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A 7-month time lapse documenting the first full growing season at the Brooklyn Grange’s farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. At 65,000 square feet, it’s the largest rooftop farm in the world. Brooklyn Grange – A New York Growing Season from Christopher St. John on Vimeo. For more info, check out brooklyngrangefarm.com Shot and edited by Christopher St. John A big thanks to Ratatat for...

Posted on Apr 15 2014 - 2:27pm by UOG
#0

Imagine seeing this truck driving down your street.  Fast food, eh? Well, the story goes Mr. Curt Ellis grows his good out of the bed of his truck. Pretty interesting way to garden – to say the least. Watch the video below to check out more of his “Truck Farm” in Brooklyn. http://www.truckfarm.org/ Watch the video here: ...

I asked my Grandmother what her thoughts on me moving out to LA were. She is not one to hold back what’s on her mind. Before answering the question, she wanted to make sure that she was camera ready and asked if her hair was combed and looked decent. Then she chimed in with, “I don’t like to see you go, but if you think you are going to be happy there, I will be glad for that.” She then got distracted by some “shmutz” that was on the floor that had to be picked up at that exact moment. After she remembered...

I learned another lesson when making an outdoor compost bin – don’t start it in the middle of the winter. Yea that seems to be pretty obvious and common sense now, but it wasn’t two months ago when I started. Due to the freezing weather, I haven’t been able to turn the compost at all because, well, it’s been frozen. That makes it kind of hard to turn. Now that I’m moving out to LA, I’ll need to get rid of this compost. I’ll likely just dump it on the garden beds like I did the rest of the...

Now that the weather has warmed up a bit and the containers aren’t frozen, I was able to finish breaking down the self watering containers in Brooklyn. Since I’m moving out to LA, there is no need for me to put the remaining soil and plants into the outdoor compost bin. The soil was just tossed into the gardening beds that I had planned on using. My guess is that it’s likely the most healthy and nutrient dense thing that’s been put in those beds in years. My Grandmother’s gardener is supposed to be coming...

Since I’m still new to this gardening thing, I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my first year. I’ve also had many successes as well, with the most memorable being my first lettuce harvest. For this post, I’d like to share the Top Five Gardening Mistakes that I’ve Made. Life ain’t perfect and neither are my gardens. I know hard to believe. I’ve made these mistakes, learned from them and have become better at gardening (and life) because of it. Putting too many food scraps in the compost bin. This...

Now that I’ve gotten some advice on planning for the garden beds in my Grandmother’s backyard, I made a call to obtain some horse manure. I definitely want to add things to the soil to mineralize and amend it. One reason that I want to do this is because Brooklyn soil is known for being flat out nasty and on the border of toxic. The other reason that I want to is because I’ve seen the crap that my Grandmother has put in her soil and I wouldn’t want it anywhere near my stuff. The 60+ years of what’s been put...

This spring season, I plan to use some of the garden beds in the backyard vegetable garden at my Grandmother’s. I got her approval and documented in the video below, but I’m sure that she’ll still have some complaints about it. There are four beds that measure approximately 4×2, 4×6 (which has a little bit of moss growing on it), 4×4 and 4×4. I’ve seen some of the stuff that my Grandmother has put in her soil, so I’d definitely like to mineralize and amend it. The plan that I had was to...

The kind people at SeedsNow.com have contacted me and offered to help me out with some seed packets to get my garden started. I’ve never started from seed before and I like experimentation (with growing vegetables that is). My plan is to continue the fire escape gardening, backyard vegetable gardening and potentially expand that to the garden beds. I’m leaning towards some of their Seed Banks.  What would you recommend me getting or would like to see me experiment with? ...

Posted on Jan 18 2010 - 10:37am by Mike Lieberman
#18

I decided to make an undercover outdoor compost bin at my grandmother’s for my backyard vegetable garden in Brooklyn. Why is it undercover? It is because my Grandmother would flip out if she knew I was composting in her backyard? Why would she flip out? I dunno. She’s 90 and does that kind of thing. We are talking about the woman who freaked out when I brought my first harvest into her house. Making this outdoor compost bin was very similar to the aerobic compost bin in my kitchen. This bin also had no cost in putting together...

My winter container gardening ended in December, so I started to break down the self watering containers at my Grandmother’s. Once the sun went down the cold became freezing and I had to stop. When I woke up the next morning to finish breaking down the containers, they were frozen solid. All of the soil that I had been storing in the wheelbarrow was frozen as well. Unfortunately, I can’t do much until the soil defrosts, which I don’t see happening in the next few weeks. So I’ll have to wait to break down the rest. There...

Since my backyard vegetable garden died, I needed to clean it up as the first step for getting ready for the spring season. The first step was to breakdown the self-watering containers. Here is how I did that in my Brooklyn garden: Tilted the container so that the water drained out of the drainage hole. I leaned the container up against a fence for a few minutes. Laid a sheet on the floor to capture the soil. Cut the remaining plant down at the soil line and put into the compost. Turned the container on it’s side and gently...

I’ve heard from many people that seaweed is supposed to be real good for your plants and compost. It’s said to be high in all kinds of nutrients and minerals. So I decided to head out to the beaches in Brooklyn on a fine winter day and hunt for some seaweed. No better time than the present huh? And yes Brooklyn has beaches. Before I headed to the beaches I hit up the Canarsie Pier. I hoped that I’d be able to find some that people fishing tossed away. There was none to be found though. The first beach that I went to was...

My winter container gardening has already ended on my fire escape. It’s also ended for my backyard vegetable garden in Brooklyn as well. This can be attributed to a few things. The first being my neglect. I didn’t go to my Grandmother’s for two weeks to tend to the plants. I’m sure that the snow and cold weather also contributed to the plants dying. Now that they are dead, I’ll have to look back on how the vegetable performed, what my mistakes were and how I can improve for the 2010 season. The next step...

With this being my last post of the year, I wanted to share with you my favorite moments from UrbanOrganicGardener. This might seem a bit self-serving, but when I first set out and started this project my goal was to get just one salad. It’s turned into a bit more than that. I’ve been able to get that salad (and many more), but I’ve also been able to connect personally with many of you and that’s really been the best part. So I’ll close out this year with some of my faves: Like I said my goal was to get one...

I’ve decided to scrap the small plastic greenhouses in my Brooklyn backyard vegetable garden. The past two weeks I’ve had problems with support for them and realized that I should’ve built a larger greenhouse. It’s not that they don’t work because they work fine on my fire escape garden. The problem is that I get to my Grandmother’s only a few days a week, so the plastic stays on them for most of the week. This is causing a lot of condensation and affecting the plants. Some of the kales, lettuces and...

One of my cauliflower plants is finally starting to head. A few weeks ago, I gave my thoughts on growing cauliflower in containers. I received varied responses as to why they weren’t heading – the weather, not enough nutrients, too many plants in one container and more. Not sure what to do, I let the plants be and didn’t do much to mess with them. Sure enough a little over a month later, one of the plants is starting to head. I’m going to continue to keep the container as is. It wasn’t the first time that...

Last week, I realized that there was a support problem with the small plastic greenhouses in my backyard vegetable garden. The water was gathering in the plastic causing it to fall and crush the plants. This week the problems continue with them in Brooklyn. One of the plastic covers blew completely off and another slipped off a bit. I think there are a few things going wrong with them. The most obvious one is that the rope is loosening up during the week, which is allowing the plastic covering to come off. For the backyard vegetable garden,...

Posted on Nov 11 2009 - 5:40am by Mike Lieberman
#8

When do you plant cucumber plants? Not in July. I can tell you that much. Now that the cold weather has come around and it’s dropped into the 40s some nights, the cucumber plant is sad looking. I’m hoping that the two small pieces of fruit on it will grow some more, but I’ll have to wait and see. Next year, I’ll definitely get the cucumber planted much earlier in the season. Here’s what happened this year and why I planted it so late – I killed the first one and took too long to get the next one planted....

Last month, I planted kale and lettuce in the container that I harvested my celery from. At the time, I wasn’t sure if the the kale and lettuces would grow because of the celery root. Little did I realize that after being harvested, the celery would continue to grow. So now the containers have celery growing along with lettuce and kale. I don’t think it’s the optimal growing situation because I already know that celery plants like to grow in their own containers. Much like “Ebony and Ivory” they are living...