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Teaching Garden Update August 6th

Happy August! We are feeling the heat of summer at the Teaching Garden, and it is reflected in our bountiful harvests.

We have also had lots of rain and we are thrilled to be harvesting cucumbers of all shapes and sizes and even some winter squash (we have to pick them before the squirrels do!). These plants have a lot of pests at the Teaching Garden, including cucumber beetles, vine borers, and squash bugs (eggs pictured below). Every day we go around and check the flowers and leaves of these plants for bugs and try to get rid of as many as possible so that we can harvest from the plants for a few more weeks.

Mid-July to August is a great time to plant your fall crops, believe it or not! We planted new rows of carrots and green beans, lots of pac choi, new swiss chard and kale, and seeded some fall lettuces in trays. Here is a happy little green bean seedling that just popped up.

We are also experimenting with mushrooms this year, and we innoculated some of our greenhouse beds with heat-loving mushrooms growing in compost and straw. Let's see what happens!

We have been busy with visits from summer camps and other groups taking tours of the garden, sampling cherry tomatoes and green beans, helping with our garden work, creating nature art projects, and learning about the history of community gardens in NYC.

We also had another lovely visit from BloomAgainBklyn, check out this timelapse of their volunteers creating beautiful mini bouquets from our flower garden - talk about busy bees:

Last week we donated over 250 pounds of produce to Black Feminist Project. Ever wonder how we get produce from our island garden to our Bronx based partner, Black Feminist Project? Every other week we strap a couple hundred pounds of produce onto these trusty carts and bring walk them over to the ferry, take the ferry over to Manhattan where we load it into their car and they drive back to the Bronx! It is a labor of love from everyone involved!

This week we donated over 300 pounds of produce to Chilis on Wheels, including beets, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, three types of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, green bell peppers, shishito peppers, jalapenos, green beans, basil, chives, mint, onions, and cabbage - phew!

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