A Quick Catch Up – In and Outside the Garden

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!





13 thoughts on “A Quick Catch Up – In and Outside the Garden

  1. Wow, looks like you really scored at the food swap. What exactly did you get? I hope to preserve excess food next year so that I can participate in the Bozeman swap. I find that’s its easier to freeze foods, which unfortunately don’t make good swap items. Also, very cool about the BK Farmyard program and the opportunity to bike there if you get in. Good luck! I hope you get accepted. -Emily

  2. Look! In the Sky…

    It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

    No, it’s Aimee’s star rising !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You’re immersed in a plethora of excitement – Keep us posted!

    Love hearing about all these big city happenings…

  3. So excited and so jealous…I have not seen any classes like this here and wish we had them…I also planted my cool season garden and have flower seeds germinating right now…waiting a bit for the warm season veggies..can’t wait to read more

  4. Wow, you’ve been busy! How fun. And the training program sounds awesome! What great events to be able to learn more about gardening and get some free stuff to!

  5. Hey, it was great seeing you at BK Swappers. Thanks for the sourdough starter. I’ve made three great loaves of bread so far. I still have extra heirloom tomato seeds from last year if any of your readers are interested. I’m putting a call out too for any spare bean seeds folks may have on hand. Let’s catch up soon!

    • I am so happy to hear you’ve been baking bread with the starter! I sort of slow down with bread making in the warmer months but will keep my starter going. Bean seeds – yes! I’ll email you today!

  6. Good luck Aimee. My own horticulture internship at Brooklyn Botanic was a great opportunity to confirm that I really wanted to spend my time surrounded by and tending plants and to work outside. It’s a tough road because jobs are scarce and competitive and the pay isn’t great (no benefits either), the work is hard, but if it’s what you want to do, then it’s totally worth it to pursue and I wish you the best of luck in your journey. It’s a good thiing to follow your heart and see where it takes you.

    • Hi Karen! Thank you so much for your advice here – I appreciate it! I still have my eye on that BBG internship…a dream that I would like to make happen. It seems with the evening classes that finding time to work could be tricky, and I would have to work on top of the internship since it pays so little. Tricky, but not impossible. We’ll see what happens. It’s great to hear what a good experience you and Susan had there!

  7. Aimee, wow congrats on the BK Farmyard opportunity. It sounds just amazing! I am so bummed that I missed out on the BK Swapper event. Work and beekeeping has taken over my life. Your haul looks totally amazing. I’m jealous!!!! I can’t wait to read about your adventures at Bk Farmyard! Sounds so exciting.

    • Hey Mimi! BK Farmyard opportunity is VERY exciting indeed! The BK Swapper event was fantastic. As you can see, I made out like a bandit once again. I can’t wait to hear about your beehives!

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