Archive for May, 2010

I Should Have Spinach By Now

May 28, 2010

HUMBOLDT STREET, Brooklyn: But I don’t. The beds have been getting trampled by rats and nothing is coming up the way it should. I think I mentioned in a previous post I ended up pretty much replanting everything because the rodents decided to turn my garden into their wrestling arena. sick! Here is what the scene was looking like a couple weeks ago now (ya know this posting lag is killing me…):

Jealous of Relish

May 24, 2010

WYTHE AVENUE, Brooklyn: “Relish” is a restaurant in my hood. It’s pretty OK eats. BUT they  do have an excellently established rose situation. It is currently in full bloom, along with every other rose bush in Brooklyn. Beautiful!

I tried to start a rose on the fence in my yard  last year, but it disappeared over winter and didn’t come back, hasn’t yet anyway. Don’t think it will. Did you know you can start a new rose bush from an existing one by sticking one of the branch ends into the ground? Email me at igrewthis@gmail.com for more info! It’s so simple, all you need is a plastic 4″ pot!

Thanks Dad.

May 23, 2010

Some delicious greenery from my dear old dad. Don’t mind the holes, it still tastes the same.

Cherry Time @ Brooklyn Botanical

May 18, 2010

BROOKLYN: Last month my mom, my pal Lea and I visited the Brooklyn Botanical Garden to scope the blooms. It was a very interesting contrast to the brightness of Arizona. If you missed it this year, I would highly recommend visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Garden end of April next year for the cherry blossoms. Also blooming, tulips, lilacs, wisteria…

ps. “free trees” was a total bust! Did anyone go out to Cypress Hills for it!? I drove out there in the afternoon and there was heads nor tails of anyone, not even a sign saying they had given away all the trees! Not even a hint of anyone having ever been there giving away trees in the first place! wtf?

The Roof Spoof

May 14, 2010

HAPPENING IN QUEENS:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/nyregion/14farm.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

This is totally awesome, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love and adore Roberta’s and any progress towards more, bigger, better urban gardening is ok in my book! However, I do feel funny about these roof ventures and their use of volunteers. I felt this way about the original roof farm (mentioned in the article) in Greenpoint too, and decided to not post about the project on here at all, even though it was an amazing set up. Every time I went up there I always got awkward feelings from the founders, like what was I doing up there if i wasn’t there to weed? Or give them some glowing  pr. Were they going to come to my backyard and help me with my garden? Are they going to get me featured on Martha Stewart’s “Brooklyn” themed show? No.

Maybe I am looking at this from totally wrong way. I am trying so hard to stay positive because I so want to see more of these types of gardens happen in the city.  But, this is a for profit venture. Why are they enlisting volunteers? Why does Roberta’s have “donation” piggy banks on the tables in their restaurant? It’s a good thing they are doing, I don’t doubt that, I just have a slight issue with their approach. It seems a little deceiving to me to be collecting donations and enlisting volunteers for something that will eventually be making them money, provided it is managed well. But good for them, this is a huge undertaking, more than anything I could ever dream of taking credit for at this point in my life, and I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. I wish them luck!

FREE TREES!

May 13, 2010

Taking A Wild Leek

May 10, 2010

HUMBOLDT STREET, Brooklyn: A pal of mine has a cabin upstate, in Delaware County near Walton, and foraged these wild leeks in the woods around his place. I thought this was just about the best thing to happen to me all week. I got a little carried away photographing them.

I made potato leeeeeeek soup. It was very tasty and pretty simple. Here is what I did:

Clean and chop the leaks, don’t include the leafy greens, just the white to light green bottom half. This is all I got out of all that big bunch!

Make or buy veggie stock. I just boiled down about 3 cups of chopped scraps I had been saving in the freezer along with all the leek head cutoffs with 6 cups of water. Let it boil for a while, I actually started this going first before cleaning the leeks.

Meanwhile in a deep fry pan melt 4 tablespoons earth balance buttery spread on medium high and saute the leeks, one finely chopped onion and sliced 10 -12 small new or fingerling potatoes (mine were a mix of red and white.) Be careful not to brown anything, keep stirring until everything is evenly coated in butter. Add the stock to all this and cover on low, simmering until the potatoes are cooked through, 20 – 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and ladle into a food processor or blender being careful not to overfill. Puree in batches and and return to pan on low for one last season to taste. This served three people, and we garnished with sour cream. I was so excited to eat it I forgot to take the “beauty shot” of it all prepared to be eaten, so here’s one in progress…

It doesn’t look that great without being severely styled, considering it’s just mush, really. But man, it was delicious! Give it a try!

Around These Parts, Two Weeks Ago…

May 10, 2010

HUMBOLDT STREET, Brooklyn: I have noticed there is a bit of delay between what is happening in the garden and what gets posted on here this season. Last year I was pretty on it, posting pics I had taken that very day. Here are some I took two or three weeks ago, it already looks much different out there! Everything is getting bigger and filling in. Despite having to replant pretty much the entire raised bed due to an unfortunate rat situation.  I will be posting specifically outlining that issue soonish… as soon as I can figure out how to stop them… and feel like i have some valuable info to share rather than just complaining about it…

The following three images document the plants that made it through the winter and came back to me, including mint and strawberries.

Hey what is going on in your gardens? Send me pics to post! igrewthis@gmail.com. Does anyone out there have any suggestions for dealing with really resilient city rats invading garden beds? They are out of control up in my dirt, yo. I can’t seem to shake ’em.

Thanks Mom

May 7, 2010

HUMBOLDT STREET, Brooklyn: My ma is the best. She drove me down dirt and flowers from her neck of the woods to make my backyard beautiful. Even though I mostly like to depend on my bike, lugging dirt and flats of pansies around the city can be a pain, and it’s so very nice to have someone around who owns a car every once in a while. Thanks mom.

Idaho Here I Come

May 7, 2010

Yep, I will be in the place where they grow potatoes in just about one month and I am so very excited to get away from the city.

Sorry this post has nothing to do with urban gardening.