Friday, March 6, 2009

Planning: the Feat of 1/4 year system

Every year, there seems to be a seed RUSH! it feels like tomatoes must be sown now, eggplants now and onions, last month...oh my!

The waterpod has been through a range of changes. The garden is changing size and shape, weekly. Water systems are being designed and altered to scale, the structural componants change the artistis vision get to amalgamate to take form.

Trying to plan for an early harvest because the waterpod is launching in may is tricky.What will artists eat for the first 6 weeks while the tomatoes are growing from green to red, when tomatillos are like pea size in their husks and while corn has little sparks of silk and not a kernal more. It makes sense that living off of the land is a year endeavor. Last summer while at an artist residency we ate from the demonstration garden, almost 1/4 acres of rows of delicious produce. There were times when the production levels of some was so great we could have the tomatoe squash fest of spain, or can tomatillos till our eyes turned green. Swiss chard became apart of every meal, and even snack, crunchy in the oven or tucked in between filo dough. This is a larger challenge. There are no cans of tomato sauce canned from October, no pickles jarred and in the pantry. We are living in NYC trying to sustain. In my gypsy life at present, rich with artist opportunities, I have not a window sill that I can water every morning, nor a radiator that I can call my own to get the warm of tricking spring into plants.

Another call of force and community arises from this opportunity. Meg, the co-manager of Living Systems ingeniously foraged through recycling bins, gathering containers of all shapes and sizes. Mary and Mira and Derek have devised a system, as artists, sculptors and inventors, I am sure theirs is equally as inventive. I am going upstate to a friends greenhouse later this week to sow her seeds and have a mini-exchange, hoping to get some carrot chilies and her best squash or rhubarb, although a perrennial is so desireable.

In the meantime resourcefulness is at it's best. There are Greenhouses all over the city, believe it or not, at places that aren't just botanical gardens. People invent coldframes, have window sill systems....plant in old waterbottles and have winter tales to teach you!

This is where you might come in! You as a grower, as an artist who wants to grow, as a scientist, teacher, supporter of the arts.....We have a larger mission in the 1/4 system of a NYC garden. We want you to collaborate with us.

Just when you thought building a community of gardeners in the greatest city in the world couldn't happen, it is! Across all boroughs, through subways, and brownstones, 6th floor walkups and sunny morning window sills, department of agriculture cold frames and kitchen counters.....

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