Featured Newsletter Article

Fall General Meeting (article taken from the Fall 2014 newsletter)

Deborah Heckert

Despite the wind and rain on November 1, about 60 people made their way to the warm, dry room in the Ryan Center for the 2014 Fall General Meeting, braving the weather to celebrate the community at the heart of the Floyd Bennett Gardens Association.
President Adriann Musson began the meeting a few minutes after 1 p.m. by announcing there wasn’t much to say! The summer was a good one in the garden, and generally everything ran smoothly. That being said, FBGA is a big organization, and there is always business to discuss and information to pass along. Items in Adriann’s briefing included:
1. There seemed to be less theft this year, though purple eggplant seemed to “disappear” the most regularly. Of course, we had our summer’s “flower girl,” who was actually caught, prosecuted, and fined. (See the summer newsletter for details.) Adriann emphasized that all members need to help prevent theft, by non-aggressively confronting strangers, asking them where their plot is, and, if they don’t have a good answer, warning them that if they don’t leave you will call park police.
2. FBGA helped the Park Service with a project designed to encourage and support the monarch butterfly migration by planting milkweed in a large planter. The plants grew well, and monarchs did indeed visit the planter.
3. NPS wanted us to remove the containers where we store our equipment. We arranged a compromise by which we placed large planters up against the containers and planted them with flowers. Next year
we hope to train vines up the sides of the containers to help further disguise them. It is important that we do whatever we can to cooperate with NPS.
4. Our relationship with NPS was a recurring theme. The specter lingering behind a lot of these issues is the open question of whether we will need to begin to pay NPS rent and usage fees for our garden. The garden officers are hopeful that the situation will be resolved in our favor.
5. Adriann commended the many people who took on projects that benefited the garden. Gardeners donated their labor to rebuild tables and benches, and one metalworker donated 4 more barbeque grills that he had made to our picnic area.
6. Tom Ingram has been color-coding the trees in the garden, and is in the process of augmenting the kinds of shrubs by the flower clocks. Frank Gentile has done a great job in the Habitat, which now boasts a new underground watering system. There was something in bloom in the habitat all summer, and everything is looking wonderful there.
7. To help with the continued development of our common areas like the Habitat, if you have a perennial plant, bulbs, or a shrub that has outgrown its space in your plot or for which you have no home, please donate it to the Habitat. They can use anything! (Donate it – do NOT plant it yourself!)
8. We had a very good workshop series this year – each year members offer 12-16 different workshops. Please support them by attending!
9. Joe Nerone had a stellar year in the pumpkin patch. One huge, beautiful 19-pound pumpkin won 2nd place in the Queens County Farm Museum Fair.
10 Adriann requested that we make sure our email addresses on file with FBGA are current and please look for FBGA emails at least once a week as there have been some communication issues lately.
11. Adriann advised gardeners to clean up their garden in the Fall. It’s easier, and lessens the places for rats and other vermin to find homes
It felt good to come together at the end of the year and look back at what we had accomplished as a community. As Adriann went through her list of items, it seemed clear that, no matter what issues and problems had arisen, the generosity and spirit of the people who make up the garden solved those issues. If we continue to be involved, we can continue making the garden better and better. Adriann made sure to thank everyone for the garden’s success this year, and it hit home how many people it takes to make this garden work year after year.