterfly bush in the west garden. Apparently they’re somewhat unusual, so a real coup for the garden.


From wikipedia:

“The Hummingbird Hawk-moth is distributed throughout the northern Old World from Portugal to Japan, but is resident only in warmer climates (southern Europe, North Africa, and points east). It is strongly migratory and can be found virtually anywhere in the hemisphere in the summer. However it rarely survives the winter in northern latitudes (e.g. north of the Alps in Europe, north of the Caucasus in Russia).

Moths in the Hemaris genus of the family Sphingidae are known as “hummingbird moths” in the US, and “bee moths” in Europe, which sometimes causes confusion between this species and the North American genus.


July 24, 2009

Peach Pickin’ Time!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by west104garden @ 12:47 pm

Saturday, 7/25/09, 12 Noon — is the time to participate in this fun activity — in the East Garden!

So bring your smiles and a small basket to reap the harvest!

Something to do after pickin’ peaches:

W. 107th Street Festival Honoring Children and Seniors
-July 25, 2009, Saturday 10AM to 6PM

sponsored by the Hispanic Community Organization for Life, Inc.
On W. 107th Between Manhattan and Columbus Aves.
This is a local, fun event with lots of nice music. Stop by or spend the day. Enjoy.

July 22, 2009

New BBQ Grill

Filed under: Uncategorized — by west104garden @ 10:35 am

Dear Gardeners (and outdoor chefs),

By now you’ve probably seen our new BBQ. You may not know that we’ve also acquired a Charcoal Chimney—a simple, ingenious device that turns charcoal into glowing coals in a short time without lighter fluid or fluid-soaked charcoal. It’s easy to use and it eliminates noxious fumes and that petrol aftertaste in your food. All you need are a couple sheets of newspaper, matches or a lighter, plain charcoal, and an oven mitt (it gets hot). The chimney is in the west garden shed. Please use it when you BBQ. Neighbors have complained about lighter-fluid fumes, which aren’t healthy for you either.

Thank you,

The Steering Committee

July 13, 2009

7/8 Workday Summary

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 12:00 pm
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Dear West 104th Street Gardeners:

Wednesday’s work evening was very well attended. We covered a number of issues, among them: 1) the status of electrical access in the garden, 2) the addition of new garden plots, 3) addition of benches to the west side of the garden 4) the soon-to-be installed ballot boxes (one each on east and west sides) and 5) a ballot was held to accept or reject Sue Archambault and Alan Tenney to the Steering Committee and, 6) the need to put out the Open Garden sign when one is monitoring.

Establishing Electrical Power in the East Garden
Jean Jaworek spoke about having been referred to an electrician used who works for the Jewish Home for the Aged (W 106th), Singer Electric. Singer is going to make an on-site evaluation and deliver ideas about how to secure power for the garden.

New Ballot System
Alan Tenney and Susan Archambault will design and install weather-resistant balloting boxes in both the west and east gardens.

New Garden Plots
Peter Bazeli led a discussion regarding the pros and cons of the 2 proposed plans for new garden plots to accommodate people waiting for plots (currently on the waiting list). To paraphrase, both versions involved the use of area along the southeastern area of the eastern garden. One included using space behind the sheds, the other did not. Plans were handed out for reference. Gardeners’ discussion was lively and included the issue of whether it was practical to have 4′ beds without more than one–in some cases–aisle access. Another major consideration was whether or not the area behind the sheds was a good choice for new beds because of limited growing light and the projected need for those spaces to be used for storage purposes.

Several constructive ideas were offered. For example, the use of stepping stones was suggested in instances where access to a deep bed is limited. This idea was embraced by the majority and Peter agreed to include in schematically in the final sketch.

After a lively debate for some 20 minutes the plan to install new beds along the fence only, was approved unanimously by those in attendance. Thus, this will be the plan that is offered to the entire membership by paper ballot as soon as the new system is in place. There will be paper ballots available in the east and west gardens for 2 weeks from the date they are made available. Please know you can vote by proxy if you know you will not be here. The balloting will take place in both the east and west sections of the garden (see new ballot system above). If the Membership approves the plan, it will then be submitted to Green Thumb for approval.

New Garden Benches for West Garden
Penny Donnenfeld and Susan Yarnell have volunteered to procure new benches for the west garden seating area. They will report back with their progress.

Susan Archambault and Alan Tenney were voted unanimously to the Steering Committee.

Using the Open Garden Sign
Monitoring members were reminded to put out the Open Garden sign during their shifts.

Work ReCap
Thanks to the 30-odd members who were able to attend the meeting on Wednesday, we accomplished a lot. We weeded the rose garden; the gravel paved meeting area; the gazebo bed and tree wells on the east side; mowed the lawns and transplanted plants. The grassy fringe around the garden plots and communal beds was whipper-snipped.

On-Going Tasks
Robin Mace volunteered to pick-up grass seed and fertilizer from Home Depot. Jean Jaworek said the maintenance committee would attend to the reinforcement of the fence and the rat hole on the West Side. Frank and Jean will be launching the rain collection project to involve runoff from the gazebo roof to barrels opposite those already in place on the east side in the next few weeks. Lou volunteered to ask Larry to touch up the Open Garden signs.

If you couldn’t make it….
kindly notify me at jvrana@verizon.net for a make-up assignment.

Now that the rain has diminished and we can expect warmer temperatures (?), don’t forget to water your beds and the communal beds–if you have a few extra minutes.

July 6, 2009

Proposal for New Personal Beds

Filed under: Uncategorized — by west104garden @ 9:14 am

Dear Fellow Garden Members:

Since the last work day, when a number of us cleared the southeast corner of the East Garden of debris and overgrown plants, I have been working with others in the garden on a plan for new personal beds in this area. There have been a number of designs drafted, commented on, and discussed among the steering committee members and others who have been interested in this issue. Please find attached a plan reflecting a workable consensus and/or compromise for new personal bed space in the East Garden.

This plan, labeled D2, shows one long continuous bed along the fence. We are required to maintain 36″ aisles for handicapped access, and so there is an aisle with this width shown between the bed and the stage, as well as around the shed to provide access to the area used presently for storage behind the easternmost shed. It is suggested that the Steering Committee divide this continuous gardening space with posts and rope each year. This allows for maximum flexibility to accommodate more or fewer gardeners, and reduces construction significantly. By my own estimation, I believe we can accommodate at least eight gardeners in this new bed.

There has been discussion of using the space in the corner and behind the eastern shed for additional garden space. This has only recently been used for storage (really only because we placed lumber here that were cleared from along the fence), although some feel that this is best kept for storage use. Physically, we can construct more garden space here, which would not affect the bed shown in D2 – it would be an add-on, and is up for discussion.

Please review this plan and come to the workday on Wednesday evening prepared to discuss its merits and drawbacks, and to vote to move forward with submitting this plan to GreenThumb for approval. If we collectively decide that there are further changes necessary, I will make them. However, this has already gone through an iterative process, and I believe it reflects a good, workable plan. I’ll be presenting this on Wednesday, and welcome your feedback. Any comments preliminary to Wednesday’s meeting are welcomed – please contact Peter at peterbazeli[at]yahoo.com.

Download Plan (PDF 80Kb)

Thank you,
Peter Bazeli

Wed. July 8th 6pm: Garden Workday

Filed under: Uncategorized — by west104garden @ 9:04 am
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Dear West 104th Street Garden Members,

Our July Garden Workday is this Wednesday evening at 6pm. There is a
lot to talk about and do so, please mark your calendar.

Here are some of the items on the agenda to date:

Discussion with Peter Bazeli regarding the building of new garden
plots on the west side of the garden. Peter sent a detailed email
earlier this weekend with a plan attachment.

Jean Jaworek will report on her findings regarding access to electricity.

Compost needs more frequent attention. Also, do we need a trash can
for finished compost?

Volunteer(s) needed to pick up grass seed and fertilizer

Vote: Yes or No to accept Susan Archambault and Alan Tenney to the
Steering Committee

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday,

Janice Vrana
Steering Committee Member

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