Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Call To Farms

On Saturday I received an important looking envelope - 'Official Business.'

In it, a courteous seasonal park ranger named Thaddeus explained that my number had risen to the top of the line and that if I was so willing, despite the late date, I should put in my paperwork for plot assignment. I am one step closer to citizen farmer.

I thought it best that I run on down to the garden to see how things are shaping up. Have many of the plots been taken? What was left, after all, I was number 14 on the waiting list. I would get the worst plot in the whole place, wouldn't I? Like the one below.

Well, this one never changes, but it did seem a little trim, a weed pulled here or there.

I found that it even had old and tired raspberries.

Remember this plot from my last trip -the field of green bean dreams.

Well, look at it now! Someones' gonna need a combine.

Even this side, has, well, more gardeners. This side was all weeds last September.

And look at that - a rickety composting corral (made of plastic lumber planking, no posts, front cross-member seems a bad idea). One of my imaginary sessions with the Fed was how we must have composting for our vegetable waste -'nuff of this rat baloney!' I was, am, and will be highly skeptical of anyone who claims rats in the compost and as it happens, some of those folks happen to garden here.

Now choosing a plot, that is tricky. First off, I probably won't get either of the three I listed as first choices despite the fact that it appears no one is gardening there. That said, I picked my three, and cross my fingers.

Plot A12. It's in the northwest corner, near an opening in the picket fence. Three sides are pathways and it has its own spigot for possible timer-drip system, but it looks like someone has begun tackling the dense mat of mugwort. My would-be neighbor has a chain-link fence.

Plot C12 is another option. It's weedy, but the border of daylilies charms it a bit. Water is across the path, limiting the drip idea. The previous tenant's CCA treated timbers are strewn throughout, giving me pause. Soil testing is planned, anyhow.

It does come with an old steel gate.

And milkweed.

Plot F12 I did not photograph, but no worries, it looks just like the others, but with 1/2 the water pressure. My request was mailed off today, complete with fee, application, and other compliances. Now to ready my mattock.


  1. good luck. i inherited a weed patch in mid-may, fallow last summer, but the previous tenant worked to provide lovely, lovely soil.

    i used "weedless gardening" ( Lee Reich) techniques (also seen in "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" edward smith) and have not yet to seriously do any weeding of significance, save the edges. love it.

  2. Oh wow, how exciting for you!! Where is this located?

  3. What subway?

    Looks promising.

  4. Meems, its near the Rockaways, Ft. Tilden -Gateway Nat Rec Area.

    Donna, we have no such luck -the soil looks pretty lousy-perfect for weeds. I will take pride in fixing it though.

    Marie, subway? You are better off taking the taxiferry in summer time. Goes right there -or it did last year.

    If I take pub trans- I take the bus, B103 to Q35, hop off after the bridge- a cheap ride compared to a car with tolls and all, but lengthy. Also, the A train to the Rockaways, bus or walk the beach!

  5. Fingers crossed you get A12 with the good water pressure.


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