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.

Spring Has Sprung in the Community Garden

Annual Spring Egg Hunt
March 27th

The Warren St. Marks Community Garden Annual Spring Egg Hunt
will be on Sunday, March 27th from 10:30am-12:00pm.

Stay tuned for more details, and happy spring!

More Spring Events

SATURDAY, MARCH 19 — GreenThumb GrowTogether
Join over a thousand community gardeners from all over New York for a day of learning, sharing, networking, and greening inspiration at GreenThumb Grow Together! Hostos Community College, Bronx. Pre-register by March 14 for $5. Register at the door on March 19 for $7. Admission for children 12 and under is free.

SUNDAY, MARCH 20 — BANG Annual Meeting at BBG
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
1000 Washington Ave., Classroom 238
This is the ONE big meeting where BANG asks Board members to invite EVERYONE from their gardens. This is a mix of Business and Pleasure. BANG has a short list of important budget and governance items that they need to get done. There’s also a social POTLUCK and SEED SHARING!!! This is a great time to hear what’s being planned for the new season and to get involved in what’s needed to own our own gardens.

Garden signups, renewals and orientations will be April 9, 10, 16 and 17.

General Meeting Election Results

Administrator — Andrea Kannapell
Garden coordinator — David Bivins
Treasurer — Melanie Holcomb

Membership coordinator — Gina Briggs
Events coordinator — Chloe Abercrombie
Communications coordinator — Val English
Plots coordinator (individual plots) — Amelia Wilson
Community plots co-coordinators — Siena Chrisman and Kit Schneider
Compost coordinator — Sarah Trignano
Chicken coordinator — Kristen Davis
Community liaison — Zac Martin

BANG rep — Jeff Maloney
BANG alt — Zac Martin

Annual General Meeting, Sunday, March 6th

Community Garden
General Meeting
This Sunday, March 6th

Our annual General Membership Meeting is 1:30pm-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, at the Fifth Avenue Committee offices (621 Degraw St. between Fourth and Third Avenues). We’ll be discussing the commitments and our hopes, dreams and plans for the coming year, as well as electing a steering committee.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
The Warren St. Marks Community Garden Steering Committee

Water + Sun = Food : The Quiet Season 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.

It is finally cold in Brooklyn. Spring training is still 38 days away. All my bulbs (including garlic) were planted months ago. My tropical plants are happy inside. I wrapped the trunks of my espaliered apple trees to protect them from mice and other critters. I will likely prune the trees some time this winter to encourage them to grow another horizontal cordon. I also protected my fig trees against the cold weather by piling up leaves around their trunks, bending over the plants and wrapping them in insulating agro fabric. I left my sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) in the ground, a trick that sweetens the tuber. I will dig them up soon. Even the kale doesn’t like it when it’s this cold. I won’t be doing much in the garden until March. The farmer rests.


The scene of the Great Sunchoke Disaster     Credit: Stephen Rose

Last week I ordered my onions for the spring. I order those from Dixondale Farms in Texas. Dixondale automatically ships live, tiny little onion wisps at the correct time based on your region. Onions and garlic provide a lot of bang for your buck, in my opinion. Cured properly, they last all winter. I contend that onions and garlic have a high ceiling: unlike cucumbers, which pretty much taste like cucumbers no matter where they are grown, onions and garlic grown at home stand out from conventional bulbs. I also grow Egyptian walking onions, but those are perennials. The Egyptian walking onions have very potent, garlic-like bulbs that actually grow on the stalks. They look sharp too.

In the next couple of weeks, I will order seeds for the spring. I generally order from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. I buy early cold weather seeds and sow them after the last frost: mostly lettuces and herbs, and sometimes peas, which I may germinate indoors first. I don’t have grow lights indoors, so most of the nightshades I plant in May I buy as babies. Before the babies go in the beds, I will already have harvested an early spring lettuce crop. I have had excellent luck with the baby plants Kira at Evolutionary Organics sells at Grand Army Plaza. I may end up ordering some unusual seeds that would be hard to find as babies, like artichokes, cardoon, or unusual squashes. If I were committed to starting seeds indoors, I would secure a grow light, some kind of heat source for the seedlings, and soil-less mix.

I have yet to decide if I am going to grow potatoes again. We had decent luck with them, they can go in very early, and again, I think potatoes have a high ceiling.

The easiest decision I will make this winter is not to repeat the Great Sunchoke

Disaster of 2015. I planted a couple sunchokes in the corner of one of my raised beds, and they liked it, a lot. I was warned that sunchokes are native and can tend to take over, but I foolishly underestimated the plants. Sunchokes are related to sunflowers, to give you some idea of the scale. They grew 12 feet tall, finally flowered in late September, and ended up shading portions of the garden, even when they were tied together. Limitless, stupid sunchokes. Don’t throw tubers in your garden beds when your mother tells you not to, kids.


TreeCycle! Recycle Your Holiday Trees, Jan. 9-10

Saturday, Jan. 9 & Sunday. Jan 10
10am – 2pm

Recycle Holiday Trees at these BANG Land Trust Community Gardens:

Greenpace@President, corner of President & 5th Ave.
Prospect Heights Community Farm, St. Marks betwen Vanderbilt & Underhill

NOTE: Please remember to remove all lights, ornaments, and netting before bringing the tree to a MulchFest site.

For more information go to: