Wednesday, April 27, 2011

day 4 - planting flowers!

It's still a little cold for planting vegetables in our farm,
but we figured it could be a good day to start planting flowers
in front of Bushwick High School.

First, we had to learn the difference between planting seeds and small plants.

Thanks for the quick lesson Travis!

Then we had to wait for instructions --
like where should things get planted.

Before we could plant anything though,
we had to pull up all of the weeds.

Now to plant!!

We learned a lot and saw lots of worms.

Now let's hope our flowers grow big, strong, and beautiful!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

day 3 - planting herbs!!

today's garden club was great --
we mixed soil, made newspaper pots, and planted herbs!

thanks dragonetti brothers for the donated herbs!!!

first, we had to make newspaper strips.

then, we made newspaper pots.

while some of us were making the pots, some of us were mixing up the soil.

then we had to fill the pots.

(and we had fun doing it!)

then it was time to plant.
look at all of those great looking plants!
we had thyme, oregano, lavender, and mint.

we had to put the plants in the pots and then cover them with more dirt.

and schwartzy was nice and let us each take one home!!
now we can teach our family about planting
and have awesome fresh herbs!

it was a great day.
and we learned a lot.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 2 of bushwick campus farms

So last Wednesday we had our second meeting of the Bushwick Garden Club.

And it was awesome!

There were a whole bunch of people there to help out:
- Sean, Travis, and Cristian from EcoStation: NY
- Kendell from Earth Matter
- Lee from Boswyck Farms
- a master composter from Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

First, we looked out the lasagna beds that were built last Saturday and learned how to make them.

Then, we got to make 2 more lasagna beds all by ourselves.

First, we put down our layer of cardboard.

Then, we added layers of straw, compost, and greens, until our new bed was the same size as the original beds we were copying.

While most of that was going on Kendell had students testing the dirt to find out if we can plant right into the ground or if we need to build boxes to plant in.

We found bits of bricks and other items, but hopefully there is no lead in this dirt so we can start planting and we can save some money on building boxes.

Up next week -- plant seeds so when it is warm enough outside we will have plantlings we can stick into the ground.

Also, on Saturday was the Green Schools Conference and Resource Fair.

The Bushwick Green Team made a lot of contacts and met a lot of really cool people that can hopefully help us out with our garden/farm.

Plus we got to sample really awesome organic foods!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lasagna makes a great first meal for garden!

The Bushwick Campus garden got a big start this weekend, when Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosted a lasagna gardening workshop, led by NYC Compost Project's Luke Halligan.

What is Lasagna Gardening?

Lasagna gardening is a whole new way of above ground gardening, that utilizes compost and other organic matter.
According to the blog Planting Seeds, lasagna gardening is an method of building your garden’s soil by adding layers of organic materials (in the same way you layer a lasagna) that will “cook down” over time and result in wonderful soil for your spring planting seeds and plants.

Luke Halligan has offered courses in Lasagna gardening all over NYC, and we were so happy that on Saturday, 4/2/11, he could bring his skills and leadership to lead our garden's first event.

The lovely black compost was provided by local Composting non-profit, Earth Matter. Thanks, Charlie Bayrer, for driving it over!

Thirty eager volunteers, from all walks of life, showed up. Together, we made light work of the task of piling all of these layers, greens and browns.

At the end, the volunteers set up two beds for us to plant. One they planted, one they left for my own students' potatoes, which have been growing in garbage bags this last month.

Even better, we have enough supplies for setting up two more beds this week.

Best of all, this was an energizing start to our garden, part of turning our small piece of turf into a community garden!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Campus Garden Team--first meeting

An original inspiration for our school-wide organization was to start a campus garden. In our second year, we are finally getting to do it!

this week saw the first full meeting of the Green Team Garden Club, with 15 students from all three schools on our campus. (AUP, BSSJ, and AEL). In our introductions, we learned that many students have a range of experience working in gardens, and farms. They all wanted to get back to the soil!

But the experience of EcoStationNY, our local community partner, counts for a lot too. Their experience in farming and farmers-markets, will clearly give us a big head start. They helped us start off with a design and discussion session, to help us see the task ahead.

And we do have a big task! We have a large blank slate, over 3,000sq ft. of undeveloped garden space to organize. We gave it a visit, to start the design process in earnest.

We will be continuing it every week, and hope you can be a part.