Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Raccoon Sighting in the Garden

In case you didn’t see Gardener Megan’s email, raccoons have been reported in the garden. Please look at this NYC Healthsheet for some helpful information.

If you see one, just leave it alone. As long as you don’t try to feed one like a Disney princess, you should be OK. People say they're aggressive, but from my own experience, raccoons aren’t usually roaming the streets, looking for trouble. But I wouldn’t really go out of my way to provoke one—they do have sharp teeth and claws. 

They’re mostly after garbage, so keep your garbage cans sealed, though they can remove lids with their paws. They’ll also eat pet food. Raccoons are also known for entering pet doors and raiding kitchens, but I don’t think people have pet doors here.

Once a rabid raccoon held my entire office in Columbus, Ohio, hostage as it swayed, looked woozy and generally seemed rabid while it stumbled around our parking lot right when it was time to go home for the day. Animal control eventually came to capture it, I think. (A squirrel also terrorized a suburb in 1996, but that’s another story.) If a raccoon looks rabid, then call 311.

Since raccoons can carry rabies and fleas, keep an eye on your pets and make sure they are up-to-date with their shots.

Three years ago, The New York Times likened a spike in raccoon reports to bed bugs, but that’s a little crazy. This CBS story from last year makes it seem as if raccoons are really ruining people’s lives, but I bet the raccoon mentioned in the story hissed at the woman quoted for this piece because she uses “impact” as a verb. (Even though it’s accepted now by grammarians, I will never accept it. Never. This raccoon was perhaps the reincarnation of my former grammar teacher at Ohio University.)

Be cautious and just have an eye out for raccoons when you’re in the garden—especially at night, because raccoons are nocturnal. Speaking of nocturnal creatures, there also have been opossum sightings in the neighborhood. Opossums will sometimes show their teeth if they feel threatened, but if they’re really terrified, they’ll play dead, so they really don’t want any trouble.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bluegrass Blues Bulb Bake Bonanza September 28!

Don't forget that the Bluegrass Blues Bulb Bake Bonanza is Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm! (Rain date Sunday, Sept. 29.)
Garden members have received emails containing information for signing up for bonanza shifts and for baked goods. Please sign up for a shift if you can, or let us know what you'll be bringing. Also, remind friends and family that they can purchase bulbs online!
See you Saturday!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bluegrass, Blues, Bulb, Bake Bonanza on Sept. 28

Mark your calendars! The Summit Street Community Garden's Bluegrass, Blues, Bulb, Bake Bonanza is slated for Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9:30 am–4:30 pm. The live music begins at 2 pm, while the bake and bulb sales go all day long! In the event of rain, the event will be held on Sunday, Sept. 29. Don't forget that you can also buy bulbs online to support the garden!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Columbia Waterfront Community Gardens Walking Tour Tomorrow, Sept. 14

Don't forget that the Columbia Waterfront Community Gardens Walking Tour is tomorrow from noon-1:30 pm! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Summit Street Community Garden Workday on September 8!

Don't forget we have a work day scheduled tomorrow on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 11 am. Stop by if you can!

The Amazing Garden is Having a Sandwich Contest Today!

Don't miss The Amazing Garden's third annual grilled sandwich contest today at 3 pm! Our community garden neighbors at Carroll and Columbia streets will have live music, beverages from Brooklyn Farmacy and a competition between three local chefs: Josh Kaplan from Dassara, Lauren Rauh of Iris Cafe and Morgan Jarrett from Nightingale 9, Seersucker and Smith Canteen. The $15 admission goes to raise money for the garden's maintenance and upkeep, and visitors will vote on the best sandwich. For details, check out these posts from The Word on Columbia and DNAinfo.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Path to Greatness: Almost Finished!

It took nearly all summer, but the garden path is almost completely weeded! Thank you to all the gardeners who helped! I have one more section to go, and then I'd like to go over the sections that I weeded earlier and are starting to fill in.

Here's a photo of the weeding in progress.

I've been making a lot of Breaking Bad and Heisenberg references lately, so please indulge me: "Listen garden weeds. I am the danger. I am the one who pulls."

I found this cicada shell while weeding, even though our part of Brooklyn didn't get the 17-year cicadas this summer.

I'm glad I got a photo of this! It was so beautiful. Alas, when I was in the garden a few days ago, it had perished. I think it accidentally was pulled up. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Support the Summit Street Garden’s Flower Power Bulb Sale!

Tulips and daffodils in the Summit Street Community Garden this spring.
Planning on buying bulbs this fall? Support the Summit Street Community Garden with our bulb sale! Simply purchase bulbs through this FlowerPower link, and 50 percent of proceeds will go to the garden. Though the garden is maintained completely by volunteers, the money goes toward tools, plants, water, gas for the outdoor grill and other materials.
The sale is going on now through Oct. 30, 2013. The online selection includes a variety of daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths and tulips, as well as alliums, irises, lilies, guinea hen flowers, buttercups and perennial geraniums. Or choose from the spring or rock garden collections. Orders of $40 or more receive 10 free Tête-à-Tête daffodils!
If you’re in the area, please stop by our Bluegrass/Blues Bulb Bake Sale Bonanza on Sept. 28 from 9:30 am–4:30 pm, with live music and baked goods for sale, as well as the opportunity to buy bulbs. The rain date is Sept. 29.
More about the Summit Street Community Garden
The Summit Street Community Garden under construction.
In the fall of 1993, neighborhood volunteers began moving trash and rubble from an abandoned lot at the corner of Summit and Columbia streets, and by the following autumn, the seeds for the Summit Street Community Garden were sown, both literally and figuratively. Still tended by volunteers, the garden features a border of shade trees, native plants, flowers and various plantings, including a peach tree and two grapevines—one over an arbor and the other along the Summit Street fence. In the spring, you’ll find two crabapples in bloom, as well as forsythia, tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths. 
Summit Street Community Garden today.
 In late summer, you’ll see an array of blooms, including zinnias, elephant ears, coneflowers, nasturtium and hydrangea in borders and in members’ boxes. In the plots along the brick paths, you’ll also find an array of vegetables and herbs, including tomatoes, sage, rosemary and basil. Take a seat at the bench by the garden’s entrance, in the arbor-shaded patio or at the umbrella table. The garden also has a carefully-tended compost area for garden clippings. Everyone is welcome when the gates are open and during garden hours: Wednesday from 6:30–8 pm, Saturday from 10 am–2 pm and Sunday from noon–4 pm. Those interested in becoming a member can attend a garden meeting or work day and receive an orientation.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Big Thank You to the Red Hook Playgroup Purple Room!

The children of the Red Hook Playgroup Purple Room raised a total of $165.25 for the Summit Street Community Garden at their annual farmers’ market, held Friday, July 26. Thank you to the children and to teachers Bethany and Abby for their generous donation! We love having the playgroup in the garden.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Path to Greatness, Day 2, and Insect Documentation

Ideally, day two of my path weeding project would follow day one a little more closely. But I weeded the paths around the boxes closest to the seating area and arbor.
While weeding, I saw two bees frolicking in these portulacas. I'm not sure if bumblebees actually frolic, but they were busy rolling around in the flowers and covering themselves in pollen.
The bees were also enjoying the basil. While weeding this area, I had a hankering for a Margherita pizza.

And maybe a Caprese salad.
I also documented some of the garden's smallest residents I unearthed, like this...millipede?
And, of course, I came across potato bugs or roly polys or pill bugs or whatever you call them. I guess they're also called woodlice. According to Wikipedia, they're sometimes kept as pets by kids. Really? I kept only lightning bugs and wooly bears in jars as a kid. Now I feel kind of bad about keeping them in jars.
Speaking of insects in containers, this beetle was in a ceramic planter. Does anyone know what it is?
After weeding for a while, I realized that it was alternating between trying to burrow into the tiny bit of soil at the bottom of the container and trying to crawl out, but falling back in. The ceramic birds looked unimpressed by its efforts. I helped it escape their judgmental looks. Perhaps this makes up for my keeping bugs in jars as a child.
 Here's another view from the path.
And here's a photo of the pre-weeded path last night.
Here's a photo of the path in progress. (Exciting, I know. Hold on to your hats!)
And here's a photo of the completed path! I still have a long way to go, so I hope this beautiful weather holds up.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Project Weed-Free Path, Day One

The very day before the company I work for semi-abruptly ceased to exist, I was weeding the garden path and thought that if I had some time off, I would weed the entire path in a few days.
Then I lost my job. And got a cold. And an eye infection. And then the heatwave struck. I've managed to spend most of my time indoors. Finally, last week, I made it to the garden early to start on my project. The funny thing about unemployment is that you don't have the time you think you'll have. My apartment is not clean. The path is still weedy. One thing is still certain: Whenever I spend time in the garden, I never leave thinking I should have done anything else. Gardening is very therapeutic. So I documented some of last week's work. I hope to return again this week to realize my weed-free path dream!

I managed to displace hundreds of ants by the gate. Sorry for the chaos, tiny garden residents.

This is the other part of the path I managed to weed before last week's blazing sun chased me out of the garden like I was Nosferatu.

 Some strawberries are ready!

I also looked for some four-leaf clovers but didn't find any. If ant colonies and grass are signs of luck, however, I should buy a lottery ticket.

Stop by Red Hook Playgroup Farmers' Market on July 26!

The Red Hook Playgroup will be hosting its third annual farmers market in the Summit Street Community Garden. Stop by on Friday, July 26, from 2:45–3:15 pm for fresh produce and lemonade. Proceeds will benefit the garden.

You can also donate locally grown food to the sale, including produce from your own plot/garden, apples from a friend's farm upstate or even a portion of a CSA share! The playgroup has put out a box on the long garden table labeled "RHP" for donations, which are collected daily. 
Don't forget to stop by and support the Red Hook Playgroup sale! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pictures from the July 13 Work Day

Thanks to all who came out for the meeting and work day yesterday!
In addition to the members, several mosquitoes attended the meeting. We have a new mosquito-repelling lantern, pictured in the foreground. We tested it during the meeting, and I noticed the mosquitoes stopped bothering me. If you use it, just please remember to turn it off. There's an on/off button towards the bottom.
We also discussed an upcoming bulb and bake sale, with a possible musical element. Stay tuned for details. Right now, the theme for this fall day is tentatively called "Bulbs, Bakery and Bluegrass."

We also have two new members! Please welcome Andrea (left) and Cynthia (right) as Summit Street Community Garden members!
The edges of the lawn were trimmed by Keith and Robey.
And Sondra fervently went to work on cutting up clippings for the compost.
As for me, I took photos! I couldn't stay for the entire work day, but I vow to return and attend to my neglected plot (above). The company that I worked for folded recently, and I thought this would finally give me time to achieve my dream of a completely weed-free path in every area of the garden. I think I'm going to take a break from my computer and spend a much-needed, therapeutic day in the garden this week.
Someone has a beautiful berry harvest.
The hydrangea looks nice and healthy, especially after all this rain. Fact: Nothing is sadder than a droopy hydrangea.
Gladiolas are so striking. I need to remember to plant some in my plot next year.
I love this study in reds at the entrance to the garden.
What's missing? It struck me, after taking this picture, that it's rare to find coneflowers without bees in them. The bumblebees must have been busy elsewhere.
Happy gardening!