Sweet Gowanus Patch
I cruised by a long-adored patch of sweet garden goodness by the Gowanus Canal today. It’s looking sharper than ever. Just over the Union Street drawbridge, Kirstin Tobiasson’s garden thrives in a small sidewalk plot liberated from the concrete with rock bars and elbow grease. Nine years deep, the garden was hatched with no prior gardening experience, according a the New York Times...
So This Happened
So… an 86 year-old man fell on his gardening shears, which then lodged into his eye socket. I know, I know… I’m sorry you had to see this. Quoted in the Tuscon Sentinel, the doctor used a poor choice of phrasing to describe the injury: “You wouldn’t believe your eyes. Half of the pruning shears was sticking out and the other half was in his head.” It all turned...
I shouldn’t be bummed, I should be glad. Glad that my garden isn’t destroyed, glad that my neighborhood isn’t flooded, and glad that nobody got hurt. My house is fine, everyone I know is upright and healthy, I went to work as scheduled and only had a slightly more congested bike lane to contend with as a result of Hurricane Irene. My prep work paid off. Check out this brilliant...
Panthy Braces for Hurricane Irene
That streaming, emergency-red, all-caps ticker at the bottom of the TV takes me back to my care-free Massachusetts childhood where hurricanes and noreasters seemed to arrive at least once a year. Those were the days… looting plush coastal homes while dodging wave-borne boulders and the National Guard, basically getting way ahead of the game on holiday shopping. Or just hanging with the fam,...
I used to live on this block in Carroll Gardens, the one penned in by the Italian men’s club on one end and the elevated F train on the other. I can’t say for sure that this neighborhood was still mobbed up, but it was unusually safe and my landlord kept pretty strange hours and dress for being a “highly successful mortgage broker.” You could usually find him in sweatpants...
Rotting on the Vine
I went away for a week. And by “away” I mean I went as far as possible from New York City as I could without leaving North America; a story for another day. Some close pals helped keep Panthy’s watered and plucked and I came back to a living garden, a really nice change from previous vacations. In addition to the week I was away, there was another week where my garden never...
Blowing in off the sweet urine smelling air of the Brooklyn summer came this really awesome website: Smart Gardener. What does the internet have to do with gardening? REALLY? You’re really asking me that while you’re reading a gardening blog?! It has everything to do with gardening…. (dramatic pause) now, more than ever. Smart Gardener allows you to plan, document and care for your...
Riverpark's Lush Urban Farm
Few things move me like the words “Lush Urban Farm” except maybe, “large grandma style pizza with mushrooms.” Anyway, if you haven’t heard, there’s a construction site in limbo that’s been taken over by growers for the restaurant Riverpark here in the fine city of New York. It’s sorta funny that nobody’s covered this until now, I’m...
The Ultimate Insult
Yes, there was a huge tomato, half-eaten and rotting in the sun. But there was also this: In what might be the ultimate move of disrespect to Panthy’s Garden, a squirrel tore open a BAGGO BAG and ate… per usual… only a small portion of its contents. Looks like I’ll be putting corn in the squirrel trap.
Two Plants Enter, One Plant Leaves
As the sun fell I could here the call to prayer down on Atlantic Ave blasting, and the howling imitation of my 12-year-old neighbor a few rooftops over. It was kinda beautiful in a weird way, you know sunset… loudspeaker Arabic prayers, weird howling. The veggie garden is not quite as beautiful; it’s looking kinda tall and lanky, having been a victim of the recent heat wave and my...
Pasta Notta Norma
With a heap of healthy, dense, white eggplants I had to do something. But truthfully, the only eggplant dish I can remember eating, or wanting to eat, was eggplant parm. Anthony Bourdain would be appalled. Lucky for me, my neighbor recommended a dish, the old Pasta Alla Norma, which sounds Italian for “the normal pasta.” I don’t speak Italian but this dish is not Norma,...
Imagination and Some Rope
There’s nothing like checking the weather to find doomsday predictions of “thunderstorms that could contain damaging winds.” Oh yes, love me some damaging winds. My big, lanky tomato plants also love them; they’re a great opportunity to shed those pesky tomato-laden branches. It’s during these pre-storm prep sessions that I feel most like my dad. By training,...
Second Annual Taste of the Hole Baggo Tournament
Part of the reason we create gardens is to hang out in them doing things other than gardening. Like… accidentally rolling hot dogs off the grill onto the deck, having a cold brew with a side of gooseberries, or competing in blood sports like BAGGO. The board says “bag toss game.” Sounds innocent enough right? It’s not. In our tribe, it’s where reputations are built and destroyed,...
I had a really healthy dinner yesterday. Partly because lunch came from this fella: He looks surly here but is actually a really nice guy. He makes an exceptional burrito at the Calexico cart in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Feeling kinda gross for having eating a two-pound pork burrito in the middle of a heat advisory, I decided I would eat some jams straight from Panthy’s Garden for dinner to...
I happened to find myself inside 61 Local this weekend a “public house celebrating locally crafted food and the people who make it.” I am local and I’m making food, so naturally I felt pretty special in there. Entitled even. The beer they have hails from all over the state, celebrated on a massive map behind the bar. The pickles are the jam and the bratwurst sandwich is on point like Tom...
The world has already been there. There’s a multitude of fanny-packed tourists all over Europe and Asia that have shared their photos of it with friends and family… months ago. Ooohs and ahhs in every tongue have been muttered; I even found this YouTube video of a San Bushman raving about its ingenious use of perennials. There have been gourmet food carts that have come and gone and still...
Panthy’s Garden is all about growing some damn food, right here in the heart of Brooklyn, amidst the fancy cheese shops and police helicopters. Right? Sorta. It’s also about the challenge. The hunt. Attempting to grow a garden from seed; one that’s healthy and productive in the face of aphid infestation and squirrel molestation. And well… eating your own vegetables is...
Last summer a friend of mine, who also happens to be a master pickle maker (heh heh), took a look at Panthy’s and said something to effect of “You could be doing so much more up here.” She was right. Back in the deep freeze of winter, hearing the echo of her annoying (but accurate) critique, I hatched a plan. Clamoring around with a noisy tape measure, I figured out that I...