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About the 6/15 Green Blog

Brooklyn, NY
Welcome to the 6/15 Green community garden blog. This is a place where our community can share stories, poems, photos, memories, recipies, and all other experiences of the garden. For information on 6/15 Green, please see the official website. To share information on the garden or communicate with members, please use the member Google Group.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where to Buy Bulbs

The past few days have made it clear that Fall is here.  That means it will soon be time to plant bulbs. I’m working on a post on when to plant bulbs for fall but first things first--you have to buy bulbs.  A lot of the local stores I listed in a previous blog post are great places to look.

Or there are amazing shops online that have unique selections for both tulip and non-tulip bulbs.  I’ve put together the following list as a resource for all you bulb lovers: Has some more interesting looking varities and some exotic non-tulip bulbs  Nice for buying in smaller bulk quantities (12 or more) For really great deals on really big bulk quantites and interesting mixtures  Seems to have an especially great tulip variety

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Garden anniversary rescheduled for Saturday

Due to the previous rained out event, the 24th Garden anniversary party is now set to be rescheduled for this Saturday.  Come everyone and enjoy great food, company, and the documentary about how the garden was started.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In full bloom!

I saw this birdhouse in the garden the other day and thought it
looked so beautiful with the garden in the background.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reminder: 6/15 Green Stoop Sale

Hi all--here's a reminder from Amy and Valerie about the stoop sale.  They still need some volunteers and of course some items to sell. 

The sale will take place on Saturday, October 6th, with a rain date of the 7th. Set up is 9-10am & the sale will be 10-3. Break down & clean up will take place from 3-4. Please sign up for 1 or more shifts if you are available.

  • Set up (putting out tables, organizing merchandise, etc) - 3 people
  • 12:30-3 shift (watching the merchandise, collecting money, etc) - 2-3 people
  • Clean up/ break down (separating merchandise into donation & trash piles, breaking down tables & bringing items to Housing Works) - 1-2 people with cars willing to transport items to Housing Works & 2 additional people to help

Items to donate (please price your own items):
  • Clothing & shoes
  • Books
  • Toys/ games
  • Housewares
  • Small electronic items

Please avoid donating furniture, large appliances or other large items. Housing Works will not accept these as drop of donations. If they don't sell, we will not have any place to store or donate them.

Donated items should be new or gently used. Please do not donate items that are stained or not working, as they will just end up in the trash.

We will accept donations only on the day of the sale from 9-10am. You may bring items throughout the day, but please no later than 1pm.

Email Amy at or Valerie at with any questions, or to sign up to volunteer. 

Thank you!
-The Fundraisers

Monday, September 10, 2012

Great Gardening Technique

I was at the garden recently and was really impressed by this gardening technique that the community veggie plot was using--they are growing beans up sunflowers.  Very cool! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jam Making!

Several garden members made jam at Peggy's house on two separate days--and had a lot of fun doing it! Jams will be raffled after the pot luck at the garden celebration this Saturday, September 8.
Thanks to Peggy Conte for the photos!

Ramona and Sheila stir plums for the jam.

Cut peaches for the jam.

Jane, Peggy, Brooke, and Chelse toast with a bit of the rum they put in the peach jam.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The 6/15 Green Lot Clean Up Story

In preparation for this Saturday's anniversary celebration and video, I asked garden member Peggy Conte to share her story behind the video.  Her late husband Peter Dawidowicz and she filmed the video that will be showing on Saturday and here is some commentary about that video.  Many members and neighbors know the amazing back story of the garden and how the neighbors got together to create what is now our beautiful garden.  Here's Peggy's contribution to the story and please come to the celebration on Saturday to see the video.

My Commentary on the 615 Green Lot Clean Up Video.

By Peggy Conte
This video was filmed by me and my late husband Peter Dawidowicz. I apologize for any inaccuracies in this account. This is simply my memory of the events of 24 years ago.

Peter Dawidowicz and I moved to 550  6th Ave. in June of 1988. I gave birth to Julia on August 25. Over the summer it had become apparent that the lot on the corner, which at the time had foundations and concrete cellars dug out for some kind of condo development, also had lots of garbage, continual dumping and many many syringes, crack vials  and other evidence of heavy drug use. It also became apparent that the front apartment (room) of the house between our house and the lot had a drug dealer in it, a young man named Frankie.

The rest of the first floor (minus Frankie’s room) was inhabited by a family. The parents were Maria and Rene, and the three kids were Aylin, Dennis and Edgar. (Dennis is the kid in the video who asks if the lot is gonna be a playground)  The top floor was lived in by the owners of the house; two brothers in their eighties who seemed out of touch with reality. I imagine they had a lot of health issues. One of them was called Abraham. I forget the name of the other. All in all, the house was in decrepit condition!

Peter had a background as an organizer. He had organized civil rights activities at his campus in Baltimore in the sixties; lunch counter occupations and such. He was a member of SDS. Over the years, he had been involved in many demonstrations of different kinds and radical labor politics.

Peter was upset because we had just moved into a neighborhood to start a life with a newborn, and then this scourge became apparent. He always said that Julia was the reason he did what he did. He knocked on doors on the block and held a neighbors meeting to decide what to do about the problem. It turns out that everyone was upset and they quickly formed a group. They called themselves the South Slope Anti Drug Organization. SSADO. Peter got very sick the following year and died a few years later. SSADO was one of his last battles!

SSADO contacted the 72nd precinct and the community board for our district. This precinct and CB cover all of Sunset Park and just a little bit on our side of the cemetery. The border of the district is 15th St. We were on the margins of their zones and of their concerns. The 72nd had a special drug unit called CPOP, who show up in the video. SSADO also contacted CPOP, but nothing got done. The police would say that they didn’t have evidence so they couldn’t take action. In the video at some point someone says that there had been shooting on 10th or 12th St. the night before but the police hadn’t responded. It was emblematic of the police’s  lack of reliability at the time. It was a no man’s land around here.

Well, SSADO decided to take direct action and set Saturday morning September 17, 1988 as the big clean up day of the lot. They put out fliers. That morning dozens and dozens of people showed up, as you can see on the video. It was a wonderful surprise! I didn’t know most of them, having just moved there. Sanitation was willing to provide a garbage truck for us to load garbage into. But they didn’t want pull out the trailer because it was “private property.”

A kid named Nicky (as you see on the video) got someone in his family to bring a forklift, and the trailer was dragged partly into the street. Sanitation was asked to take it away but again they said they couldn’t because it was “private property.” So Peter called a “quick meeting” to figure out how to prevent Sanitation from putting the trailer back in the lot. The trailer at this point was only partly pulled out of the lot. A parked car was in the way and prevented the trailer from being pulled all the way out. So some people decided to bring a chainsaw and take the trailer apart (as you see on the video) .

The people finally decided to physically move the parked car, which they did (as you see on the video—a bunch of guys actually pick up the car to move it!) And pull the trailer further out onto the street.  It was totally blocking traffic, and this motivated  Sanitation to tag the trailer, meaning that it was OK to cart it away and it finally was.

The cleanup went on all day. People even knocked down a thick cinder block wall between the lot and number 548 with hammers and pure muscle. The amount of garbage was huge.  You see it on the video. More and more people just kept showing up to help! People would just pass by, ask what was going on, and then roll up their sleeves and help. It was because they were all so upset about the scourge of the abandoned lot and trailer.

For me some of the highlights are: (besides the main action)
·         When Dennis asks if this is gonna be a playground.
·         When the addict on methadone pitches in and cleans.
·         The sign “sorry” on Frankie’s door. It shows his humanity.
·         When one of Frankie’s friends comes to look for Frankie, who is gone. Peter lets him know that all the drug use and dealing is unacceptable, while at the same time respecting this guy’s humanity.
·         All the signs at the end, especially the sign that was strung across the intersection of 6th and 15th by a guy who scaled the lampposts.

I never saw many of those people after that day. I wish they were still around to enjoy the community garden! I wish Peter was still around too! (though I’m glad to be with Paul J)

These events are just one day. At the time Peter and I didn’t have a vision of what this lot could become. But Sheila did. Sheila told us that day of her vision to turn this lot into a community garden. After this day, she and others took the lead in starting our beautiful 615 Green. But that is her part of the story to tell.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Celebrate the 24th Anniversary of 6/15 Green!

Join us to Celebrate

The 24th Anniversary of the
Birth of 6/15 GREEN Community Garden

24 years ago, the lot at the corner of 15th Street and 6th Avenue was filled with trash and the home to an abandoned construction trailer that was a haven for drug use. In September of 1988, dozens of neighbors, frustrated with the inaction of the local cops, came together to clean up the lot with chainsaws, shovels, a forklift, and ingenuity.

On September 8, please join us to celebrate this event and the spirit of community action that created and sustains 6/15 Green!

Where:  at the Garden – 6th Avenue and 15th Street
When:  6:00 PM Potluck (with food donations from local restaurants)
             7:15 movie showing
What:  Movie with original footage of the cleanup
            Stories by participants
            Follow-up questions and discussion
            Raffle of 6/15 Green Homemade Plum Jam