Thanks to Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for coming!
Dear Neighbors: Please come to Maple St Community Garden tomorrow from 2-4pm for an Emergency Planning Session to discuss our response to an injunction against the gardeners and community signed today by Judge Mark Partnow. This injunction which bans us from entering the garden is another tactic by the historically fraudulent operators of Housing Urban Development LLC (NOT the government agency) to evict us from the vacant lot which they claim to own.
Please do not enter the garden grounds for the time being, composting and other garden activities have been temporarily suspended.
We had a great party, thanks to everyone that came!
We collected $103.26 for our legal defense fund; the money will go to 596Acres.org, whose executive director, Paula Segal, is our attorney, and who has been representing us for no fee. Thank you!
State Senator Jesse Hamilton dropped by early in the party, and we filled him in on our situation. He was very supportive, and we will follow up with him. The Galpin family ran a successful lemonade stand out front and collected money for the garden. Thank you, Galpins!
Otherwise, before it began to pour, marshmallows were roasted, hot dogs were eaten, slides were slidden down and ropes swung on, weeds were pulled, and trellises were tied up on some of the beds. Good times, productive work as always among the Maple Street gardeners and our wonderful neighbors.
Margot, Nancy, Jackie, Simone and Ali all brought the baby plants we’ve been tending since February back to the garden. A lot of them got planted, and some more are sitting on the white tables in the front of the garden until they get a little bigger. Some of these we’ll also sell in the plant sale on the 31st.
Julia spearheaded an enormous amount of weeding with a lot of help from the kids, Arlene, Bryn and others. The front of the garden now looks a lot less jungly. They also planted a ton of flowers and shrubs including 4 o’clocks, bougainvillea, swamp milkweed, and a bunch of others. We’ve got a fairly large holly tree waiting to be planted yet till we can dig a deep enough hole down through tough Brooklyn dirt (some of which may be cement!).
Ali, Margot, and Margot’s kids sifted the compost from Bin 1 and put it all into Bed 1 so we can plant tomatoes! That’s the third bin of finished compost we’ve harvested so far this year, with one more full and cooking, and most of another filling. Friends and neighbors, keep on bringing your food scraps. A few months later, and they’re at work bringing up the tomatoes and other stuff we hope you’ll come back to enjoy when we harvest.
Alison came for the first time today and she was a planting machine! She planted beds 5, 8 and 9 with okra, calaloo, leeks, zucchini, summer squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe, and she put some herbs into bed 3.
Julia, Bryn, Arlene and Ali got tomatoes in beds 1 and 3! We’re doing them a little differently this year so that they’re trellised instead of in a big thicket. If that works out, it will make them ripen faster, as more fruit will get sun, and it’ll definitely make them easier to pick. We have a mix of beefsteak, cherry and a bunch of awesome heirloom tomatoes including but not limited to: Brandywine, Amana orange, Violet Jasper, Purple Cherokee. There are a few more varieties still in rehearsal in their pots and trays.
Julia and Ali planted hot peppers, jalepeno and matchbox in bed 2, and there’s still room for the serranos, cayennes, and sweet peppers that need to grow a little bigger before transplanting.
Bryn and Ali transplanted a LOT of baby kale from the crowded rows in bed 11 to more spacious digs in beds 11 and 12, we should be set for kale all summer once they get big.
Julia and Arlene also emptied the scrap bins, a pretty big job these days. We are always looking for volunteers to empty the receiving bins into the compost bins and also to turn the compost so that it cooks faster. Let us know if you’re up for doing this, and we’ll help you hone your shovel-and-pitchfork skills! We’re there every Sunday, and there’s always a wide range of garden activities to be taken care of, up to and including swinging on the rope or admiring how green it all is. Come join us!
Here are some pictures from 5/17/15, so you can judge if we look like we’re having fun.