Well it’s been quite a while since Eats Meats West last checked in on the Curbside Garden (TM). Spring has sprung, so it’s time to revisit. The goal is of course to reclaim what little earth I can, and I’ll fill it with as much nutrient-dense produce as possible. Week 1 has been a construction and planning week. As previously discussed, I officially adopted the London Plane Tree outside of my apartment. I discovered I could install a small “tree well garden,” one thing led to another, and well, you’re looking at Brooklyn’s newest urban garden.
Gertrude be thy name.
What’s been most challenging in this whole project is the realization that some tasks that are simple to 99% of Americans can be quite a challenge to a Brooklynite. For example, what if you need to construct a 5 x 5 foot wood container, and then fill it with several cubic feet of dirt? Wood is heavy. Dirt is heavy. I don’t have a car. Can you see where I’m going with this?
Needless to say, the sight of me clumsily carrying 4 long wood planks over a dozen blocks between the nearest hardware store and Gertrude must have been humorous. Adventurous? Admirable? Well, even before I finished the basic construction, I was getting compliments from random strangers walking by. “Thank you for doing this,” one gushed. “It’s so great we have this now,” another said, without a hint of irony. I’m just arranging wood and dirt to create vehicle for tomatoes, right? Had I struck a chord? Why hadn’t anyone done this already? I went back to work. I was glad I had the trowel. This dirt sucks. It’s full of rocks and McDonald’s straws and syringes. I figured, if I dig deep enough then backfill with potting soil, nature will do it’s job.
Then I saw her. That bitch down the street. The old hag who told us to move our truck when we first pulled up to our apartment, 5 years ago. She was not concerned that we were parked in front of a fire hydrant (which, if you’ve ever moved in NYC, is a necessity), rather that we were facing the wrong way on a one-way street. “I’m not moving until you repark…I’ll call the cops.” As I revved the circular saw and wiped sweat from my face, I saw that house coat-clad wench scowling from her stoop a few blocks away. Surely, she would shortly be calling 311 on my ass. But I couldn’t pause, because Gertrude had more important things to worry about.
So, here’s where I stand. Obviously it needs dirt. A shit ton of dirt. Where am I getting all of this dirt? I will check out Amazon, natch. I hope that will be enough. And it needs to be stained a darker color. Perhaps mahogany? Maybe most importantly, Gertrude needs dog repulsion. Though I haven’t yet planted anything, clearly this raised box is more than just a normal tree well. You’d think dog owners would steer clear. Yet as I was finishing up the first day’s work, a man preoccupied with his iPhone waltzed over. He didn’t notice his giant German Shepard leaning in for the urine-kill, so I blurted out, “yah this is a garden….so.” He left, but I was officially put on notice. Not a day after construction began, I noticed a giant turd next to the edge. “At least it wasn’t inside,” I rationalized to myself. This is going to be an uphill battle, clearly. I’m contemplating signs. Maybe something cute yet noticeable, and maybe something linking back to the diary.
Next week’s the annual Cobble Hill Tree Fund Plant Sale, and that’s too cute of a thing to pass up. What should I plant? Pumpkins? Sassafras? Beets? Gotta get more dirt in the meantime!