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Scenes from CV Mulchfest 2016

9 Jan

Related:  And the Winner Is…; Mulch For Better Soil & Safety Surfacing

Video: Mulching In Action; Video of Mulch Dump ; Extended Mulching Clip

And the Winner Is….

9 Jan

Peter Duffy, dad to Nora, who guessed the closest number to the actual tree count.

Congratulations Peter!  A total of 60 trees were mulched onsite today as part of CV MulchFest. Peter guessed we’d get 70 trees, so he is the lucky winner of a large jar of local honey from the farmer’s market.  Thanks to all who participated in the contest and in the tree drive!

Two large wood chip piles are behind 195 Adams, next to the play area fence, between the substation and the entrance to the play area. Parents and others interested in using the mulch for safety surfacing: Please help move the mulch into the play area. There are two shovels and a rake on top of the raised bed near the garden shed.  If a few people grab a shovel and sling some over the fence today, we can spread it out later. Too much is never enough, don’t hesitate to move the remaining mulch. Thanks! -Denise

Click here for more photos & video.

mulching Jan 9 2015

mulching Jan 9 2015


Guess How Many Trees?!?!?!?

7 Jan

On Saturday January 6th a wood chipper will be on site to mulch all the CV trees collected. How many total trees we will have to mulch? 3? 30? 300?

The more trees, the merrier for the soil and the kids. Mulch is a valuable and sustainable resource for ground cover that protects soil, helps reduces runoff, and suppresses weeds. Plus, mulch is the primary safety surfacing for the play area play ground and protects against potentially fatal head injury from falls.
Cast your vote for the total number of CV trees! The winner gets a prize! Send your entry with the resident’s name, email address, phone number and age of resident guesser to by 8pm on Friday January 5th.

One entry per resident, multiple entries per household are encouraged!
Good luck!

We Picked Up Compost, Mulch + Perennials for the Garden + Play Area

18 Oct


IMG_5525On Sunday Deb, Denise, Benji & Mike drove to the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s Compost & Plant Sale. We got: 10 (.75 cubic ft) bags of compost; 3 pots of little blue stem grass; 4 pots of switch grass; 1 trumpet honeysuckle seedling; 2 Mountain Mint seedlings and 6 bags of free wood chips (the most we could schlepp). Cost of the car rental and materials was $265.

If you haven’t yet contributed to the CV Garden Annual Fundraiser, now is a great time! We’re collecting money through the end of October. You can leave cash or checks (made out to CVOI) with the office in 215 Adams or with Deb Van Wetering’s doorman (225 Adams). IMG_5534All garden members are asked to contribute 3 bags of mulch/wood chips, which help the plants and the soil but also acts as child safety surfacing. You can pick up free wood chips from Greenwood Cemetery or buy bagged wood chips from Bruno’s Home Center (on Court St.) or Lowes and have them delivered. While we hope that management will bring in a wood chipper after Christmas for a CV mulch fest, mulch is needed year round. Thank you.



Try Recipes from October’s Harvest Potluck & Fundraiser

7 Oct


1003151635 (1)The potluck party was a delicious success. Some 30-40 resident families used garlic, herbs and vegetables from the Community Garden to create dishes for all to enjoy.

Thanks to all who donated much-needed funds, in addition to their time, their food, their hospitality and other crucial resources. The garden would not exist without your generosity!

Donations for this fundraising drive will be accepted through the end of October. Cash or checks (payable to CVOI) can be submitted to Deb VanWetering (225 Adams St Apt 12A) or to the 215 Adams St. management office. We have celebrated the success of this season but we must look ahead and secure resources for the next season. Suggested donation is $10. per family, but any amount will be greatly appreciated. (Garden members are asked to pay annual dues of $25 per family, plus mulch and more.)

Fall Harvest Sangria

A community garden needs everyone’s commitment to keep it going strong!

Most of the costs relate to replenishing and maintaining safe soil. Learn more about where the money goes, as well as other help needed on a regular basis, here.  A community garden needs everyone’s commitment to keep it going strong! Check out the recipes from this potluck and from previous parties here. Thanks again for your interest and your support! We can be reached via

With gratitude,

-Deb, Denise, Ansley, Alison & Shari, CVEarthlab core group

Recipes: Eggplant Casserole, Sangria and more

1003151716 (1)



11 Aug

The kids and I scattered many seeds around the play area in June, and I’m happy to see that at least two actually took!
I’ll look for some temp fencing or tape to help protect them, but please be mindful of their delicacy. They’re located in the corner behind the slide, along the MTA building. Also, note that the flowers in particular have strong remediation powers! They can pull heavy metal pollutants out of the soil. Beauty and brawn. –Denise



Mulchfest = Free Child Safety Surfacing + Soil Protection

28 Dec
mulchfest-treecycle-1  Sharing this information from the NYC Parks  Department… Upcycle your tree if possible, please! The resulting mulch could go to good use in our play area, nourishing our soil and plants and protecting our kids from head injuries (the untreated wood chips and mulch serve as safety surfacing around the slide and climbing wall, but only if we maintain a whopping 9 inches depth by replenishing it several times a year). Families: if you haven’t contributed your two-three bags of mulch to the play area, now is a great time. Thanks! –Denise

Saturday and Sunday, January 10 and 11, 2015  10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Bring your holiday tree to a designated city park to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city!
Join the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the New York City Department of Sanitation, and GreeNYC  to recycle your Christmas trees into wood chips. These wood chips are used to nourish trees and plants on streets and gardens citywide. Or, take home your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street tree. More than 30,000 trees were recycled last year. Help us top this number!
How to ‘Chip In.’
This year, MulchFest will take place on January 10 and 11, 2015. It’s easier than ever to chip in! There are two ways you can help.
Chipping Locations
You can bring your tree to a chipping location on January 10 and 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We’ll chip your tree, and give you your very own bag of mulch!
Drop Off Locations
Or you can bring your tree to a drop-off site from Saturday, January 3 through Sunday, January 11. Leave your tree with us, and we’ll recycle it for you later! The NYC Department of Sanitation will also be conducting special curbside collections  for mulching and recycling of Christmas trees from Monday, January 5, 2015 through Friday, January 16, 2015.

Some donations…

8 Jun

While I was a Lowe’s today, I piphoto(1)cked up a few things to donate to the garden and play area:

1. One bag of mulch  I spread the chips around the bottom of the slide for safety surfacing. Note RE bag: It cost less than $4. and since I don’t own car, I figured it was cheaper and easier than schlepping out to Green Wood cemetery for free wood much.  That said, I’m happy to lend a hand if/when anyone else goes on a run.

2. Burlap netting (AS: Will this work to protect plants from critters?)

3. Three (3) Coleman Citronella Lantern Candles (These were on sale and I figured we could safely hang them out of kids reach…thoughts?)

4. Cilantro plant

5. Gardening gloves


Heavy Metals, Soil + Kid’s Brains

11 May


I write a newsletter for work, and I’m dedicating this week’s to Ansley:  The steward of our soil! Click here to read more about heavy metal pollution.  Thanks!  -Denise


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