West 104th Street Garden

June 21, 2012

Make Music NY is Today! Plus How to Stay Cool

Filed under: Events,Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 8:21 am
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Hi Garden People,

Make Music NY is today, the longest and, yes, the hottest, day of the year. So far we have had two cancelations due to the weather, so we are down to just 1-3, 5-6 and 7-8 pm performances with the possibility of some of our garden/neighbor kids performing around 6:30.

And yes it is going to be hot. For those of you who are reluctant to help out today because of the heat, a thought would be to drop off chilled, bottled water or sports drinks and salty snacks for the musicians and garden volunteers. You would only be out for a little while and it would be very much appreciated.

Also, if you are out in the garden today, please give some extra water to our community beds or anyone’s whose bed looks particularly thirsty. Be sure to check on elderly neighbors in your building and keep yourself hydrated, too.

Here is an article about how to protect plants during heat spells. http://www.wikihow.com/Protect-Your-Garden-During-a-Harsh-Summer

Thanks and stay cool today!

Noreen

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June 13, 2012

Garden Workday Minutes for June 13, 2012

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 9:25 am
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Garden Workday Meeting (to post)
June 13, 2012

Meeting Chair: Sumana Raychaudhuri
Notetaker: Noreen Whysel

Pruning Fruit Trees
-Discussed recent complaints regarding how fruit trees have been pruned.
-Fruit trees should be pruned so that ripe fruit is easy to reach.
-Suggestion to have any pruning job be voted on by members. Janice Vrana as a past pruning chair advised against this, suggesting that it should be enough for the SC to discuss pruning with the committee chair.
-Ant problem described. Should this be pruning committee responsibility? SC to resolve.

Weeding
-Noted that NYPD requires that foliage be cut back to within 3 feet above the ground along the fence for adequate visibility into the lot.
-Julia Soledispa’s complaint about someone tearing out the morning glory on the west garden fence was noted.
-Workday activity: Removing dead vines from fence and weeding along both fences.
-Caution when weeding along fence to avoid pulling newly planted seedum. This plant is a hardy variety, according to Sumana Raychaudhuri, and will fill in the space which should make it more difficult for weeds to take hold. There should be enough sun along the fence.
-Reminder that plot owners are responsible for weeding around beds.

Bench
-An East Garden bench is in disrepair however there were no maintenance committee members at this time, so we can delay repair.

Finances
-We have just under $6000 in our account. Ariel Behr, Treasurer, was not in attendance

Membership
-New member information is being updated with tips on how the garden works. A cheat sheet will be posted in both sheds.
-New member rosters is being finalized and will be posted to Google Docs.

Compost
-Our new perforated barrels would smell less. Pleases use these for collecting green matter. Note that “greens” does include coffee grounds, tea bags and coffee filters. “Browns” are typically garden scraps such as leaves, grass trimmings and twigs.
-Jean Jaworek noted that new instructions for compost collection are available in handouts located in a box on the East Garden fence and contain a full explanation of the types of materials we are collecting and what to avoid contributing. More information is on the Composting page on our website.

Pavers
-New slate pavers will be dropped off by the Parks Department Friday Morning at 10:30am.
-444 CPW has allowed us to use their dumpster for collecting rubble while they are undergoing construction. At the moment the dumpster has been removed but should be back by Friday.
-Thank you to Victor Calise for arranging the drop off.
-Also congratulations to Victor on his appointment as NYC Commissioner of Disabled Affairs.

West Garden Lawn
-The area in the west garden between the fig tree and the cold frame has been seeded. The area is blocked off by string, which someone has been removing.
-Please do not remove the string or pass through this area so the grass has a chance to grow.
-The SC will post a sign stating the date at which it should be safe to pass through that area.

New Cat Shelteer
-Huge thanks to Nikki Kowalski and the Cat Committee. The cat shelter has been completed!

Workday Tasks:
-Volunteer to bring unsold flea market items to thrift store (Thanks??)
-Trim branches over east garden shed (Thanks Alan Tenney and Paula McKenzie)
-Move bricks from cat shelter to east side of west garden to construct the narrow bed (did someone already do this? Suzanne?)
-Weeding outside fences (thanks to Julia Sepulveda and Noreen Whysel)
-Clear up brick path in East garden to make room for slate (a huge job for which we thank everyone!)

Also at the meeting we forgot to mention two upcoming events:
-June 21, 1-8pm, Make Music New York
-July 14, time TBA, Summer Flea Market

June 1, 2012

Compost Platform Rebuild 2012

Filed under: News — by west104garden @ 10:09 am
Tags: ,

With the beginning of the garden season, how can a gardener’s thoughts not turn to compost? Okay, so maybe your thoughts don’t, but as the days grew warmer, members of the West 104 th Street Garden’s compost committee were ready to start ‘posting as soon as possible.

First, though, the group had to build a new platform for the garden’s double-barreled Mantis composting unit. Alas, its previous platform had fallen into decay. So this spring, the group’s first task was the design, construction and installation of a new footing for the above-ground unit.

The new platform—made of highly durable manmade materials really put the community in community gardening. A number of garden members and neighbors were involved. Long time garden member, Walli Raninger, reached out to Compost Committee Chair, Jean Jaworek, when she learned that nearby Park West Village had decking boards to donate. Frank Grech, of the garden’s maintenance committee,  helped truck over the boards, and compost committee member, Dinorah Matias, designed an easy-to- build, attractive, modular platform for the compost operation which provides:

  • a secure, low maintenance under strata,
  • space for nitrogen-giving “green” collection barrels and
  • a container for carbon inputs, the “browns.”

Best of all, the project cost garden members no more than a bit of sweat and $6.50 for a box of set screws to facilitate assembly.

Thanks to all those who participated in the rebuild. In addition to those mentioned, Alan Tenney, Ron Whitlatch, Rob Eberhardt and Bridget Johnston all helped. Here are some pictures to show you how we ‘done’ it.

Composting Platform Rebuild 2012 Composting Pictures
Bridget and Jean assemble the new compost platform.

Composting Pictures
The compost platform completed.

Hey…Don’t Forget to Compost With Us in 2012!

The West 104 Garden has been actively composting for several years. In 2011 with the aid of a grant from the SWAB, the Solid Waste Advisory Board, the garden was able to begin including non-garden members in its composting operation.

Community members are welcome to donate their “greens,” left over raw vegetable and fruit scraps to the garden’s supply during the garden’s normal open hours posted by the entrance and any time the garden is open. Contributions can be emptied into the drop off barrels near the front of the garden’s eastern lot on West 104th Street between Manhattan Ave. and Central Park West. Just look for Scott the Composting Gnome standing on guard by the drop-off area.

Please note, tomatoes and eggshells are not accepted for composting at the West 104th Street garden. (We have had problems with tomato blight and the shells don’t break down enough.)

Composting Pictures
Jean and Bridget with Scott the Gnome

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