Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 9, 2017

FIELD TRIP! Today we had a horticulture field trip. We got to go on a tour of the Javits Center's green roof. It is the largest green roof in New York City and the second largest green roof in the U.S. The green roof was added a few years ago during a massive renovation to make the building more environmentally friendly. The garden on the top is really big and covered in a bunch of different types of sedum, a low growing plant that is very good at absorbing water. This was a bit unexpected, a lot of use were expecting to see a garden like we work on every week, with flowers and plants, but the purpose of this green roof is to absorb water and keep the temperature of the building lower, which sedum is apparently very good at. The roof is also home to lots of birds, and as such, you can see lots of bones from different animals that birds have eaten on the roof. Kinda creepy, but really interesting.

We only saw half of the Javits Center's green roof, the other half is where they keep bees. They are hoping to harvest their first honey this fall, and plan to use it in the building's cafeteria - pretty cool.

After the tour, we got to see a bit more of the building. Workers were getting ready for a big exposition, so there was lots of activity in the main hall. We also got to see the main entrance, which they call the crystal palace.

After the Javits Center, we crossed the street to visit a bit of the High Line and enjoy our lunch. Most of us on the trip had never visited the High Line before, so that was fun. And after lunch, we all got ice pops - mine was raspberry hibiscus - before it was time to go home. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 7, 2017

So. Much. Rain. Unfortunately it started raining on Monday morning and didn't really let up. But we hadn't been to Morris is a while, so there was so work that had to get done, rain or shine. There was lots to harvest: squash, kale, mizuna, tomatoes - including our first taxi tomatoes - and malibar spinach. Unfortunately some of the squash wasn't looking so great, probably because of the squash beetles. Removing the two squash plants last time we were at Morris wasn't enough. There were some young squash beetles on the squash plants on the other side of the garden, but we killed those and removed all of the eggs from the leaves. To be extra safe, we sprayed the leaves with soapy water, hopefully that will be enough! The rain eventually got heavier so we went inside to taste the yellow taxi tomato, before calling it an early day.

July 26, 2017

The tomato horn worm hunt continued today in Morris. There was some damage on a few tomato plants, but even with the bounty of one ice cream per horn worm found, we didn't find any worms on the tomato plants. But the hunt will continue next week.

Horn worms aren't the only pest affecting the garden, we are also dealing with squash beetles. We found beetles and their eggs on two plants that were pretty damaged. Since we aren't going to be at Morris next week, we made the decision to remove two plants, hoping that will prevent the bugs from spreading to the other squash plants.

But the rest of the garden is doing really well. We harvested kale, oak leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mizuna, shizo, malibar spinach, cucumbers, yellow squash and zucchini.

August 14, 2017

Today was a busy day at 111. Since we weren't in the garden last week there was lots to take care of. We harvested cucumbers, zucchini, malibar spinach, mustard greens and our first tomato. We also cleared two of the raised beds that had the cranberry beans. Those plants had dried up and we had harvest all of the beans last time we worked in the garden. In the same beds, there were also a bunch of sunflowers that unfortunately fell over, so we took those out so that there would be room for us to plant some new seeds. Once everything was cleared we planted brussels sprouts and rainbow carrots, they should be ready to harvest in the fall.

After lunch we had this year's first foray into baking! We made a peach gallette, or free form pie. We had to cut up the peaches, roll out the dough, assemble everything and brush the crust with an egg wash so that it would turn golden and shiny. While the gallette was baking, we picked a few edible flowers from the garden, nasturtium and johnny jump ups, to decorate the finished pie. Which, if I do say so myself, was delicious!

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017

Today was all about peaches. It was really rainy out, so we weren't able to get a lot done in the garden, but we still managed to harvest some malibar spinach and 18 lbs of peaches! Next week we might make a peach pie, since we have so many peaches to use.

Since it was raining, we decided to do some cooking. With a cucumber, basil and spinach from the garden, we made a delicious quinoa salad that also had tomatoes and feta cheese.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017

We were busy at Morris today! We harvested kale, oak leaf lettuce, oregano, mizuna - an Asian mustard green - oregano and chamomile.

The other big task was tending to the tomatoes. They are starting to get bigger and have fruit, which makes them lean over. So we had to find the stakes that were used last year so we could tie the tomato plants to them and help keep the actual tomatoes off of the ground.

We also planted radishes and red sorrel, we'll see how that does in one of the small beds against the building.

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

It was another busy day in the garden at 111. At 111, there are a few really lovely rose bushes growing along the back wall. However, they have gotten pretty big and are bending over because they have gotten so top heavy. This wouldn't be a problem, except they are bending over a few of the raised beds, preventing anything from growing there. So a few of us, very carefully, tied the roses to the fence so that they aren't in the way of the raised beds anymore. We got a few thorn pricks, but no serious injuries.

We also replanted and thinned out our basil plants. A few sneaky basil plants were found throughout the garden, so we carefully dug them up and replanted them in our main basil patch, while spreading out some of the basil plants that were already there. We also thinned out the carrots and the beets, which is especially important since they need extra room to grow in the soil.

On the harvesting front, we picked radishes (there are always more radishes), sugar snap peas (which were delicious) and broccoli rabe. We also planted some new squash plants. The grape vine on the back fence of the garden is doing well, too!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June 14, 2017

At Morris today we had to tend to the tomatoes. With over 40 tomato plants, there is a lot of work to do. A few of the plants had what look like aphids, so we had to go over every plant and rub away the bugs and their eggs. While we were at it, we picked off the tomato suckers, which will hopefully make the plants produce more fruit. On the other side of the garden, we thinned out some of the kale and spinach plants so that they will grow better.

After working in the garden, we hit the kitchen to make lemonade. We harvested spearmint from the garden to add to it, which was enjoyed by the group, even if it wasn't as hot outside as it was last week.

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12, 2017

Today was the hottest day yet in the garden — over 90F! But that didn’t keep us from getting to work. We took stock of what changed in the garden since last week, including the fact that the peach tree has been losing fruit. We’re not sure why, but hopefully we’ll still have some peaches to pick later this summer. We also found that the chamomile on the side of the building was covered in a powdery coating, so we dug it all up to prevent it from spreading to the rest of the garden. There was more lettuce and radishes to harvest, which were delivered to the Bridge’s kitchen. We also tended to the beans, which are already producing pods, and spread out some kale and beets that were growing too clos together.

The other big project was digging up all of the plants in one bed that the squirrels had gotten to. Once the bed was clean, we planted zucchini. We also dug up several tomato plants that were growing around the garden from last year and put them in their own bed.

After all that work in the heat, we ended the day inside and made fruit smoothies!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June 7, 2017

Today was another short day, but we still managed to get a lot done at Morris Avenue. There was lots of weeding to be done, and we planted some peppers and separated some tomato plants that were growing too close together. Then we put some compost around the peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and kale growing in those rows.

We also tended to the herb patch — weeding, cutting back some of the spearmint and planting some parsley near the lavender. And the mustard and salad greens we planted last week have already sprouted.