Saturday, June 1, 2013

Beach Farm, How Long Has It Been?

A pretty long time. Since April 27th in fact. Around that time I received a letter stating that the community garden may be open, pending a soil test, sometime in May. I never received notice. When I arrived, a friend (and source of valuable information) was there. She told me the garden was open for business at the beginning of the month. Oh. So this year we missed the spring growing season, heading right into the hot weather stuff. I've got peppers and tomatoes and green beans to plant someday soon.

Although it was a steamy day in NYC, on the ocean it was pleasant with onshore breezes blowing. Now that the dunes are gone, you can see the ocean beyond and well hear the waves crashing on the shore. While the official language is one of closure, I'm told that the hip folks are already coming and the Park folks aren't doing much of anything to stop them. The number one thing we should be pursuing is dune building and planting and keeping those people off the dunes. If we don't do this, we're writing off the area. People who live on the shore won't like this, but I wish coastal geologists were responsible for setting shoreline building policy, not developers and real estate agents.

My first stop was the garlic I had planted after Thanksgiving. The plants looked all around healthy, with less of the yellowing of the farm in Amagansett, but I haven't been back to fertilize these plants and most are smaller than their garlic farm counterpart.

I was shocked to see that the Porcelain strain 'Music' was already well into scaping.

I began turning the soil in preparation for the new tomato bed. The soil is richer than I remember (staring at the garlic farm soil for too long maybe), product of all the composting I was doing on site last year. There are however no earthworms. After the inundation, many were visible, shriveled on top of the soil. Apparently the big topic among the gardeners is where to get what kind of worms. I've got some ideas... 

Update: I dreamed about harvesting earthworms last night.

Seems Allium can handle salt water pretty well. In fact, I've noticed in glancing around the larger garden that all the lilies survived the salt too. Allium species are lilies. My neighboring gardener Jimmy told me that he planted his garlic just before Sandy! And they are up and growing.

There's always something to amaze me at Tilden community garden. 

After the modest amount of work I headed over to the Park Service's new digs in the old Floyd Bennett Field tower building. It is a vast, echoing space where it appeared to me absolutely nothing was going on. When I inquired about my garden permit I was sent into the book store. A young woman texting on her phone could hardly look up when I came in. In fact, she was quite a slug, and had little notion of what to do to aid my request. Glad I don't need to go there often. I paid my fee and pestered her boss (?) about the ridiculous pipe they are building alongside the road. It seems crazy that they are building this pipe, easily a mile long, then shoving it into the drilled hole. Since the pipe is welded at what, 16 foot intervals, it isn't a completely straight pipe (it goes up and down along its length). I'm sure the pipe welders know what they are doing, but to someone ignorant of the process, it looks to me like it will crack as they move it away from the welding location and then move it under the water and through the ground. This project needs more explanation, especially since it is on our National Park land.

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If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...