Sunday, August 16, 2009

The queens of Queens gardening

From the Daily News:

...Queens - arguably the leafiest of the five boroughs - has been conspicuously lacking a gardening blog, until recently.

"I think people in Queens are interested in gardening, but don't know where to look," said Jen Rock, 24, co-author of Kate and Jen's Urban Garden - a blog dedicated to the art of urban gardening in the borough.

Since March, Rock and her friend Kate Taylor have been detailing the progress of their gardens in Astoria from compost to harvest at gardeningqueens.com. The two became friends while studying at NYU.

A few of [Rock's] more unusual crops are catnip, poha berries and shiso. She also grows an assortment of other fruits and vegetables on the rooftop of her apartment building on Steinway St.

Taylor's garden is in her backyard on 35th St.

Both have been gardening in the city for about two years and found themselves exchanging tips, and at times competing.

"Gardening isn't just a fad," Taylor said. "It is a return to the things that our mothers and fathers taught us - the things that the old folks in Astoria have been doing for ages."

Rock and Taylor have blogged about their interactions with both older Astorians on their own blocks and with young kids.

"[It's] like a ripple effect," said Taylor, whose garden has become a conversation piece with the most unlikely of people. "What other basis would I have to strike up a conversation with my 80-year-old neighbor?" she asked.

Now, she trades her basil for her neighbor's figs.

Her octogenarian neighbor may not share Taylor's Internet savvy, but their common love of gardening has created a bridge between generations that rarely mingle in the city.

"Older New Yorkers keep to themselves and the younger transplants just look right past them," she said. "But gardening is something we can all share."

10 comments:

Jeff said...

Our octogenarian neighbor has a huge garden, and we relate to him by accepting free vegetables.

Anonymous said...

Hipsters have nothing better to do?

Hipsters give off this obnoxious aura/vibe that they're some kind of blessing. Granted most parts of QUeens are the third world, they're not peace corp worker.

Burn in hell hipsters

Anonymous said...

Cutie green hipsters

ceiling on my head lady said...

It takes a very mean person to find something to complain about when kids garden. Growing figs, tomatos, basil and grapes was part of the upbringing of most traditional Italian families in my youth.

Why not encourage these young people? I know who has been wrecking Queens and they have a lot more money than those young women.

Anonymous said...

Having a garden....diverse! vibrant! bike riding!

I agree...burn in hell anyone who is not bitter and hasn't lived with his mother for the past 40 years and who's Queens is not frozen in 1965!

Queens Crapper said...

I actually found it refreshing that these ladies are doing something that connects them with their neighbors, some of whom are generations older than they are. It shows that they want to become part of the community rather than just milk it for all its worth and move on.

Anonymous said...

Actually, anonymous, I would take a Queens that was frozen in 2003. Before it got truly crappified, with Bloomberg leading the charge.

Anonymous said...

i was here pre-bloomie. astoria was a shithole. still is (if you ask me).

but hey, cute chicks and a garden ain't bad!

Brian said...

Queens is not the leafiest borough. That would be Staten Island.

But Queens may be the borough with the most douchebags with gardens though. Although, I'd be surprised because the percentage of douchebags in Brooklyn is much higher.

Sergey Kadinsky said...

What's with the hatin'? Gardening should be encouraged. It's physical exercise, economic, and pro-environment. I have a few tomatoes growing on my porch, too.