Friday, July 23, 2010

A Visit to Nyack Community Garden

If you’ve ever tilled a weed-packed lawn, raked your backyard, or placed a tiny lettuce seed into a narrow groove in the dirt, you’ve experienced the therapeutic benefits of gardening first-hand. Community Gardens are growing, and offering these benefits to more town and city dwellers each year. There are over 20,000 active community gardens in the U.S. today.  They stimulate social interaction, beautify neighborhoods and even reduce crime, creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education. This time of year, a community garden can even reduce heat by cooling city streets and parking lots.

By some jolt of fortuitousness I met Shelly a few weeks ago when I was tending our school garden – we were immediately simpatica. She’s been gardening at the Nyack Community Garden for a few years now, and generously offered to give me a tour of the garden and tell me about the goings on there. Getting beyond the chain-link fence to look at the plants up close was a thrill for me. (In fact, some of these photos were taken last year by poking my camera lens through the fence!) The plots were impressive, abundant, diverse and creative.

Many of the gardeners, like Shelly who has gorgeous tomatoes, lettuce and basil, use black weed guard around their plants. Others, who lean toward organic, use straw.

Some incorporate décor and sculpture.

Some strictly grow vegetables.

Some mix flowers in.

If I could "pick" one thing here, it would have to be this awesome Savoy cabbage. I included the shed in the back so you could see the scale.
These cool-looking gourds (bitter melon?) were grown on a wooden trellis in the corner.
For people who don’t have access to yards, or have yards that are too small or shady to grow certain things (healthy vegetables require at least 6 hours of full sun), this is a great opportunity.

Thank you so much, Shelly for showing me around!

Contact Info:

Nyack Community Garden
P.O. Box 864
Nyack, NY 10960


Joanne said...

A very beautiful garden going on there. My town also has a community garden, I see the ad in our local paper early in the spring reminding gardeners to reserve their space. It's very popular, though I don't use it because I have my own garden. Which, by the way, with this heat and humidity, my tomato plants are now taller than their stakes, and it's only July!

AshKuku said...

That seems really a great idea.... Lovely captures of the awesomeness in the garden... I loved the cabbage & the gourd.... bitter though ;) Still looks very fresh & tempting..... Kudos!!!!!


Lorilee said...

I love to see other folks' gardens. I find gardening therapeutic too, when it is not so hot! I have been neglecting my garden because of 95 plus degree weather with high humidity. We also have mosquitoes in the evenings! Heat and bugs take the pleasure away from being outdoors!

TALON said...

Everything looks so good! Community gardens are wonderful. That cabbage is magnificent!

And Miss B looks fabulous with the petunias!

patti said...

OOOOH, how inspiring!
We have a community garden at our church!
My gardener partner and I have distinguished our patch by "fencing it off" with huge golden marigolds!!

I love the community garden spirit--just wish I would be inspired to weed a bit more often!

Love this blog, girl.

Guinnah said...

what a beautiful garden - I can see why you poked your camera through the fence before...our own little garden is doing quite well (other than my ongoing battle with the tree squirrels). Thanks for showing this!

patti said...

Did I miss the leaves background before?

GORGEOUS--and perfect for this blog!

If you have time, drop by today.
I have my first author visitor!!


tina said...

Very neat! Community gardens are catching on everywhere and seem to be the very hot topic in garden circles. When I lived in Germany 'Garten platz' or community gardens were the norm. I so wished I could've had a plot! It is awesome it is catching on here and everyone can participate. Those are some serious gardeners there as their plots look good!

patti said...

Missin' you!! Are you out picking????


Skeeter said...

Here in GA we are lucky to have a house on land. While in Germany for 6 years, we were not so lucky. We lived in an apartment complex as most locals tend to do. The lack of land is the main reason for the abundant apartment living. We were lucky enough to have Local German Friends. We decided we needed a garden so we went out and acquired a Gartenplatz. This is pretty much a community garden but separated by fencing. We taught our German friends all we knew about gardening as they had never garden before. They love the garden and continue to plant and grow yummy things in it from year to year since us departing. We left a bit of ourselves in Germany by teaching gardening to our German friends :-)

sk8crete said...

I'm very proud to say that the photo of the statue and ivy is my wife's idea! Glad you like it and always happy to see others as interested as we are in working the earth and cultivating plants!

Love your blog!

Stacey said...

we have a big problem with random people just coming into the garden and stealing (because that is what it is) produce - a cab driver was caught and the manager of the garden called his company - hopefully that put an end to it. I don't mind growing a few extra for the squirrels but humans seem to be the problem in our community garden this year

Anonymous said...

Hello Jen,

Your friend Nancy Libow (my student's mom)is sitting here listening to my garden problem. She suggested I ask you. Here's the situation: we have a thriving patch of zucchini. Lots of lustrous green and many flowers. The flowers are falling off and not making any fruit. Why is this?
I hope you know of something that I can do to make the zucchini be zucchini. Thank you! Annemarie Powers