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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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Annual 6/15 Haunted Walk

Bring your favorite ghosts and ghouls to the 6/15 green annual haunted garden walk.  Always a real treat ( . . . or trick)!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Harvest Festival and Plant Sale

It's that time of year folks--time for one of everybody's favorite events at the garden: The Harvest Festival and Plant Sale.  Get ready for a day full of fun activities and music all topped off with a potluck BBQ.  Details below!  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Oh my, Tomatoes

I was away for vacation and when I came back my tomatoes plants had gone crazy. I think this might my single biggest tomato harvest in my 12 years at the garden.  And there's plenty more green ones that I'm sure will turn in the next week or two.

Look at these beauties. I love this time of year.

I need some recipe ideas.  Any suggestions?  I can share on the blog for anyone else who has more than they know what to do with.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Guest Blog Post: Interview with Nitza Wagoner by Peggy Conte

Thanks so much to Peggy Conte for this amazing guest blog post interview with long-time garden member Nitza Wagoner!  

Interview with Nitza Wagoner
by Peggy Conte

Thank you, Nitza for all you have done for our community! Id like to ask you a few questions.

Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in Puerto Rico in a small village called Mala Pascua. One of  9 siblings.
Q: Why do you sometimes use the name Nin?

A: My dad used to called me Nin as a child. I never forgot it.   I use this pen name and my moms surname honoring both my parents when I write or create artwork.  (Nin Rodriguez)

Q: How long have you been a member of 615 Green?
 A: I have been a member of 6/15 for almost 24 years.  I joined in 1992.  Though I lived in Park Slope since 1977 I rarely ventured into the south slope back then.  It took a trip with Ellen Kirby from BBG to Washingtons Crossing to discover 6/15 Green as we passed the garden in the van on the way back from our outing.  I saw a small crew at work in the community garden as Ellen Kirby gave a short history of the garden movement.  I considered joining.

Q: What do you like most about 615 Green? 

A: Gardening has always been a passion for me.  I always took charge of a little patch of earth wherever there was one where I lived.  Finding like-minded people in the garden made me feel right at home.   Through the years, strong ties have been formed with gardeners and friendships have evolved.  I enjoy the strong sense of community and the location of the garden is close to home.    The Multi-cultural/social mix has its rewards.  The diversity of neighbors and volunteers is very satisfying.   

Q: I am so impressed at how community minded you are! You seem to be always doing projects that benefit others. I would like to ask you to talk about the Childrens Garden. Can you talk about the history of the Childrens Garden, and what motivates you to create it and continually improve it?
A: The kids space through the years has been a Sunflower Garden, a Bamboo Hut, and a Peace Garden.  

In 2011, I saw the kids playing in a mud hole and I was concerned for the safety/health of the kids digging in the dirt puddle last called a PEACE GARDEN. 

I thought a more ample space would serve the children in the neighborhood so I created the SANDBOX shaped in a figure eight.  One circle was designated for continuous play and the other circle was a veggie garden.  Kathleen Cholewka assisted me in creating this active spot.   Its location near the lawn made it quickly visible and easily accessible.  Kids loved it!!   The project was a success.

In 2012 because of the new building casting much shade into the garden, 6/15 re-designed the layout of the garden.   The sunny, Sandbox was to become the cutting garden.  The former Secret Garden, a spot where children gathered under the Dwarf Cherry Tree that had been formerly stewarded but abandoned was then designated as the future childrens space. After removal of much accumulated castoffs of the garden and debris with help from other volunteers (Anahit, Matthias, Will) I created a design plan for The Childrens Garden, which was not approved.   The spot became a digging pit shortly after that.

The soil was tested for lead and was closed off and remediated for several months, however, that plan was terminated.   The root systems from the neighboring trees, stone and debris retained in the soil made it almost impossible to complete the task.   I drew up another plan to salvage the area and keep it open for childs play. I presented my draft to the membership and it was approved this time. I covered the whole area with Heavy Duty Garden Landscape Cloth and changed the layout.  The cloth installation has been completed and the garden is presently open.  It is once again a very active area!

Having retired in 2010, I have had some free time on my hands to be creative.  Parents and other garden members work but they wanted a place for the kids to call their own. This work is tedious and time consuming work.  It not being a possibility for them, I decided once again to become the steward of the current Childrens Garden. 

My hope for the future is that the children visiting the garden might become the next generation of gardeners and environmentalists saving our open green spaces.  I check in almost daily to make sure the hot spot is safe and somewhatorganized.  Gardening is a joy.

Q: Can you tell us about the beneficial insect hotel and why you created it?

A: I designed the BIH after I got inspired at a GreenThumb Workshop with Gahl Shottan at the Tranquility Garden where she showed us a few models and instructed us on how to make them. 
 I thought it would be a good teaching tool to instruct kids about other living tinycreatures that inhabit our garden environment.   The hotel will eventually serve as nesting areas for insects during winter months.   There are residents livingthere if you look closely.  The white filling in the twigs and other openings are closed doors.  The insects are at work/rest.

Q: Can you talk about the Open Space Gallery and why you started that?
 A: The Open Space Gallery Project was inspired by 9/11.  The garden is a place for respite and relaxation.  I created the gallery, then a Kiosk, to have artist show and share their work in our green space to help us with healing.  We sang Patriotic songs, lighted candles in remembrance and had our first show entitled The Empty Chairsin memory of loved ones that passed.   Sharing our feelings about the assault on our homeland was very traumatic.  Inviting the artist community was my way of sharing the beauty still in our world despite this fragmented time of sorrow in our lives.  The kiosk was a distraction.  A structure to keep us focused on what still mattered to us.

Q: What are some other projects that you are currently working on? 

A:  I have collaborations with Spoke the Hub--photo shoots of performances in the garden, Earth Matter NY- photo shoots of Community Builds and site specific structures, BQLT- Communications Newsletter Column and a current  Prospect Hill Senior Portrait Series.  These shoots will be exhibited in the garden, on my website or at organization site locations. I am also a Million Trees Tree Pit Steward at NYU Medical Center on 13th Street.

My present dream and goal is to spend time on a work I have yet to complete about my own life, Mi Vida en Paper(My Life on Paper).   This labor of love will be a collage of photography and text. Three untitled pieces are in the works. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Greek Singing Group Ta Aidhonia at the Spring Festival

Hi all--this is a long-overdue post but here's a picture of garden member Ramona Kohrs and her Greek Singing Group at the Spring Festival.  Thanks to Ramona's friend Mayumi for the photo.

If anyone else has photos from the festival it's not too late to post them on our blog!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pics from May's Group Garden Project Day

A little late posting these photos from the May garden project day preparing for the garden festival and cleaning up the area between the children's garden and the shed. I think we must have taken 15 wheelbarrows full of rocks and tree stumps from one side of the garden to another.  A fun group to work with!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Plant sale has started!

A little bit of rain on Saturday didn't stop the first day of the plant sale.  There were a lot of great plants and a fairly steady stream of people stopping to buy them.  And it was fun seeing the neighborhood kids getting involved in the action.  Thanks to everyone who is making this a successful fundraiser for the garden.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

6/15 Green Plant Sale

The Plant Sale is coming. Details below--hope to see you there!

Calling all garden members--Volunteers needed

We can definitely use your help making the Plant Sale both fun and profitable for the garden.
The following message is from Jessica regarding the garden plant sale.  Please reach out to her if you have any questions ( or sign up directly in the spot below.  

As you know, the Plant Sale is one of the major fund-raising events for the garden.  But, it's also really a lot of fun for everyone who helps out.  You'll get to talk with friends and neighbors who are visiting the garden, get to play with lots of cool plants and get to feel really good about helping raise some moooolah to cover garden expenses.
The Plant Sale will be on two weekends:
Saturday, May 7th & Sunday May 8th (Mother's Day)  from 11-3
Saturday, May 14th (during the Spring Festival) & Sunday May 15th from 11-3
We really need some help during each of those days and during setup and breakdown time.
Here's a link to a Google chart with all the time slots for the Sale Days:
You should be able to enter your info right into the chart.

Please consider lending a hand, even if it's only for an hour or so (well, you know that the more time you can spare, the better, though).  We need several folks to pitch in for each time shift.
We really need YOU to make this a great success!
Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spring Festival and Plant Sale

It's that time of year again--and one of the best times of year in the garden.  It's the annual plant sale and spring festival.  Mother's Day Weekend.  Hope to see you all there!  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Getting Ready for the Plant Sale

It was a beautiful day at the garden on Sunday and a perfect day to start preparing for the upcoming plant sale.  I found Ramona working hard potting plants and snapped a few pictures for the blog (including one with a very special guest--my daughter Diora!).  The team already has several great plants ready to go!  Thanks for the hard work.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cherry Blossoms

I stopped by the garden recently and our cherry tree was in full bloom--it was an absolutely perfect day for the tree.  Good thing I took this photo--when I was at the garden on Sunday, all the blossoms were already gone.  Just a reminder of how beautiful--and fast--spring tends to be.  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Garden Fundraiser

Would you like to buy flowers for the garden and help the garden at the same time?  Garden members Valerie DiClerico and Jeanne Lurvey set up a fundraising website that makes it easy to buy great flowers for the garden and 50% of all money goes directly to benefit the garden.  I interviewed Valerie to learn more about the fundraiser and what inspired her to do this to support our wonderful garden.  Check out: and the other links below—and make sure you share it with everyone you know who is looking for great flowers.

Q: What inspired you to start the Flower Power Fundraiser?  Who is involved in this project?
A: This is the second time we've run the Flower Power Fundraiser. The former fundraising co-coordinator and I launched the first campaign in 2014 on the recommendation of a member. Sheila suggested we try it again. Jeanne Lurvey and I are coordinating the fundraiser this year.

Q: How does the fundraiser work and how does it benefit the garden?
A: It's very simple! We have our own 6/15 Green Flower Power campaign website. Anyone can order directly from the page, and can share with friends and family. Your order will be shipped directly to you. The garden doesn't have to invest any money upfront or hold any inventory, but we get 50% of the profits from all sales. The more we share and spread the word, the more the garden with benefit! 

Q: What kinds of flowers are available?
A: There are about 40 different types of flowers available, along with some edible plants, like sprouts and berries. Some of my favorites are the crocosmia lucifer (very intense red), the bleeding heart (beautiful, unusual shape), and the sunflower collection.

Q: How long does the fundraiser last? What are your goals for the fundraiser? (anything beyond just raising money?)
A: The fundraiser runs through May 1st. Our goal is to raise $1000 (maybe a little ambitious)! :) More than the money, I'd personally like to see more people get involved and spread the word. Over the past few years, I've seen a decline in garden member participation in fundraising activities. It would be nice to know the work we do isn't in vain.

Q: If people order from the site, what should they expect? How long does it take to receive your flowers?
A: It's just like ordering from any website - you enter your own payment and shipping details at checkout. If sending as a gift, you can ship directly to the recipient. I'm not sure of the exact ship time. I'm still waiting for my order. Last time, I believe it was a week or two.

Q: How long have you been a member of the garden?  What's one of your most favorite memories of the garden?
A: I've been a member since 2011. One of my favorite memories was from that summer. We had a meeting in the garden, followed by a potluck. A bunch of us stayed in the garden for hours after, chatting and sipping wine. It was such a great feeling of community!

Q: Anything else you'd like to add about the fundraiser or the garden?

A: We can't reach our fundraising goal without member participation! It's super easy to participate just by sharing our 6/15 Green Flower Power campaign website through email and social media.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Circle of Life

Thanks to Anahit Gaskill for sending these amazing photos of the garden--the first one taken in December and the second one taken last weekend.  It's it amazing to see the changes in the garden throughout the seasons!  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Rainy day open hours

Well I didn't pick such a good day for my first open hours this year. But I will say this. It's my first rainy open hours sine the greenhouse was moved to the front of the garden and it makes a very cozy--and dry!--place to shelter. I remember a couple rough rainy open hours getting soaked under the willow tree so I'm very happy to be able to stay dry an still keep the garden open. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Focus on BANG with board representative Sheila McDevitt

I've been a garden member for years but haven't fully understood what the BANG land trust is and how important it is to the life of our beautiful garden space.  A few weeks ago I shared a ride with one of the original garden members, Sheila McDevitt, and realized that a blog post where Sheila could share with the whole garden some of the background about BANG.  It's a really inspiring story about what people can do to make their communities a better place if they work together.  And make sure to come to the annual meeting on March 20th--all garden members are invited.  Details below.  

Q: You've been a garden member for many years. How long have you been a member and when did you first become involved with the garden?  

A: My husband, Simon Brooking, and I have been with the garden from the very beginning.  In 1992, we created the first plot on the corner of 6th Avenue and 15th Street to stop people from throwing garbage into the lot, which had been abandoned since 1985.  We then got our neighbor, Anna to start a plot – which is where the kiosk now stands.  We realized that there were two others also climbing into the garden, Sylvia and Lana, who had created gardens and were actively gardening. Sylvia created the area under the peach tree, and Lana’s plot is now the native plant shade garden with the birch and cherry tree in the inner back.  In 1994 we created a community organization – the 6th Avenue and 15th Street Community Garden.  Simon was our first President, Sylvia was VP and I was Treasurer and Secretary. Simon was instrumental in the sale of the property to Trust for Public Land.  Without him we probably wouldn’t still be here.

1993 First Plot

1994 Lana's Plot

1994 Sylvia's Plot

1993 Northeast Corner Down 6th Ave

Q:   One of your community assignments is being our board representative from 6/15 Green to the BANG land trust.  Can you explain what that group does?  And what do you do in your role as liaison?  

A: I also act as the current President of that board.  BANG is the Brooklyn Alliance of Neighborhood Gardens Land Trust aka BANG.  BANG is a not for profit organization that actually holds the title to our property and 4 other community gardens in Park Slope and Prospect Heights.  BANG acts as the managing agent for those properties.  BANG secures insurance, maintains our water systems, gets the water turned on and off, would repair any fence or sidewalk issues.  Basically being responsible for any major infrastructure of the property.  All gardeners are welcome to attend our meetings, especially May-September when we hold a potluck in each of the member gardens and the Annual Meeting which will be March 20th.

Q: How did BANG get started?  Any interesting history that the 6/15 green members would like to know? 

A: The history goes back much further than the actual land trust does.  To really know what the land trust is about I would suggest people go to our website -
I was growing frustrated with the progress of the landtrust that Trust for Public Land (TPL) wanted us to join, so I reached out to other gardens to see if they would be interested in starting a land trust of our own. We already had a solid history with each of these gardens, having worked together on projects or just through the gardening community.  Eventually 4 other gardens decided to join us.  In the 1990’s (before the garden land auction in 1999) we belonged to an all Brooklyn community gardening alliance called the Brooklyn Alliance of Neighborhood Gardens – after the auction everyone got placed into land trusts or were run by the New York Restoration Project, the alliance disbanded.  Also prior to the auction there was a group of us which was made up of 4 of the 5 current BANG gardens who were trying to start a land trust – it would have been the Brooklyn Land Trust. The 5 member gardens are 6/15 Green, Bears at Pacific Street, GREENSPACE at President  Street, The Prospect Heights Community Farm and Warren St Marks.  It was a struggle to get this land trust up and as some of our garden members know, ownership of the property was something we discussed for many years.  To me the coolest thing about how we set up BANG is that it works like a condominium or cooperative.  Each garden votes in their own BANG Board members, there are no outside board members.  That way each garden is continually informed and kept abreast of all BANG activities.  Each garden is autonomous and runs its membership and  garden activities as it sees fit, and they OWN EVERYTHING ON THEIR PROPERTY (this is huge! all other contracts state that all sheds, cabana’s, arbors, chairs, tables etc are the property of the landowner).

Q: What are the benefits to the garden to being a member of BANG?  How could garden members get involved? 

A: As I said above, BANG takes care of our infrastructure needs and most importantly since the land is owned by a Not For Profit Land Trust, we can maintain the land as greenspace in perpetuity.  Basically BANG protects our rights to be an open space so we can create community without fear of being removed from the property. As a group of 5 gardens we have a louder voice than just one garden would have. When I lived across the street in the 90’s I panicked every time I heard an early morning truck – afraid they had come to bulldoze the lot and start building something again.  It is so wonderful to have the peace of mind that no one has the right to come and destroy everything we have worked so hard to create. Members can come to our meetings. I post them to the membership when they are set.  We need help with fundraising, anyone who wants to learn about our water system is welcome to join Chad in the Spring and Fall as he travels through the gardens with the plumbers to turn on and off the water.  We are looking for a new treasurer.  Participation will only help make BANG stronger, and if BANG is stronger then 6/15 Green is too!

Q:  Do you want to tell us about the event on March 20? It sounds like something fun for any garden member.  

A: March 20th is our Annual Meeting at BBG from 11:30am-1:30pm.  It’s a snackluck – everyone brings light snacks and drinks, we do some formal business such as approval of the FY2015 budget and the Proposed FY2016 Budget, we formally recognize the Board members as voted in by their gardens and we vote on officers.  Then each garden tells about their previous year and upcoming plans for the new year.  It’s a great chance to get to know  other gardeners and see how BANG basically works.  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

2 More Chances to Sign Up

Don't forget there are just two more chances to renew your membership this year:

S      Sunday, March 13, 11am-12pm  (in the garden)

·          Wednesday, March 30, 7-9pm  (at the general meeting) 

        We don't want to miss seeing you in the garden this year!

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Time to Renew Your Membership

It's that time of year again!  Time to renew your member and keep our vibrant garden community strong.  I look forward to seeing you this year in the garden!

Here are the dates for renewals. If you are interested in joining as a new member, please note that new members can only join at general meeting dates as listed below.  Current members can renew their membership at any of these times:

      Wednesday, January 27, 7-9pm (at the general meeting)
·         Saturday, February 13, 11am-12pm  (at the Park Slope Library, 431 6th Avenue)
·         Wednesday, February 24, 7-9pm  (at the general meeting)
·         Sunday, March 13, 11am-12pm  (in the garden)
·         Wednesday, March 30, 7-9pm  (at the general meeting)

Important Notes
·         We do not have the capacity to facilitate renewals on any additional dates, so please plan accordingly. 
·         If renewing at the general meetings, please plan to arrive as close to 7pm as possible to ensure that you do not miss your chance to renew; meetings often do not last the full two hours. 
·         Garden members must renew by March 30 to retain individual stewardships or to maintain their place on the individual stewardship waiting list. 
·         No applications for garden membership will be accepted after the March 30 meeting. 

·         Returning compost members should plan to renew during the above dates; new members can join as compost members until the May 25 meeting.