Posts categorized as Gardening

The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

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When did coconut oil become so popular? My jar ran out after a long three months and I realize now how much I use it. Besides cooking delicious Indian foods, or using it in place of butter and shortening, coconut oil has so many other uses. First the obvious. Raw organic coconut oil is wonderful as a skin care product. A 16 oz. jar is around $5.00. Using the oil as a moisturizer is less expensive than buying those fancy over-marketed creams and lotions, which often use coconut oil as […]

tagged in diy, health

DIY Backyard Makeover

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Previously published in The Wave. For the past four years, our backyard has been a renovation dumping ground. Now that the house is essentially done, we wanted to clean things up and start the backyard garden for the summer. In April, I watched this awesome show on Netflix called Love Your Garden. It’s hosted by Alan Titchmarsh, a professional English gardener, poet and gardening journalist turned TV personality. Alan and his quirky, knowledgeable team visits homes around the United Kingdom helping people transform their gardens. The families are deserving, having […]

tagged in diy, gar, gardening

citizen tree pruner!

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Ahhh! I’m so excited, I just started my citizen tree pruner course!! I learned of Trees New York (treesny.org) through twitter (social media can be a good thing guys!) Their mission, “..to plant, preserve and protect New York City’s urban forest through education and community participation.” And for decades now, they’ve been doing just that: “Trees New York was founded in 1976 as a volunteer response to New York City’s devastating cutbacks in forestry and tree-related community services. Trees New York has 40 years of experience in community tree planting, […]

tagged in nyc, trees

A Salute to The Bungalows of Oceanus Court and The Beach 91st St. Community Garden

The O’Toole family on the  porch facing the court with the next generation of kids (early 90's)

Photo courtesy of Tim Hill. Previously published in THE WAVE 125TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE I met Kerry and Jeanne of the O’toole family and Patty Shea last summer as they were walking down my block, all smiles. Turns out, at one time, it was their block too. We had a thriving community back in the day on 91st St.” Jeanne tells me. I was excited to meet these new friends, learning of their lives lived from the 60’s through the mid 90’s, on the same street that I now call home […]

tagged in garden, gardening, rockaway

Rockaway Beach Needs Garden Zhooj-ing

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

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 […]

tagged in diy, garden, gardening, rockaway

Bagels and Backyard Birding

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The weather has been irregular lately but we’re all feeling it – spring is in sight!  And Spring brings the bird migration. As a coastal community neighboring Jamaica Bay and it’s surrounding marshy inlets, we have a unique opportunity to spy migratory birds without going far.  Throughout the year, over 300 bird species are sighted in and around our area. I’m definitely visiting the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in the upcoming weeks in hopes of spotting rare migratory birds. But we can also find beautiful bird travelers making a stop […]

tagged in garden bagel, nature

Grow an onion.

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I’m sure this has happened to you before. You buy too many onions because they’re on sale; you end up not using all of them and they sit for a while. Then, like magic, they start to sprout. While you can still eat sprouting onions, the flavor isn’t as sharp since the energy (sugar) is being used to grow the leaves. So what can you do with it besides composting? Plant it! Spring is in sight – and thank goodness because I’ve been antsy. I want to get out there […]

the tree goes in the ground!

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Over the summer I wrote a column about the development and design of my front garden. The wholesaler I was working with charged by the truckload, so the price would be the same whether it was half full or packed. This was a great opportunity to get hold of a tree, preferable one native to the area that would provide food for the birds and animal life. After consulting with plant whisperer and good buddy Walter Meyer* of Local Office Landscape Architecture, we decided to go with a serviceberry (Amelanchier […]

tagged in garden, gardening, trees

Grams of the Week – Aug 14

cat and mouse rockaway queens

Here’s a recap of the best instagrams of last week. If you want the day to day follow me here! By now everyone’s garden is in full swing! These are tomatoes from the Beach 91st Street Community Garden (now on instagram) which I’m a member of. What are you going to make with all of your tomatoes this season? Here’s a great canning tutorial we posted a while back. Send me your tomato photos and I’ll post them on twitter. Another beauty from the community garden. Cooking with zucchini flowers is […]

tagged in instagram

Grams of the Week – June 20

Here’s a recap of the best instagrams of last week. If you want the day to day follow me here! I went to a free watercolor class this week at the library here in Rockaway. They  have many free classes. Check them out! Your looking at a serviceberry tree in my front yard! Delicious for the birds as well as you. This tree thrives in our costal zone. Edible gardens are beautiful and useful! More garden photos. This is an Oak  hydrangea which can grow six feet tall. Since last year, mine […]

tagged in gardening, instagram