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Spring Happenings: Upcoming Activities, Events To Note

3 Feb

Bookmark this page and check back for updates on specific times. See also CVEarthlab google calendar*.

Saturday, March 3rd 6:30pm-7:45pm:  Indoor Planting Workshop **

Sunday, April 7th: CV EarthDay Fest (possible weed pull and toss event **)

Mid March:  Weekend workday to direct sow early veg, prep

Mid to late April:  Watering on schedule starts

Late April weekend:   Workday to transplant flowers, herbs (from GrowNYC plant sale)**

Wed May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd: “May Wednesdays” Gardeners converge outside from 6-7pm to water, answer seedling, transplant questions. **

Early June: Tomato transplanting, staking

Early to Mid-June: Spring Celebration/ Strawberries + Salad Tasting

*Don’t miss any gardening opportunities! If you use a gmail calendar, subscribe to CVEarthlab google calendar by clicking cal icon on CVEarthlab.com (This is not the same as following the blog via email notifications, which is also recommended. Subscribing means CVEarthlab events appear on your google cal.)

** especially fun and kid-friendly

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A Solid Garden Workday!

18 Mar

Thanks to everyone who came out to help prep the garden!  It was nice to see so many CVers come out despite the chilly weather.  About 16 souls braved the cold and helped to:

  1. Amend some soil, turn under the cover crops, and till and blend soil in three raised beds.
  2. Plant sugar snap peas, snow peas, and shelling peas along with hardy greens.
  3. Broke in the brand new kid-sized watering cans (which match the orange metal ones)
  4. Prep new planters for sunflowers.
  5. Prune herbs as well as some perennial pollinator-friendly plants.
  6. Marvel at the (potential) pupa/ chrysalis discovered on the milkweed.

Why start planting so early in the season?  Nature is preparing for spring renewal despite the low temps.  Read below a newsletter from Edible Schoolyard NYC’s Mirem for more context on early spring gardening.

Mirem’s Weekly Garden Tips: Mar 17

Hello fellow school gardeners,
Four weeks to last frost! Hard to believe given the weather, but in fact
this Tuesday (the 20th) is the March equinox . Longer days cue
growth for many temperate plants, regardless of temperature: you’ll notice
early-spring bulbs like crocuses, Siberian iris and snowdrops in bloom, and
daffodils making leaves like crazy in preparation for blooming next month.
Leaf buds are forming on trees and shrubs. Raspberries and roses are
starting to make actual leaves.

This is your last chance to prune woody herbs, shrubs and trees before the
all-out explosion of spring growth. Once the sap rises and leaves unfurl,
branches are more vulnerable and will have a harder time healing properly
from pruning cuts. I’ve attached a good article on pruning for further
reading. No time for reading? Head out to the garden and *do the bare
essentials of pruning:*

-Cut back any obviously dead branches (grey color, dry, no green visible
in the cross section)
-Remove any branches or stems that pose a hazard, for example eye-level
branches across a path
-Remove or cut back any branches that are in the way for any reason
-Remove branches that cross or rub against others (just keep the one you
prefer)
-Cut back very vigorous cane fruit and shrubs to keep them under control
-Trim back bare or leggy stems of thyme, rosemary, lavender, sage,
marjoram, mint, etc.
-Use regular pruning shears for small branches and stems. For bigger
branches, use loppers if you have them – the larger sizes can handle
diameters up to an inch and a half (at Edible Schoolyard NYC, we call them
“Cyndi Loppers”). When you make a cut on a branch that is any bigger than
an inch and a half, use a pruning saw. Make a shallow cut on the underside
of the branch, then cut through from the top – that prevents the bark from
stripping off when the branch breaks off. Don’t cut flush to the trunk,
leave the joint attached to the trunk to speed healing.
 
*What to do with the trimmings and prunings?*  New York City picks up neatly bundled woody material as long as you follow Department of Sanitation guidelines

  • Save long, straight branches for staking perennials;
  • Chop up small branches and use to mulch established trees, making sure
    the pieces are less than 6″ long and are in contact with the soil, so they
    can be broken down by fungi;
  • Add chopped trimmings and prunings to your compost, if you have room;
  • Use for firewood, after a thorough, slow drying;
  • Finally, there is an interesting but not particularly urban-friendly
    technique called hugelkultur  that  uses woody material as the bottom layer of a planting mound or hill. Let me  know if you try this 🙂
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Mulch Stars To Salute

17 Jan

Connor and dad Matt show how it’s done!
There’s still plenty in the mulch pile to be moved inside the fence where it can act as playground safety surfacing and help prevent serious fall injuries.
Big thanks to the handful of brave parents, Peter D., Ansley S., Adam L., + Mike D., who dug in and took wood chips into the play area. Shovels and a rake remain near the shed (on the raised bed) and can be used at any time– every scoop over the fence helps. Thanks!

IMG_6421

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 cvearthlab@gmail.com by 8pm on Friday January 5th.

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

A Special Cocktail to Support the Garden

29 Oct
Fall Harvest Sangria

Fall Harvest Sangria

At this Friday’s Halloween Pizza Party, the garden committee will serve a special Fall Harvest Sangria to grownups. The recipe includes ground cherries from our own garden — and the mixture was a hit at the Annual Garden Fundraiser & Potluck.

Look for the garden donation jar near the sangria pitcher! We’re collecting through the end of October. All CV residents who enjoy the vegetable & herb garden are invited to contribute before Sunday. If you’d like to see a community bed again in the spring, please support the garden with a $10. donation. Soil, compost and other expensive materials need to be replenished often. Can’t make the Halloween party? 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).

Garden members are asked to contribute 3 bags of mulch/wood chips, which help the soil but also acts as child safety surfacing. Pick up free wood chips from Greenwood Cemetery or buy bagged wood chips from Bruno’s or Lowes and have them delivered. While we hope that management will bring in a wood chipper after Christmas for a CV mulch fest, ground cover is needed year round, especially during late fall and early spring. Thank you!

Related: The Most Requested Potluck Recipes

harvest-potluck-flyer-2015rev.ai

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.

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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 cvearthlab@gmail.com

With gratitude,

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

Recipes: Eggplant Casserole, Sangria and more

1003151716 (1)

Fall Harvest Sangria Recipe

6 Oct

 

IngrediFall Harvest Sangria ents

  • 1/2 organic apple, chopped
  • 1/2 organic pear, chopped
  • 20-30 (1/4 cup) ground cherries
  • 3-4 ounces banana liquor
  • 2-3 ounces rum
  • Sweet red wine (4 bottles)
  • Fresca diet grapefruit soda (2 liters) optional
  • San Pellegrino Pomegranate & Orange Sparkling Beverage (2 oz cans) optional

Instructions

  1. Mix chopped fruit. Add liquor and rum.
  2. Soak overnight in refrigerator.
  3. In one large or two small pitchers, combine marinated fruit and excess liquid with red wine, soda and sparkling beverage. Use large wooden spoon to stir.
  4. Serve over ice.

 

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Many Thanks! Plus, A Call For Recipes

6 Oct

A big thank you to all the residents who contributed to Saturday’s wonderful Potluck Party & Garden Fundraiser. The food was fabulous, and we had a nice time in the community room despite the windy, wet weather outside.

While you’ve been generous already, we’d like to ask for your recipes. If you made and shared something, and you are willing to share the recipe, please send it via email to cvearthlab@gmail.com for publication on this blog. Thanks.

petuniaTYpic

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