June 2010

Hollenback Community Garden

Wed, June 16, 2010


In attendance: Cara Montague, Cassandra Simmel, Tony Mocenigo, Heather Lasche, Roma Roach Thomas, Jennifer Rubain, Yodit Sheido, Sabine Hoffman, Joseph Konig, Suzanne McCaffrey, Marisa DeDominicis, Loren Lieb, Sarah Pokora, Ellen Tarlow, Kirk Montague, Heather Parlier, Judy Poehler, Laurena Covington, Angela Starita, Charlie Bayrer, Deema



It’s Business Time!

☼ Open Hours- Please sign up for open hours.  You can do this on-line, through the website, or by signing up on the sheets in the green binder in the shed.  Everyone should sign up for one 2-hour shift a month.

☼ Dues- Dues are paid annually on a sliding scale of $10-50, so you decide how much you want to pay.  Give your dues to Cara, or send them to her at 590 Flatbush Ave, #11L, Brooklyn, NY 11225.



Icebreaker Interviews: 

                        What is your favorite neighborhood spot (other than Hollenback!)?

                        What was your greatest gardening success?

                        What song do you know all of the words to?    


☼ Weighing the Food We Grow at Hollenback-

Suzanne reported out about an exciting project Hollenback is participating in called “Farming Concrete”, which is being organized by Mara Gittleman of GrowNYC. 


Suzanne met with Mara last week and received the kitchen scale and data binder.  Both are in the yellow shed in the back.  Sarah Pokora volunteered to draw up a map of the plots at Hollenback.


All gardeners with plots are asked to: complete a worksheet showing the dimension of their plots and what kinds and how many of each plant they are growing.  This should take about 10 minutes.


Gardeners who have volunteered to weigh their food are asked to: complete a separate sheet where they can fill in the weights of the different foods they are growing.


All sheets are in a binder in the yellow shed.


            Garden Plots already signed up:

            1) Kate & Peter 2) Suz & Lon 3) Dana 4) Cody 5) Mark, Cara & Kirk 6) Margaret 7)Cassandra & Tony 8) Sarah & Deema 9) Lorne & Ally

            Potentially Interested:

            1) John Ryan, Maggie and Melissa 2) Mohammed 3) Ellen thought it was

            something that the Apprentices could do with the food grown in the Apprentice

            plot 4) Judy 5) Maybe you!


☼ Composting at Hollenback- There has been some progress in constructing the composting bins.  About half of the bin frames have been welded by Pete and his friend Juan.  Pete is in California until mid-July.  When he returns, he will cut the concrete planks for the walls of the bin.  By August we are hoping to have a workday in the garden to construct the bins.


If you are interested in joining the Compost Committee to start the conversation about what our compost program will look like, please let Cara know. Questions we will be considering are: Will we take kitchen scraps from the community?  Will we have a drop off can at the front of the garden?  Who will make the compost?  How can we involve the community who drops off material in making the compost?   So far, the committee consists of Sarah, Marisa, Charlie, John Ryan, Peter, and Greg.  Ellen also volunteered to be on the committee and represent the interests of our neighbors.


☼ Sweet Cherry on the street- At the June 5th workday, Kirk and Mark planted the cherry tree in a tree pit just north of the garden.  We ask everyone to keep an eye on it and give water whenever you are at the garden.  There is no risk of overwatering!


New Business

☼ Wait list lottery for the Apprentice Members- At the meeting we randomly selected names of new members to form the waitlist for plots for next year.  While your spot on the waitlist is one factor in getting a plot, you also need to remember that to qualify for a plot you need to pay your dues, come to 4 meetings this season, come to 4 workdays or events this season, and participate in open hours.  Even if you are at the bottom of the list, you may still get a plot since there are folks who will drop off the list for not fulfilling their requirements.


The Waitlist list:


Apprentices from 2009


Ruth Curry



Yodit Sheido



Carolyn Silvera



Free Flowin



Elizabeth Dwoskin

Apprentices from 2010





Greg Cullen



Tom Mayer



Vera Stearns



Maggie Herkovits



Polly Hall



Yon Lee



Gwendolyn Gause



Daisy Okas



Sadie Kelly



Arthur Green



Heather Parlier



Sabine Hoffman



Melissa Gable



Ellen Tarlow



Heather Lasche



Angela Starita


Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities- Marisa reported out that Charlie has been asked to represent Hollenback as part of an Advisory Committee on soil health in NYC.  The garden gave their support to this project, and to having Charlie represent us.  We look forward to hearing more about this important work.  For more info, see the below text I copied from an e-mail inviting Charlie to be part of the project:


“On behalf of the Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities project team, I am writing to invite your participation in the project’s Advisory Committee.  


The Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities project is a four-year community-research project funded by the National Institutes of Health. This collaborative project seeks to better understand the nature and extent of soil contamination in urban gardens in New York City and elsewhere, associated exposures and health risks, and effective exposure reduction strategies. The project team leaders are affiliated with Cornell University, Cornell University Cooperative Extension – NYC, New York State Department of Health, and New York City Department of Parks’ GreenThumb.  It is our intention to address the risks associated with soil contamination while simultaneously considering the benefits of urban gardening.  We recognize that to effectively achieve this objective we need input from multiple perspectives and areas of expertise. Our project builds on earlier pilot efforts that brought together a diverse group of educators, gardeners, gardening program managers, soil scientists, and other community members from New York City (NYC).  The project team is now seeking to establish a formal project Advisory Committee of diverse professionals, stakeholders and community-based participants based in the NYC area.”


☼ Watering in the Garden- Cara reported out about basic watering practices at Hollenback.  Gardeners have several watering options:

  • You can use the watering cans to get water out of the pickle barrels.  You can use water from any pickle barrel- not just the one closest to your plot.
    • There is a team of people who have volunteered to fill up the pickle barrels along the path.  This team consists of Emerson, Deema, Carmen, Val and Greg.  They have special keys to turn on the city water (and need to remember to turn off the water when they are done!)
  • You can use water directly from the rainwater harvester, either by filling up your watering can or by hooking up a hose and running it to your plot.  You can also use the hose to fill up the pickle barrels. 


Best Practices- We had a discussion about how Hollenback as a garden and we as members can work together with the neighborhood and with each other.

☼How is Hollenback a good neighbor on the block? 

  • Open hours welcome non-members into the garden
  • Triple Threat- our annual fundraiser that consists of a sidewalk sale, bakesale and bbq
  • Cherry Tree and tree pits that we tend
  • Welcome Gardens provide beauty and cool seats for rest and relaxation
  • Composting- used to be a huge part of our outreach to the neighborhood and hopefully will be again
  • Visitors- school groups, other gardening groups,
  • Reaching out to the Block Association

How are we good neighbors to each other?

  • You can water your neighbor’s plot
  • Be careful not to grow plants that will invade your neighbor’s plot such as raspberries and mint
  • Trellis your vines so that they do not grow into your neighbor’s plot
  • Weed your paths


Break-Out Groups

☼ Summer Events at Hollenback- What do you want to do this summer?

We did not end up breaking into groups, but did have a brief discussion about events we’d like to have this summer

  • Full Moon Soiree- this was a highly successful event planned by Suzanne last summer, which she has graciously volunteered to organize again this summer.  She will pick the date- a full moon night.  Herb based cocktails will be served and a relaxing time had by all.  Suzanne plans beautiful parties!  Tony also volunteered to help.
  • Singing Workshop- Vlada volunteered to speak to her singing group about hosting a workshop and concert at the garden.  This would so wonderful!
  • Caterpillar Painting workship- Marisa volunteered to lead a weekday workday to finish painting the rainwater harvester.
  • Triple Threat- There was great interest in again having the Triple Threat this year.  The Triple Threat is the garden’s annul fundraiser where we host a sidewalk sale, bake sale and bbq.  It’s an all day affair and a lot of fun.  Roma, Deema and Tony volunteered to help with organizing the event (though we will need everyone’s help!).  The garden was interested in looking at dates in early September for the big day.
  • Common Area Committee- Deema expressed interest in reviving the common area committee to continue thinking about paving and plants for the meeting area.
  • Movie Night- gardeners were interested in hosting a movie night (separate from the Triple Threat)


☼ Walk About: Sun, June 20th, 11:00 @ the garden

☼Next Meeting: Sat, July 17th, 11-1:00 @ the garden (rain location: 459 Vanderbilt Ave)



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