Garden of Hope How-To Guide
Thanks for your interest in helping local faith communities and passionate individuals to provide healthy organic produce for those who need food in Yorktown. We need all types of help from regular weeding, watering, etc. to one-time help, whatever your schedule allows. Kids are quite welcome with adult supervision.
WHERE: The Garden of Hope is located at 1243 White Hill Rd. on the left hand side, if you are coming from Rt 202 near Lowe’s and heading south on Mohansic Ave. When you get to the end, turn right turn on Whitehill Rd. After less than 0.1 miles, you will see the Seventh Day Adventist Church on the left, with a sign in Korean. Make a left into the driveway just before the sign written in Korean. If you reach the Wilkens Farm, you have overshot by about 0.1 miles.
After turning into the driveway, drive towards the stone wall. On the left, you will see an opening. The garden is there. You can park along the wall. If you are there on Saturdays during the day, just be mindful that there may be services and activities going on. The same may be true for Sunday mornings and early afternoons. The church members get first priority in parking spaces.
HOW TO GET IN: There is a gate with a chain wrapped around a post and latched by a carabiner. Just unlatch it and open the gate. Our rows are #26 and #8, which lie across from one another and are labeled “FPCY Food Pantry”. We also own a small section of cucumbers along the netting near row #28, located between the marigolds.
Come any time of day. For those who work during the days, evenings are great times to garden. We just ask that you remember to CLOSE the gate and re-lock it when you leave: re-loop the chain and latch the carabiner because the slide latch is warped and doesn’t keep the gate closed.
If you’d like a personal orientation tour or more detailed instructions, contact Heidi Haring at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is available many Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, some day times, and occasionally on Saturdays.
WHAT’S IN OUR ROWS: Thanks to the Graymoor Monks, we have an abundance of organic tomato plants. They also gave us peppers, some zucchini, a few eggplants and a few cucumbers, we think, which are along one of the nearest garden vertical netting, between the marigolds, near row 28. You will also see marigolds and herbs; basil, dill, nasturtiums, etc. grown to help tame the insect situation. You will see chopped salt hay around the veggies, which doesn’t have grass seeds like regular hay and is good for the soil. It serves as mulch to keep down weeds and preserve moisture.
HOW TO WATER
There is a red pump in the far left corner of the garden, same side as the entrance to the garden, near White Hill Rd.
Pull up the red lever all the way. You should hear a water flowing sound. The hose is in looped in the center of the garden. It will reach all the way to the end of both our rows. All that is needed is to press the lever on the red spray head, and voila!
Please ensure that the hose does not crush the plants on other rows.
When watering, try to water the base of the plant, avoiding the leaves as much as possible. If you’re watering at night, this reduces the risk of mold and mildew, which can develop if the leaves stay wet overnight. If you’re watering in mid-day, water on the leaves risks damage from the hot sun. You can get away with watering the leaves only in early morning or late afternoon — but it’s not a good habit to develop.
Please be a good garden citizen by re-coiling the hose on the rack provided in the center of the garden. This prolongs the life of the hose. If it is too heavy for you, please leave the hose coiled on the bench near by.
HOW TO WEED: Most of the weeding needs to be done between the plants and on the edges of each row. Mostly the weeds are small between the plants. There are some hoes leaning again the compost area, by the entrance gate, with other tools. You can just lightly aim for the roots of the small weeds, roughly parallel angle to the soil, and gently dig them up. You can also hand pick or use the weeding lever in the garden shed, in a bucket inside.
Any weeds that you pull up can be piled and then put in the far right recycling cubicle. There are wheel barrows if you care to use them.
ADDITIONAL GARDENING TIPS: Once every two weeks or so we will be fertilizing, especially the tomatoes, with a liquid kelp organic fertilizer. There is a special sprayer for the fertilizer that attaches to the hose, instead of the long spray head. If you are interested, ask Heidi; email@example.com to show you once.
Try to walk only on the grass paths between the rows.
From time to time, when crops are ripe, we will send a message to all interested in helping to pick the veggies. Mostly this will be in August, September, and early October.
There are ticks in the garden, as everywhere this rainy season, so take precautions. Wear light colored long -sleeved clothing when possible and tuck your pants legs into your socks. DEET sprays around feet, ankles and arms are a good idea. So are hats or other head covers. Of course a shower afterwards, is essential, and a safe place outside or a plastic bag to put your clothing in to avoid bringing stray ticks into the house.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING: Mostly just yourself and perhaps some drinking water, if it is hot. A pair of gardening gloves, is also a good idea—although there is often a pair on the bench as you walk in. If you do bring weeding tools, be sure to label them, in case they are found in the grass or so.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: We are trying to document all of the work, the number volunteers and the pounds of food grown so that the Town of Yorktown has evidence that the garden is being well-used and should preserve it’s tax-exempt status. There is a growing Garden coalition with area groups and the leaders, Paul Silverman and Jessica Nevins, will be keeping track and helping to provide lists of pantries and their days of operation so that as many people as possible can get the healthy veggies. There will also be more publicity efforts in social media, print media and more. Feel free to share info about this.