Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
. . . enjoying a sunlit room . . .
. . . knitting and watching the Parade and the Dog Show . . .
. . . having our own little dog show . . .
. . . receiving two dozen perfect brown eggs from Aunt E's chickens . . .
. . . and eating that meal that you know so well, with people you love (and looking forward to the leftovers). I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This weekend we hosted another "Sunday Series" event at The Woodlands Community Garden - a beekeeping talk! There is a local beekeeper who is interested in keeping a few hives at our community garden and we decided to host a talk to convince the landscape committee and the board of the cemetery that this is a good idea. One of our gardeners also keeps bees at Bartram's Garden, so the two of them gave an incredibly informative and fun talk.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
There were six community garden leaders there, including myself. We discussed ways in which UCD could aid the local community gardens and we came up with a huge list of things! They are interested in becoming a clearinghouse for all community garden information in this area, including up-to-date info on garden locations and contacts which is much needed. They are also able to provide gardeners with dry leaves from their street cleaning that we can use to mix into our compost (gardens produce so much wet green stuff that it's hard to find enough dry brown to mix in so the compost can develop properly). By providing gardens with dried leaves, we will be closing at least one tiny carbon circle in our neighborhood, and saving UCD disposal money so everyone's happy!
In addition to the outcome of the meeting, it was useful to have all of the community garden leaders in the same room talking to one another. That hardly ever happens and I think this is the beginning of a bit more organization amongst us. We can all help one another with information and resources, and it was nice to be able to talk about some of the challenges we're facing as well. I like where this is going.
In other Philadelphia community garden news, there was a report published this month that
According to the report, there are "226 community or squatter gardens growing food [and] 154 ornamental gardens" in Philadelphia. They also estimate that community gardens in Philadelphia produced over two million pounds of vegetables and herbs in the summer of 2008!!!!
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
***Waterlily bloom outside the West Conservatory***
***Crazy spiky waterlily leaves outside the West Conservatory***
Monday, November 9, 2009
It's the best $3 you can spend in Philadelphia, in my opinion. The exhibits are consistently fascinating, engaging, sometimes beautiful, always eclectic, and leave you inspired. The artists often work within a rich cultural context, like the Alaskan native artist Tommy Joseph who is part of the current exhibit.
A few months ago I went with my friend Andra and one of the galleries was filled with a life-sized sperm whale made entirely out of hand-embroidered felt and inflated with a pump, by the artist Tristin Lowe. Amazing.
What makes it even better is that there are four galleries to explore and apparently they don't have security cameras because you have to be chaperoned by a museum staff member when you enter. So you basically get a personal tour guide the whole time you are in the museum and the people who have taken me around have been incredibly nice and knowledgeable. They are usually artists themselves and some of them have studio space in the workshop.
It's small and relatively unknown, but the price and quality of experience you get at FWM makes it one of the best deals in Philly.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands.
You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.
Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.
The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind. The wind.
I can contend only against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.
You are here. Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Cling to me as though you were frightened.
Even so, at one time a strange shadow ran through your eyes.
Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.
How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the gray light unwind in turning fans.
My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Here's one of our newest gardens in Camden, on the corner of 3rd and Beckett Streets on the waterfront. There's a cocoa bean storage facility across the street, and the smell of bitter chocolate is often in the air.
In the picture above you can see the pile of soil, rocks, and debris that was created when we scraped the top layer of soil off of the empty lot. We do this for every garden to level the surface and to cut down on the amount of weeds we will tackle later in the year.
Here you can see the fence we build around all of our gardens. We pound metal posts into the ground and attach wire fencing, leaving a door that's large enough for a dump truck to drive in and dump a load of compost or mulch.
We build raised beds with mushroom compost from PA, and cover the paths with woodchips. The woodchips come from all over the city and include lots of different trees, which create a rainbow effect when they are all piled together.
The pile also makes a great chair.
This garden is growing larger every day and we have big plans for it. I'll share more as the plans unfold!