Sunday, May 20, 2007

Community Garden in NYC

The East Village is nestled in lower Manhattan, around 12th and Avenue A. Tightly clustered brownstones have folding doors covering up secret stairways leading to the basement. Tiny shops and cafes with metal trash cans outside. Fenced off little parks have play areas for kids. It looks a little like Sesame Street.

That's where I found this public garden; a gated but unlocked community garden where people grow a few vegetables and flowers.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Spring is Here

Spring finally arrived here in Toronto.

We celebrated by installing a new fence in our yard in April. Hum. I'm ambivalent about the new fence. The old fence had character; it sagged crazily from side to side. It was intertwined with trees growing in the fence, and it was unabashedly rusty. The new fence has the charm of an East German passport control zone. Perhaps we will install a guard tower and patrol the bare earth strip with guard dogs and AK 47s.

Removing the old fence was extremely challenging since a number of small to medium Manitoba maples had grown along the fence line. The old timers recommend the following method of stump removal:
1. Drill holes in stump
2. Pour gasoline into stump and let liquid seep into the stump
3. Light stump on fire

Or not. I don't want my lettuce to taste like an Esso station. So I dug around the roots and hacked away with a hatchet and a pruning saw. It took about a day per 6-inch tree trunk. Hard work, indeed.
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