Another Brooklyn Garden

October 1, 2007 at 3:29 pm 2 comments

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to take a moment and introduce you to my garden:


The truth: that’s what my garden was like back in July. Here’s what it looks like these days:


A bit wilted and yellowed, perhaps, but I still have a few pounds of tomatoes, a couple of bell peppers, arugula, a host of fresh herbs and a sprinkling of pretty flowers (including some store-bought mums – yes, I’m a cheater) to get me through September.

Urban gardening has been written about ad nauseum, so I won’t bother you with the exciting details of how I built my garden boxes or how it took me days to lug several hundred pounds of soil up to my roof deck. I’m willing, however, to tell you this much about my corn-in-a-box experiment: it failed.

What I would really like to discuss here is the future of my garden, and how I’m going to get it to provide me with food throughout the New York winter. I know that potatoes, brocolli and leafy greens like lettuce and spinach do well in a colder climate, but don’t necessarily survive frosts and snow. Global Warming has been lending local farmers a hand over the past few winters, and I remember buying fresh, outdoor-grown arugula from the farmers market as late as last December. But a winter freeze is inevitable, so I’m going to have to prepare.

My plan? To build some sort of small, cheap greenhouse made of found/re-used materials (probably plastic sheeting). I’ll write about it, for sure, but if for some reason it isn’t discussed on this blog within a few months, it will be safe of you to guess that I got lazy and didn’t do it. To be continued…


Entry filed under: food, gardening. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Helen  |  October 7, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    You have a backyard garden? I’m jealous. Walking around the neighborhood, we can spot gardens and trees on rooftops and balconies and think, Wouldn’t that be nice.
    For winter farming you might look at some historical info, as in what did they used to do –
    There’s a little spot of natural heaven on Houston bet. 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Liz Christy Garden. They have plants native to NY. Maybe they’ll have info on planting food gardens year round, or know of other gardens in the city that do.
    Also, talk to the people at the Farmers Markets. They keep selling well into the cold months.

  • 2. kim  |  October 27, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Gween Gwen-
    I saw a cool green house made out of old windows…. Do you have a salvage yard near you? If so, that may be just the thing. You may need to caulk around the panes, but if you can get them with the sash intact, it would give you something to glue and screw into.

    Another thing I thought would be fun is if you found one of those kid play houses that parents buy and no one plays in then it gets put on the curb…. you could convert that into a green house.

    It is so much easier to give ideas than to actually make the thing… hehe


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