Notes from Garden Day Meeting – 9/9/17

Notes from Garden Day meeting 9/9/17


Today’s accomplishments — weeding (paths, plots and more), getting bins for weeds from neighbors, shed cleaned, pile of mulch and dirt distributed, hand compost sifter repaired.

What’s coming up next?  Cutting up cedar planks for borders. Making the actual borders.

Water: Hydrant cap has been changed. Good till end of Oct.

Corn, the water consultant, is game to come the afternoon of Oct. 7. Waiting to hear if Charlie can come then. Sheila has made contact with Brad Lander’s office to see if he can persuade DEP to fix at least part of the system.  (We have an underground creek. Water table is high here.)  

We’ll investigate bioswales.

Melanie is investigating grant for water collection system, which will help divert water from the sewer system in storms. We’ve asked Judy Janda at the GreenSpace on Fourth Avenue for their plans/materials/costs.

Trees: Robert from BBG will come by to discuss succession planting for peach trees, birch, etc.

GreenThumb Harvest Festival Saturday Sept 16.

Compost Sifter: Compost tube sifter needs repair. We need a mechanically minded person to deconstruct the old one, plan a new one, and build it. We can follow the system created by our BANG sister garden, the Prospect Heights Community Farm.

Steering Committee Notes 8/26/17

Steering Committee Notes 8/26/17

SC members attending: Rachel, Andrea, Gina, Kit

Andrea took meeting notes in Slack, so those who weren’t there could see the meeting in real time, if they like. has joined us.

Water update: Corn Schmidt, Andrea’s colleague who is getting his plumbing license, is willing to come out to learn about our system. Charlie Bayrer — who knows the system best — is also willing to come out, but his earliest window is a weekend in Oct. I will set that up.

Corn and Andrea discussed marking the path of the water system with bricks. Should be cool to see it on the ground. And helpful.


Andrea put in a 311 report to ask for the custodian lock to be changed on the hydrant in front of 664 Warren. She anticipates problems because the 311 operator  said she needed a 7-digit permit no. and ours only has 6: 803990

Subject: 311 Service Request Confirmation #: C1-1-1452928931

Service Request #: C1-1-1452928931
Date Submitted: 08/26/17 5:15:25 PM
Request Type: Water Maintenance
Details: Fire Hydrant Lock Removal

Thank you for contacting New York City 311. Your Service Request has been sent to the Department of Environmental Protection for action.

Get Service Request Details


Kit will ask the Botanic Garden about how to get labels for our plants and trees.

Jeff Maloney has offered guidance to Pacific St. library and urged them to get in touch with him when they are ready to actually plant. So we will wait to hear from them.

Andrea joined a group of BANG gardeners to help plant and maintain tree pits and tree pit planters at the nursing home on Classon btw Park Place and Prospect Place. She lives nearby and plans to water regularly.

We’ll need to discuss chicken expenses. @kristen what was the vet bill for Petrichor? Did we incur any expenses for poor Nana?

Kit mentioned that this class is coming Oct. 21:

(A tree pruning workshop, 9-3, at Green-Wood cemetery)

FYI: The figs are delicious.

WEB: Gina just needs final review of web content. Andrea will look over.


Next garden day agenda:

Spread remaining woodchips.

More weeding.

Chloe’s compost bin has disappeared. Kit says it’s hard to get rid of the giant pile of weeds by St. Marks.

Kit says she will ask residents of St. Marks, via the email for the block association, if we can, on garden day, disperse the weeds to their bins.

Andrea asked Sally via email whether she would ask her Warren St. block association the same thing. Sally said yes, and invites all to the Warren St. block party on Sept. 10.

Sheds — big cleaning and reorganizing.

Refurbish the hand sifter for compost, using our leftover hardware cloth.
(If Gina is motivated, she’ll get wood cut for another hand-held sifter.)

Plant potatoes

Do we need more cedar boards for edging

@sarahtrignano Will compost be turned before next garden day, or should we add that? (Looks like 3 have broken down and the remaining one is packed with fresh material.)

Lay brick circle for metal table and chairs.

Get rid of one of our dead grills.

Tree pruning for Oct or Nov garden day.


NEED SOON: Plan for succession planting for all trees.

Andrea emailed Maureen O’Brien at GreenBridge, the Botanic Garden’s community outreach program, for help planning succession planting.

Garden Day Meeting, August 6, 2017

Accomplishments on Garden Day, August 6, 2017

Major weeding.

Greetings to new members, explanation of garden governance and steering committee introductions.

Motion on steering committee coming up, as Andrea is offering to be Operations person for BANG team.


Progress on water: recruiting plumbing expert to advise us and liaise with a to-be-named plumbing company that will be our partner in keeping our system working. We are bouncing between DEP and Fire Dept. on changing out the Custodian Lock on a nearby hydrant, to be able to access water without needing to call Dean St. squad. We are exploring the expansion of our catchment system and working toward applying for a major DEP grant to divert water from storm drains. (Times article on Rotterdam shows variety of methods of diverting water.)

Jen at 609 Warren St. offers her spigot if we need water.


Beautification of water tank.  Ideas: ivy. Colored film could form a kind of stained glass.

Use plants, or make it “art in progress.” We would not want to cover the front completely, because we need to see how much water is in it and need to step on frame to readjust guttering and water tubes. Flowers. We can email membership and ask for artist advice.  Maybe wood framed “stained glass”? Ask people to submit drawings. We’d like to keep this low-budget or no-budget. Some like the way the tank looks as it is. Paint the outline of the vine on the frame in the meantime?

ID and plant native vine. If artist wants to decorate, we will outreach.


Pamela will help Jen water new triangle gardens.

Reminder of mosquito control. Dump out standing water. Add one drop of dish soap where standing water cannot be emptied.

Getting parking space. Andrea is putting out flyers to our neighbors on Warren St. to see if they can help us secure the parking spot in front of the Warren St. entrance more readily.

Brick paths. Garden paths are getting covered up — let’s do more clearing of all pathways. Project in future could be to repair the pathways, add sand and level.  We will try to do maintenance on a section of path each garden day. Triangle garden has particular need for brickwork. We need more cedar board pieces to pound in for borders.


Gina — the new website is near.

Free library box — We’d love to build one inside the garden.


Construction list :

Insect hotels

Bat house


Free library box. (Gab will research.)

Repair gable.  

Cedar planks for for borders.

Steering Committee Minutes, July 29, 2017

Steering Committee Minutes, July 29, 2017

10 steerers in attendance:  Amelia Wilson, David Bivins, Kristen Davis, Andrea Kannapell, Maggie Stein, Melanie Holcomb, Rachel Green, Kit Schneider, Chloe Abercrombie.

Other members: Sheri Stein.

AGENDA  [Planned item in bold and scope in roman. 


Saturday, Sept. 16, there’s a huge Harvest Fair happening at BEARS, with the street closed off. BANG would like to do a compost workshop at a table at this event. We’d like to help.  

We are asking Sarah for advice; Maggie is very interested in working at the workshop.

Need to vote on usage of expensive branded BANG tent. Do we want to allow gardens to borrow it for non-BANG events?

SC votes that the tent should be able to be borrowed by member gardens for garden events but not for individual member’s events.


Jefferson Maloney agreed to advise on plantings, and we will provide labor for planting and tending.




We’ll put out Kit’s weed book from the shed to guide weeders, and pull some of the weeds we want to focus on. Trying to arrange for a member to park in front of the Warren St. gate, so that we can get a delivery of wood chips ahead of Aug. 6 garden day, to use as mulch to suppress weeds.  

Need to add fine plastic mesh band at base of fences and gates to increase debris control and keep hens in.

Clean up near coop area  and find homes for wood shavings.

Level the pedestal planter by the Warren St. side and plant a native plant. (Gab is looking for a drooping native plant to plant there.)

Harvest potatoes.

Empty any standing water.

End of day all garbage bags to St. Marks side, or take a bag home.


To discourage mosquitoes, please do not leave toys out and upend pails and wheelbarrows.

We need ideas to beautify the water tank.


Outreach to Brad Lander  -BANG help? Andrea has asked Sheila.

Andrea and Jon Crow are working with DEP and Fire Dept. to replace “Custodian lock” on nearby Warrent St. hydrant so that we can access the water at will.

Catchment — DEP Grant — we are sharing the grant among the steering committee and beginning to discuss. We may ask Lenny Lebrizzi (Ameila will reach out) to help us formulate a plan.

We are collecting more info on plumbers.

Andrea has a friend who is getting his plumbing license and has agreed to help us navigate our plumbing. We’d like to put a brick line above the infrastructure.  

Need to vote on whether we should add an operations person to be part of a BANG committee — and who it should be.  

Andrea has the Trust for Public Lands records on our garden, and has given a copy to David.



Gina has submitted our wishlist of materials to a potential product securer, but we have not received a response.



Website news — Gina setting aside a day to finalize text (for posting purposes, with the expectation that all of it can be revised at will).

Melanie is reupping our membership in

Social media accounts — we’d like to meet with a new member who is interested in helping out with our accounts.



Strong bias toward adding people to Open Hours in their initial year of membership, especially for those who join mid-year.  

Steering Committee Election Results

Elections: Steering Committee elected by acclaim

Administrator: Andrea Kannapell
Garden:  David Bivins
Chickens: Kristen Davis
Treasurer: Melanie Holcomb
Communications: Valerie English
Community plots: Siena Chrisman, Kit Schneider
Compost: Sarah Trignano
Individual plots: Amelia Wilson
Membership: Gina Briggs
Events: Chloe Abercrombie
Open Hours: Rachel Green
Fundraiser: Gabriela Wolf
BANG Rep:  Maggie Stein
BANG Alt:  Padmini Narumanchi


Annual General Meeting 2017 Notes

Notes from General Annual Membership Meeting for 2017
Date: 3/12/17

Melanie Holcomb moderates.

Attending: Chloe Abercrombie, David Bivins, Gina Briggs, Ruth Chasek, Kristen Davis, Mary Dillon, Rachel Green, Melanie Holcomb, Karen Hsu, Andrea Kannapell, Jefferson Maloney, Pat McCarty, Padmini Narumanchi, Mimi Rosenfeld, Kit Schneider, Maggie Stein, Amelia Wilson, Gabriela Wolf.

Current SC Roles

Admin — liaison with outside groups, problem solving

Garden — Garden days productive, problem solving, what’s going on IN the garden, make sure we have the right tools, right materials, etc.

Events —  plus bake sale, plant sale

Plots — created contract, stewardship is a privilege not a right

Membership coordinator — answer questions, orientations

Community Plots — planting, organizing team

Chickens  — holding to the protocols, laying out how the chickens are being cared for, training

Compost — relationship w/PSFC

Treasurer — fiscally sound garden, reimburse, grants, non-event fundraising

Communications — emails, website, postcards

Open Hours — maintain schedule of times/dates members commit to, to ensure Garden is open for at least 6 hours every weekend day.

BANG — land trust that holds our deed, rep goes to monthly meeting, passing on important messages

Discussion and agreement to add fundraiser role to SC.  


Elections: Steering Committee elected by acclaim

Administrator: Andrea Kannapell

Garden:  David Bivins

Chickens: Kristen Davis

Treasurer: Melanie Holcomb

Communications: Valerie English

Community plots: Siena Chrisman, Kit Schneider

Compost: Sarah Trignano

Individual plots: Amelia Wilson

Membership: Gina Briggs

Events: Chloe Abercrombie

Open Hours: Rachel Green

Fundraiser: Gabriela Wolf

BANG Rep:  Maggie Stein

BANG Alt:  Padmini Narumanchi


We are staying more organized

Community plots very well organized

Teams worked well

Volunteer Day from Citizens Committee

New tables

Great events, combined with fundraising, keep coffers full

Learned to work through conflict

Dealing with the deaths of three chickens

Relations with community strengthened over the last year

Built new plots — Joe Aaker is a real carpenter

Relocation of compost system

CSA very successful

Maggie’s class coming through



Website redesigned, content underway in shared doc. Should be easy to update. Special donation buttons easy to do.
Can we add a message board feature?

Spreading info for annual meeting for next year: Email, website, Facebook, garden bulletin box, garden gates, ask Block Associations to share info on meetings.  

FINALIZE schedule early next year so that postcards can be printed early, ahead of annual meeting.

Make sure we post meeting notes on web site, and coordinate updates on both Facebook and website.

Should we add a formal plate with garden name, website and mailing address?

Would Val be willing to take on a more involved role? Propose when fliers/emails might be relevant/helpful?

We will all look out for a very instagrammy person to become social media manager.

We will encourage our open hours folks to make posts to Instagram/Facebook. (Sprinkler monitors all social media channels.)  We need all the credentials somewhere.



How do we want the gates to look? Dean St. gates look good, Gab will send px.

Kit will work with Jen Keiser-Gorden to make a plan for the triangular garden . Mimi will help.

Pathway borders

Rebuild sifter

Put up screen/trellis by compost

Seating in garden

How can we contain the “projects” and so on?? Depressing to see wood piled up all over the place.

Glass bricks in Warren St. entryway are slick

Gab proposes healing garden in old compost area, with chamomile. Where the old sifter was.

Perhaps add more “healing” herbs in the herb garden.

Sun-loving native plants in center area we weeded last year. Mimi empowered to handle.

Use pavers to “pave” seating area?

How can we water the St. Marks side? Need better hose system until we get the bollard fixed.



March 18 is chicken orientation.



Now within our price range — will want to be able to keep chicken water fluid over winter and run pump for water tank.



Steering Committee Minutes, January 27, 2017

Meeting minutes 01/27/17

David (via telephone)



Compost Area Move
Compost Team will get together outside of a garden day sometime in March. (Other members and volunteers are welcome)

Compost sifter area build
Who will do it? Sarah will reach out to Aaron at BBG.

Build new plots and associated tasks
Done before April 9th? (First signups and orientations)

First garden day? Saturday April 1st (and bleeding into the 2nd  ?)
New members get a round robin, existing members get a condensed version with their team leader.

Locks – switching and repairing locks
Some are repaired

New Website
Website can be managed by members, if Val will relinquish the keys/credentials. Theme/template can be changed. Val simply wants to review it at the end.

Social outreach/Mixer – Saturday, February 11th. 2-6pm
Somewhere similar to Sheep Station / Douglas
Making a shortlist of potential members to invite to an event.

Need more chickens. Chickens don’t live long. Who will host 3-4 chickens? Arlo or Gabriella

Events for the year
*Easter Egg Hunt / Holiday Egg Roll / Spring Egg Hunt – Chloe out of town, Maggie volunteers.

*Marathon Bake Sale

*Plant Sale – 5th Ave St. Fair is May 21st


*Chicken Birthday party / name the chicken party

*Bike the Gardens day

Partnering with Whole Food / Brooklyn Fare
Retailer provides gift card/discount card to buy food for garden days (7). They provide food at cost and we don’t spend any money. This would be in exchange for mention on website. Each total order would be approx. $100. We could go through BANG for the tax write off. Good will value.

Chalkboard on front of water tank
Approved, but materials list will be accumulated until it’s the right time to order

BANG member notes
Maggie is willing to be BANG rep and Secretary,  Jeff is willing to be Alternate.

BANG meeting notes
BANG meeting will overlap with our garden day in July.

Annual meeting date
Sunday, March 12, 2017. Location: DeGraw spot

General Garden meeting dates
May 6th
June 4th
July 8th

Send general email ASAP:
Include info about the social mixer, about the chickens, and finally about the solar power capacity and its pump requirements (either manual or pneumatic).

Live Music in the Community Garden Tonight! Tuesday, June 21st

Live Music Tonight
in the Community Garden!!

Tuesday, June 21st

As part of Make Music New York, there will be two FREE musical performances at the Warren St. Marks Community Garden:

6:00PM: The Shockwaves (rock/blues)
7:00PM: Bella Voce Singers (choral music)

Refreshments will be provided.

Bella Voce Singers

Compost Workshops

Kids Compost Workshop
Ages 5-9 

Saturday, April 2

What happens to food scraps? What do worms do? Where does dirt come from? Join us in the Warren St Marks Community garden for education, demonstration, and hands-on learning! Please wear clothes and shoes fit for dirt and bring some food scraps!

Compost Workshop
Ages 10-Adult 

Saturday, April 23

Lecture-demonstration addressing: What happens to food waste? What role do insects play? What’s dirt? What can break down and why? What’s the difference between single-family, community-sized, and city-sized compost systems?  Please wear shoes fit for dirt and bring your food scraps!

Warren-St Marks Community Garden

Registration is not required, though encouraged. 
If you have questions or would like to register please EMAIL Sarah.


Water + Sun = Food : The Garden Season Begins by Stephen Rose

Stephen Rose is a garden member with a remarkably green thumb. He’s chronicling the year in his own lush backyard. We are following along for tips for our own plots, decks and sills.

Spring training is underway. The garden season begins.


From what I could gather online, the last frost date in Brooklyn falls around the first week of April. That is the last night temperatures generally go down into the lower 30’s. Plants that cannot tolerate serious cold weather should be kept inside until the risk of frost has passed in early May. However, there is plenty of action in my yard by the beginning of March. My crocuses and hellebores are blooming. Tulips and daffodils are starting to poke out their heads. Rhubarb and garlic survived and look ready to grow. The hens at the garden are even laying more eggs. I have been weeding, pruning and raking the beds to clean up a winter’s worth of assorted detritus: flying plastic bags, leaves, pieces of roof?, rocks.

On Tuesday I went outside with a shovel and was surprised to discover that my beds were not frozen. I dug up about 5 pounds of buried sunchokes, which have sweetened nicely during the winter. I probably have 15 more pounds to harvest. Sunchokes can be elusive and finding big ones is super satisfying. My father discovered through years of trial and error that a used electric toothbrush doubles as an efficient sunchoke cleaner. Clean, dry sunchokes can last for months in the fridge. We like them best roasted like potatoes. Some people like the crunchy texture raw in salads. They are excellent pureed in soup.


This weekend I am going to start planting seeds that are very tolerant to the cold. Lettuce (including arugula, mache, kale, chervil, mesclun) and snow peas will be my first crop. I think we will also try our luck with carrots this year. My soil is in good condition. Last fall, before we had a hard freeze, I turned over the soil in the beds and amended it for early spring planting. I use organic compost in my garden, and I amend the soil with fertilizer at least once every year. The essential food for plants is N (Nitrogen), P (Potassium) and K (Phosphorus). I use a balanced fertilizer blend (something around the 6-6-6 range). I have outstanding soil in my raised beds because I know everything that went into it, and because I amend it every year. Please don’t rely solely on my gross oversimplification. Soil is important stuff:

I am not worried about my lettuce seeds, even if they go in early. They will germinate when they are ready, and they are very tolerant to the cold nights. A little hay, or some agro fabric would help keep the soil moist and warmer at night. I love having an early lettuce crop for a lot of reasons. Lettuce is renewable: if properly harvested with scissors, lettuce will rejuvenate in a matter of days. Lettuce can also grow in the cold and in containers, which many other pickier plants cannot. Lettuce is a fairly quick grower that will bolt (or go to seed and become bitter) by mid May, so I get to have an early crop in my raised beds before the days get too hot, then grow tomatoes, peppers or eggplant in the exact same real estate.

For snow peas, I like to germinate the seeds indoors by wrapping them in a wet paper towel for a couple of days. Once I can see their sprouts, I dig furrows and put them in the soil. Peas are climbers, so be sure to plant them strategically where they can find a trellis or a pole. Peas are beautiful when they are growing, especially if they have colored flowers. The bonus with peas, as opposed to carrots or radishes, is that when you thin out the plants after a couple weeks, the tender pea shoots you harvest are perfect raw in salads or sautéed.

If your soil is thawed, you could also plant potatoes, radishes, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and other cold tolerant crops. With warm days come bugs, so I will spray my apple trees soon with an organocide. I will also turn on the water soon, since you can’t grow much food without water.