In light of new guidelines to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be following these protocols for activities at Prospect Farm:
The Farm remains open for members to do essential work. We strongly recommend that no more than two and at the most three members be present at any one time.
Compost collection will continue on Saturday between 11 and 12 with one person only processing the compost. Buckets will be put on the strip for community members to deposit their food scraps.
All recommendations as to social distance and cleaning of surfaces are to be followed. Members can bring their own gloves or take a pair home for washing after use. Another suggestion is to keep your gloves in a plastic bag in the shed with your name on it. Wear gloves at all times to handle the locks and tools. Bring sanitary wipes if you have them.
Members are encouraged to do solo gardening during the week. You can sign up for a slot (Phil is working on a way to do this) or simply come to work. Tasks will be posted on the white board in the shed. The planting schedule and map will also be posted in the shed.
Keep us informed by writing in the log book (maybe you want to bring your own pen) or by posting an email as to what tasks you have done.
We’re asking for some help from our community to fund infrastructure improvements on the farm. Due to our hilly plot, we rely on terracing to increase our growing space. Our current walls are made of loose stone collected from the land, as well as some smaller bamboo buffers, but these barriers are very susceptible to erosion and most need to be rebuilt every year.
Our infrastructure committee did some research on alternatives and made a pilot test of a gabion.
What is a gabion? A gabion is a resilient wall made by filling metal cages with stones and other material like gravel, dirt, or sand. Because of their sturdiness, they are often used in landscaping and civil engineering — you may have seen them on the sides of highways or in other large-scale applications. But they are also inexpensive and relatively simple to build, requiring only metal mesh, metal wire, and stone (much of which can be found). In this case, modest fundraising can do a lot to improve Prospect Farm’s infrastructure.
How can our community help? We are looking to raise $500 for materials to replace as many of our retaining walls as possible with gabions. The money will go toward the metal mesh plus possibly stone or other material to fill the cages if we can’t source enough from the farm. We plan to host workshops while building the walls to share this knowledge with the community. This will make Prospect Farm safer, more accessible, and more productive. We hope you will consider contributing to this effort — even donations as small as $5 will help us reach our goal.
Subway directions: take the F or G train to the Fort Hamilton Parkway subway station. Exit at the Prospect Avenue end of the station.
There will be activities for all ages! Help us with spring planting projects, go on a scavenger hunt, and learn all about composting. There will be music and sing-a-longs. Come take a tour of the farm and see what’s sprouting. Plus we’ll have crafts, plants, and books for sale!
Let us know you’re coming on Facebook!
The event is free but donations will be accepted. Prospect Farm is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your contributions are tax-deductible.
We had our first work weekend of the year, spending a beautiful Saturday processing lots of compost and raking leaves away from all the bulbs coming up. Spring is really coming!
Sunday morning started out with some heavy rain, so once that let up a little, our pruners got to work on our fruit trees. Last year was the first time we pruned them in both the spring and fall. Pruning in really important for encouraging the trees to produce fruit. We definitely saw a difference last year, so after a full pruning cycle, this year may be even better.
We also collected soil samples for testing and started planting! The past few years we have been planting our peas pretty late and not seeing very significant yields as a result. Peas can actually be planted a month before the average last frost, so we went for it, turning in some of the remaining snow in the bed. Judging from internet advice, the warmer, sunnier conditions this week should help the seeds get a jump start, even though there was still snow on the ground. We’re planning to plant additional rows every two weeks until summer.
And remember farmers: yellow strings on plants or beds means don’t pull it!
As we start planning for this year’s plantings, we’re taking a look back at how last year went. We weigh all our crops when we harvest, and this is how they all tallied up:
Cucumbers are always our heaviest crop, by far! We grew a greater diversity of crops last year compared to the year before, so in comparison we saw smaller yields in part because of planting less (tomatoes, in particular). But we saw increased yields in arugula, sweet peppers, and eggplant.
Prospect Farm members met for the annual planning meeting this weekend to kick off the 2019 growing season. We talked about making some changes to our composting system, triumphs and disappointments from last year, and picked the dates for our first work days. Weather willing, we’ll have a spring clean-up weekend March 9th and 10th!
If you are interested in being a part of Prospect Farm, right now is an excellent time to get involved and join a committee or two. The planting committee will be meeting soon to determine our spring schedule, we have our first event slotted for the end of April, and we have infrastructure projects afoot. Come to one of our work days or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.