The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of activity: gardening preparations, tax preparations (I much prefer the garden preparations!), getting outside to enjoy the amazingly warm weather, and attending various events.
In the gardening department I have winter sown seeds, turned compost, prepped containers, fixed up a broken cold frame window, taken cuttings of my Persian Shield plant (being overwintered inside), and planted lettuces, arugula, radicchio, radishes, and mustard in containers outside. I’ve also started many, many seeds indoors under some lights, but I’ll save that for another post.
There have been a flurry of terrific gardening-related events going on in NYC lately and I’ve been fortunate to make several of them. Sadly, I did not get to the Seed Exchange at the Stock Exchange, but that’s probably just fine considering a) I already had enough seeds, b) I still ordered more, and c) I received a lot of free seeds and a few plants at some of the events that I attended! Score!
I’ll likely go into more detail about them in future posts, but here’s the quick lineup: First up was the Just Food Conference, which was focused on city gardening, farming and issues related to food justice. Next I got to meet the fabulous Margaret Roach, of A Way To Garden, and hear her speak about her upstate NY gardens. Then I attended Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual “Making Brooklyn Bloom” conference, and finally, I participated in a fabulous homemade/canned/baked/pickled/fermented Food Swap hosted by BK Swappers!
I’ve had so much fun, met so many wonderful people, discovered a lot of wonderful new organizations and resources for city gardeners, and have been able to take all kinds of free workshops on everything from permaculture to beekeeping to harvesting rainwater! As if everything coming to life and blossoming around us isn’t inspiring enough!
My head has been spinning a bit with all the ideas and information I’ve encountered these past few weeks – it’s been great to get my hands in some potting soil and be active outside and let all the new thoughts digest.
One really exciting thing is that I found out about and applied for an Urban Farm Training Program at the BK Farmyard…one of a few urban farms here in NYC, believe it or not. You can read about this particular training program HERE. I have an interview this week and I cannot wait to learn more about this program. I have to say that the thought of working outside 3 days/week while learning more about growing food on a larger scale REALLY sounds great to me. Not to mention the program teaches youth about farming and provides fresh, organic produce to the neighborhood. It’s kind of perfect timing too, since I am currently unemployed and don’t have to worry about leaving a job to do this training. Being able to ride my bike to “school” instead of taking the subway to work in Time Square at rush hour would just be icing on the cake. :) More on all of this later!
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the incredible haul I brought home from the food swap – woo hoo!