July 10, 2014

A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn

This summer I have the most delightful weirdo garden growing on my roof in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. It's been a really fun project with a healthy dose of trial and error (tomato plants blowing over in the wind, rainbow chard flu) not to mention the combined effort of many (thanks PS and HD!) to simply get the planting supplies to the apartment! It's funny how difficult starting a garden can be, especially here in our car-less, stair-filled, brownstone universe. I'm happy to report that many of the plants are doing well despite my amateur status and that we recently enjoyed the first tiny strawberries (pictured above). They were sweet and bright, delightfully unlike the store bought varieties. 

A few of the herbs were planted from seed, but many of the plants are from my favorite neighborhood store, Natty Garden on Dean Street. Check them out! Lots of organic soils, bat guano, and the funkiest succulents in town. A few of the tomato plants are from the Park Slope Food Coop, starters from Hepworth Farms upstate.

In this corner we've got two tomatoes chasing the bright sun (out of the frame!), lemon verbena, chives, basil, dill, alyssum, and dusty miller. Along the other side of the porch are poblano peppers, bell peppers, more tomatoes, rainbow chard, collard greens, strawberries, mint, sage, and coxcomb. I've been shuffling things around throughout the month as the sun moves, and painting the pots with affirmations (plants need a little positive encouragement too, right?).

Please pass along any advice you have for container gardening! I'm just learning as I go and would love to hear your tips on watering throughout the day and resupplying nutrients after the plants drain the soil. Remember when Ron Finley told us that growing your own food is like printing your own money? Well, it is. I'd love to see more guerrilla gardens in New York and am thankful for organizations like 596 Acres who are making them happen in abandoned lots!

Breaking in the dog days with whatever chill can be harnessed,

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