Garden Work Day 5/22/2022 Sun 1 pm

Sunday, May 22, 2022, 1 pm – 5 pm

We will be focusing on our bokashi-composting process, including the following:

  • Digging lots of soil (soil amended with bokashi and leaf compost over the years) — volunteers can take some of the soil for their own garden bed elsewhere, street tree pit, or houseplants.
  • In the dug out areas, we will bury/trench fermented food waste, mixing with plant matter (leaves, clippings, twigs/cut branches), and completely covering with soil and then mulch on top. This will amend and build the soil for future soil harvesting. (There will still be soil left over after the covering.)
  • Treating dropped-off food waste with bokashi (to ferment the food waste).

Please wear proper clothing and shoes for the garden-composting work. We have gardening/work gloves, if you don’t have or forgot to bring your own.

Meeting Notes 4/2/2022

Down to Earth Garden 
General garden meeting
April 2, 2022 (Sat) 12:15 – 1:09 pm 

Attendees (5). In-garden (4): Lorraine Forte, Alexis Adler, Barbara Augsburger, Stefani Mar; Call-in (1): Helen Chan. 

Agenda 

  1. Discuss the garden coordinator position (see garden bylaws for details).   Current garden coordinator: Shig Matsukawa I, for now, will continue as the garden coordinator. 
  2. Discuss the positions of the Primary and Secondary Contact Persons* (the garden liaisons between the garden and GreenThumb, see below).  
    • Current Primary Contact: Shig Matsukawa 
      New Primary Contact is now Lorraine Forte
    • Current Secondary Contact: Alexis Adler 
      New Secondary Contact is now Barbara Augsburger
  3. Maintaining the fence plan (new coat of paint, trimming some of the vine) 
  4. Lowering the soil level by the fence down to the sidewalk level. 
  5. What kind of barrier to put in place by the fence in the garden side to prevent soil and leaves from going onto the sidewalk. 
    For 3, 4, and 5 above, the plan will be as follows: 
    • Timeframe: steps 1 and 2 below, April, May and June.
      • Step 1Plants close to the fence – depending on the plant/tree and proximity to the fence, trimming/pruning, removal or separation from the fence, or transplanting. 
      • Step 2Lowering soil level down to sidewalk level; giving away the soil/soil-compost mix to other gardens, tree pits, and sites that need it. 
    • Timeframe: steps 3, 4, and 5, when kids from the SYEP (Summer Youth Employment Program) can help (approx. July 5 – August 15).
      • Step 3Remove the hardware cloth (wire mesh, 3 feet high) from outside the fence, but by section. 
      • Step 4Repaint the fence (color? black?) – materials: tarp and/or cardboard, wire brush, paint rollers, paint brushes, metal primer, metal paint. 
      • Step 5Re-attach the hardware cloth on the inside of the fence. 
        The time between removal and re-attachment of the hardware cloth should be as short as possible in order to prevent rats from establishing a path in and out of the garden through the chainlink fence. Therefore, steps 3-5 should be done by section (each section being between the vertical poles). 
  6. Project updates:  
    1. New composting bins (from LESEC); Some of the materials is schedule to arrive this coming Tuesday (4/5). Already started to clear the ground where the bins will be built. LESEC will also send volunteers to help build the compost bins. 
    2. New food waste shredder device proposal to El Sol Brillante. The price quote of a larger shredder is $2,187 (4/2/2022). El Sol Brillante (from their garden meeting today at 2 pm) will hold 3 fundraisers this year (instead of their usual 2), as well as, sell their T-shirts, and seek grants in order to come up with the funds. 
      However, we will try and see if our current shredder can be fixed (photos of the parts of the shredder will be forwarded to Stefani to show to someone who may be able to determine if it’s fixable and the cost). 
      Otherwise, chopping the food waste (with the ice chopper) will be how we’ll continue to shred food waste, even if we have a working shredder—some of us prefer chopping. 
  7. Other items
    • The Hydrant Permit has been taped to the inside of the right shed door. The permit has been extended by one month (April 1 – November 30 [instead of October 31]). Our water access from Sauer Park (next door) is usually turned on in late April and shut off in mid October. 
    • The garden’s Open Hours (which is also the food waste drop-off hours) has been posted on the gate: 
  • LUNGS Spring Awakening will be Saturday April 23. A parade will start from El Sol Brillante from are 12 pm and will go to different community gardens in the Lower East Side, and there will be a street fair on Ave B. FYI. I am now on the LUNGS board representing Down to Earth Garden. LUNGS (lungsnyc.org) represent 52 community gardens in the East Village/Lower East Side. There are 16 people (from 16 of those gardens) on LUNGS board. 
    • LUNGS activities include
      • a weekly CSA (Fridays 5-7 pm, 7/8-11/18),
      • coordinating the SYEP for the community gardens,
      • Spring Awakening event,
      • the Harvest Arts Festival week-long event in September/October,
      • and a theater program June 11-12. 
  • Soil-compost giveaway, since we’ll be lowering the ground level by the fence and throughout the garden in general, we’ll be giving away the soil-compost mix as follows: 
    • El Sol Brillante Jr. 
    • East Side Outside Community Garden and Kathleen Keene of the East Side Community High School Parent Association is interested in obtaining 20 gallons (4 x 5-gallon buckets) of compost for a tree stewardship event on April 13 (Wed). I’ll be prepping (Shig) a soil-compost mix from our ground for their April 13 event. 
    • St Mark’s Church: Requesting Soil for East Yard – for starters, we will provide 5 wheelbarrows of soil-compost (they, and others, can sift the soil-compost from the ground if they wish to do so). 
    • El Sol Brillante, some of the gardeners for their plots. 
  • Open Hours Scheduling Sheet, a google sheet will be created in order for garden members/volunteers to schedule in when they can do the open hours (similar to what we had several years ago).

For those who attended, please reply if I missed anything. 

Thanks, 
Shig 
Down to Earth Garden, garden coordinator

Fall Leaf Drop-Off Hours

We accept leaves, as well as, plant discards, tree branches, and unused potted soil.

October 26 – December 30, 2021

Same time as our public food waste drop-off hours.
When the garden is open:

Tuesdays 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Thursdays 3:30 – 6 pm

Saturdays 2 – 4 pm

For more information and other leaf drop-off sites, visit nyc.gov/drop-fall-leaves

Food Waste Drop-Off Notice, Updated

For our 24-hour drop-off to resume: 

  1. We need volunteers*.
    To volunteer, go to downtoearthgarden.org/volunteer (online signup form).
    * Goal: 14+ volunteers, 2 per day, each choosing a day/week, + backups.
  1. Sanitation (DSNY) to restart their Curbside Composting**.
    Resumption of DSNY’s pickup service depends on how many have signed up within the neighborhood. Please have your building consider signing up: nyc.gov/curbsidecomposting

** Curbside Composting (organic waste pickup) — Pre-pandemic, DSNY picked up about 40% of our food waste; we composted 60% in-garden.
So, in order for a 24-hour drop-off to not overwhelm us, we need both: volunteers and DSNY to resume their pickup.

For further information, visit downtoearthgarden.org/composting