New for June: Meditation Hour on Saturdays

For the month of June we’ll be trying out a meditation hour at the farm! Come 10-11am on Saturdays, just before our compost hour, to join us. The sessions will be led by Bess.

We’ll sit at our table area up on the hill — you can also bring a cushion or blanket to sit on the ground if you prefer. You’re welcome to join at any point during the hour.

Crowdfunding for a reinforced Prospect Farm

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.

Visit our fundraiser on GoFundMe to contribute!

Come celebrate Earth Day at Prospect Farm

Prospect Farm invites the community to join us for our annual Earth Day party!

Saturday, April 27, 2019
11am to 2pm 1194 Prospect Avenue

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.

Notes from our pre-spring clean-up weekend

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!

Last year’s harvest by the numbers

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.

Gearing up for new growth in 2019

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 prospectfarmbk@gmail.com for more info.

NY Permaculture Exchange Annual Seed Swap

14th Annual Seed Celebration & Swap!
Saturday, February 9th, 2019 
1pm – 5pm Old Stone House, Park Slope

Got Seeds? Potential abounds as we approach spring. Come meet other gardeners and trade remains of your favorite packs, seeds you decided not to plant or seeds you have saved. Please label your seeds with variety and year. Learn about planting and growing seeds. Free seed catalogs. Art packs for sale from Hudson Valley Seed Company. Saved seeds from the OSH garden to clean and take home. Free seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. Bring seedy snacks to share! Email permie@earthlink.net if you wish to add something to this event.

First spring event! GreenThumb’s Grow Together Conference

The farm has been pretty quiet since we trench-composted and leafed up most of our beds for winter. But spring is creeping onto the horizon! GreenThumb just announced their annual conference, which kicks off the season in NYC. All our members who have attended have gotten so much out of this day of workshops — this year’s topics include: food systems education, kids’ activities, vegetable growing techniques, and community garden design for the present and future.

Sat, March 30, 2019
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT
CUNY GRADUATE CENTER, 365 5TH AVENUE

SIGN UP TODAY FOR THIS FREE EVENT!

Space is limited — Register by March 28, or until capacity is reached.