September 2008


September 20th, 2008


Members in Attendance

Marisa, Mark, Sarah, Carmen, Rachel, Claire, Michael M., Cara, Judy, Suzanne, Ali, Charlie, Kate, Stephanie, Roma, Pat, Emerson, Lorne, Deema, Ms. Covington, Frank and Dana (an interested community member)


Ice Breaker: Our First Jobs

Covie’s first was babysitting her nieces, who were a little wild, and kept her chasing them

Deema’s first was at a movie concession stand where, “they’d ask me for twislers and I’d give them popcorn.”

Lorne’s first was reparing VCR’s in his dad’s cousins’s shop

Emerson started cleaning and finishing floors with his dad at 7, and then later started selling subsciptions to the Bergen Record after

school, making $50-$75 a week

Pat was a switchboard operator

Roma was a secretary in a bank

Mark’s first was putting brochures for his uncle’s dentistry office in people’s mailboxes, which he was too shy to do so instead he kept them hidden in a drawer in his room – then later he made deliveries for a florist, and was paid in tips

Stephanie worked in one of the first local video stores in the ’80’s and delivered papers on her bike

Kate was a counsellor at a day care camp for kids in state custody – it was poorly run, it rained all summer and later the place got the nickname Laughing Turtle Hostage Crisis

Ali was babysitting for her neighbor’s when she was 12

Suzanne worked in a neighborhood bakery, tieing up boxes with string and made us all hungry with her tales of eating cupcakes in

front of giant vats of frosting to dip with each bite

Judy was an administrative assistant to professors at Columbia

Michael M.’s first was cutting meat in a butcher shop where the Associated Supermarket is today

Cara waited tables at Donna’s

Charlie spent the summer he was 16 working in his father’s office for two weeks to build the 25th cabinet and refile the contents for an insurance company

Claire’s first was shelving books in the graduate library at the University of Michigan

Rachels helped her brother’s deliver newspapers and then worked in a photo studio for senior high school photos

Carmen’s first was assistaning a teacher in her school in Jamaica when she was 16

Sarah’s first was one day in the fields of Iowa, corn detasseling, with child labor laws apparently having no place in agriculture

Marisa’s first was at Snacks ‘n Then Some, 2nd in a chain, where she got to wear orange and white polyester uniforms

Dana’s first was a cottage industry gig, making barettes with ribbons


The Triple Threat

We made $220 from the Sidewalk Sale, $127.25 from the Bake Sale and $101.50 in Donations.  That’s a total of $448.75.  At our last meeting, we voted to spend $200 on meat and snacks, so minus that amount the garden raised $248.75


A Word of Thanks

Thanks to Pete, Lon, Cara and Dave for their masterful grilling!  Thanks to Cara for organizing the food donations and buying the meat for the BBQ!Thanks to Stephanie for organizing the Bake Sale and thanks to everyone who made all those tasty treats that had cars and bicycles pulling over all day!  Thanks to Kriko for organizing and to all else who were involved with the donation, setup, and hard selling during our yardsale!  Thanks to Peter and Emerson for the movie organization and setup! Thank you to everyone who donated all the delectibles – the food was so delicious that Mark briefly strayed from 14 years of vegetarianism to celebrate Carmen’s cod cakes!  Thanks to Kriko and Frank for their tuneful and soulful instrumental jam sessions!


Thoughts, Reflections, Concerns

– There was some concern expressed about the fact that so many gardeners did not reply to any of the e-mails that were sent out and that less than half of the garden membership showed up for this, which is our biggest community event of the season

– $200 ended up being far to much to spend on food, especially with so many gardeners not taking part in the event, or bringing guests.  $100 probably would have been enough

– Next year, perhaps we could put a mirror in the composting toilet house and offer the only yard sale with a changing room in NY


Wish List

We had a discussion of things we wanted to buy for the garden.  This was an initial brainstorm – no officical proposals were made.  There was interest expressed in buying a recycling can, some weather-proof hangout furniture, a bulletin board, plants for Gertrude’s Memorial Community Herb Garden


New Business


The BQLT Van/Bike Tour is Saturday, September 27th from 10 -3pm

– Hollenback has been selected to be a visited garden on this year’s BQLT Bike Tour.  We will be the first stop on the tour and breakfast will be served for the participants of the tour.  The BQLT was budgeted $50 – Emerson offered to pick up bagels and juice from the Park Slope Food Co-op.

– Charlie put in a special endorsement for the BBQ and Fish Fry at Euclid Pine at the end of the tour.

– Carmen, Pat, Judy, Pat, Covie all requested a reservation on the van – Mark will contact Brothel Dean (BQLT treasurer and one of the organizers of the tour)


New GreenThumb Requirements: 20 Open Hours a Week


A Little Background

GreenThumb is a NYC Parks organization involved in supporting community gardens all across the city.  They are the hosts of the Annual Grow Together community garden networking and workshop event.  They host different gardening workshops year round, in gardens all across the city, as part of their education outreach/supply giveaways.  They were one of the three main groups that stepped up when many of our gardens across the city were under the gun during the Guiliani administration which sought to develop the land.  The other two groups were the New York Restoration Project and the Trust for Public Land (the organization that currently holds the deed to Hollenback).  Community gardens that recieve help from, and are affiliated with, GreenThumb have had a 10 Open Hours a week policy.  This has always been a mandate that our garden was more than happy to fulfill.  One of our stated goals as a community garden is to provide a green space for all community members to benefit from, not just the garden members who grow food here.  Part of that benefit is posted hours when community members know the gate will be open and a gardener will be there.  That is why we have Open Hours.  It was also proposed to counter then Mayor Guiliani’s claim that the community gardens in the city were no more than gated, private clubs.

GreenThumb is now raising the number of Open Hours a week from 10 to 20. 

There was some discomfort with the way that this new mandate was handed down from on high.  There was some voiced frustration about the fact that we are a volunteer organization, and not a park, and that we do not have paid staff members.  There was a concern that if they mandate 20 hours a week now, what will we do when they tell us we have to do 30?  There was also mention of the fact that our own current system has flaws that still need to be worked out in terms of gardener accountability for open hour shifts.  But in a truly beautiful way, the overwhelming response of the garden was that this is a worthy and feasible goal, and that the more our garden opens up, the better it is for all of us.  It was suggested that we voice our concerns about the way this decison was made and relayed to the BQLT.  They are the land trust we are a part of and with them, we stand with 34 other gardens.


On the Horizon


Upcoming GreenThumb Workshops

To remind us of some specific contributions of GreenThumb, Charlie mentioned two upcoming workshops: Starting a Children’s Garden Program on Oct. 21st from 6-8pm and Indoor Growing Methods for School Gardens on Nov. 18th, from 4:30-6:30.  Anyone interested should contact Mark or Cara for more details.


Gertrude’s Memorial Community Herb Garden

– In order to begin the development of this project, we are waiting for the heavy construction of our new composting area

– We’ll be testing the soil, and amending it with compost and sinking the perennials for the winter


The Construction of Our Consolidated Composting Area

– the money is there, but Charlie needs to get the plans completed (and he’s a little burnt out from the Spring)

– Once the plans are completed, and the materials decided upon and purchased, the steps are…

     1) clear the area

     2) place concrete pavers (which will prevent moisture loss from the piles into the ground)

     3) frame out and build the bins


Respectfully recorded and submitted by Mark






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