Rockaway Beach Needs Garden Zhooj-ing

It’s mid-April: the time to slip out after dusk with your trowels, rakes, plants and seeds. If heavy rain is in the forcast, get prepared to launch your green grenades over your shoulder on the way to work. What? I’m talking about guerrilla gardening, planting in places that need a little love and wouldn’t otherwise get it– abandoned lots, under the el, unkempt street medians, every tree pit on the blvd. past 90th st. Rockaway Beach is the perfect target, and the result is aesthetically pleasing, enhanced public spaces, not to mention the benefits for birds and insects!

If there’s a location that isn’t accessible that needs some flower zhooj – e.g. a vacant lot behind a fence – guerilla gardeners use green grenades or seed bombs as they’re called. These organic mixtures are about the size of golfballs and can be thrown as far as your strength allows, to reach difficult locations. Seed bombing is easier than guerrilla gardening in that it requires no digging and less planning. There’s also no need to tow your arsenal of garden tools along.

If you’re tired of passing by that patch of dirt filled with empty nip bottles and cigarette butts, here’s your chance to transform it. On your way to the train, just toss a few seed bombs in there!

seedbombs

making seed bombs

Seed Bomb Recipe

Takes about 30 minutes, makes 10 seed bombs

What you need:

  • 1 handful of flower seed – for our coastal environment, I recommend using Sweet William, Alyssum, Walker’s Low, Cornflower, Black Eyed Susan, Poppies or Cosmos. Northeastern wildflower mixes are often used as well.

  • 3 handfuls of Potter’s Clay powder (provides structural integrity for the bomb)

  • 5 handfuls of compost (provides moisture retention and nutrients for the seeds)

  • Water

  • Wooden spoon

  • A bowl

  • A baking tray

Instructions: Playing with mud is something the kiddos love, so get the whole family involved! Combine the clay, compost and seeds together in a bowl. Slowly add water, gradually mixing it together with a wooden spoon until you get a consistency that you can form into one inch balls.  Roll the mixture in the palm of your hand (just like making meatballs) and place it on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of your mixture. Place the seed bombs in a sunny location for at least 3 hours to dry. Time your attack to coincide with heavy rainfall. Then, drop the bomb!

compost

My-Friends-Kieth-and-Naomi-Vittore-are-interested-in-becoming-guerrilla-gardeners.-They-were-on-board-to-help-and-get-their-hands-dirty! The formed seed bombs

tagged in diy, garden, gardening, rockaway

Grams of the Week

Here’s a recap of the best instagrams of last week. If you want the day to day follow me here!

rockaway-beach-morning

I’ve been waking up with the birds these days. One morning I made my coffee and ran over to the beach to catch the sunrise. Not a bad way to start the day!

blue crab rockaway beach

On another walk to the beach I came across this beautiful  female (red tips) Chesapeake blue crab. Native to the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, these crustaceans are common and delicious to eat. I was happy to see  this girl died naturally in the sand.

spring-garden-clean-up

Last Sunday I started cleaning out the front garden. It took way longer than I expected. Unquestionably, the plants matured last year. It felt so good to get out there.

rescue-cat

I’ll leave you with a picture of Johnny – he’s so serious all the time!

tagged in instagram

Grams of the Week

Here’s a recap of the best instagrams of last week. If you want the day to day follow me here!

st george theater

I saw my moms favorite group Home Free on Staten Island with her and my sister at the St. George Theater (beautiful architecture!) this week. I’m kinda obsessed with Staten Island  now (Shaolin!!), in particular the St. George area. There’s so much to say but I don’t want to give it all up because I’m planing on writing about it for my Wave Column, so stay tuned.

cat on refrigerator

I woke up one morning this week and Fivey was on top of the fridge! As you can see, the refrigerator is free standing, no counters next to it. I realized he must have leapt at least 4 feet from the kitchen counter which is not pictured and far away. It was one of those proud cat parent moments.

norman of rockaway

On my way to CROM, I spotted Norman! If you don’t know him already, he’s a famous Rockaway cat that lives at Rockaway Beach Vet Services. He likes being on display in his window seat. Follow Normy  and his pals on instagram @norman_of_rockaway

tagged in instagram

Your refrigerator is a microcosm of your life.

refrigerator

I may have a personality disorder. I like the front of my fridge clear of clutter but the side is busy with this and that.

Previously published in The Wave.

You know how people look inside their friends or family members medicine cabinets*? Well, I like to peek inside their refrigerators. How is the fridge organized (or not organized)? What kind of food is in stock and how much? Even the outside of a refrigerator is telling. One can learn a tremendous amount about who a person is, just by opening up the refrigerator door.

If your friends’ refrigerator is disorganized, he/she is most likely unorganized in all aspects of their life – at work, school, at planning ahead, etc. If your friend has an orderly fridge, they have their shit together. I bet if you opened said friends’ underwear drawer, everything would be folded and neat.

How about tupperware… does your new girlfriend have all rubbermaid containers with matching colored lids of various sizes? Even those cute small ones that hold like one ounce of food? Or does she reuse Chinese food and pecorino Romano containers? If her tupperware is matching, she’s good at adulting and your girlfriend most likely is a “type A” person. If you peak in her fridge and see recycled containers, you got an eco-friendly naturalist on your hands or an opportunist with good money-saving skills.

By scanning the contents of a fridge, you dig deeper. Off the bat, you can ascertain the following: if this person is a vegetarian or meat-lover;  spot almond milk, they’re lactose intolerant or a vegan; low fat mayo (gross) and The Laughing Cow cheese, this individual is trying to slim down for the summer;  Baby bottles, where’s the screaming child?

There’s a likely chance you can pinpoint your new friends nationality purely on fridge food but it can be a bit tricky since today, people are cooking a wide variety of ethnic foods. This is what to look for: if you see a dominance of food products that correlates to a certain ethnicity you can make a determination. Look for the staples. If you notice chorizo, homemade salsa, plantains, queso blanco and aji verde sauce, you’ve got an amigo. If you find  Romano cheese, fresh mozzarella, a large jar of olives, a pot of sauce and a tray of frozen lasagna in the freezer, this person is a paesan.

Is the refrigerator in question over-stuffed with too much food? This individual could have food anxiety (the fear of going hungry). If you open their freezer and almost get hit on the head by a block of frozen spinach because it’s jam-packed, your new pal is ready for the apocalypse and could be a conspiracy theorist (run for the hills!!).

Lastly, the outside of a refrigerator paints a picture of personality. People with nothing on their refrigerator could be minimalists, they like interior design and fashion and I’m guessing they have a good paying 9-5 desk job.  People with notes, magnets, invitations, family pictures and newspaper clippings of recipes on their fridge tend to be more relaxed in demeanor. A carefree spirit. They’re visual people but may be forgetful at times. There’s a good chance this person is a maker, self-employed, works at a non-profit or an unorthodox job.

So, what does your refrigerator look like?

*so wrong don’t do it!

 

tagged in refrigerator