Windsor Farm breaks ground

A new Brooklyn community farm/garden, christened "Windsor Farm," broke ground Sunday, April 28 in Windsor Terrace. I went to lend my support, help out for a bit, and check out the scene.

It's a challenging site, even for an urban garden. The aerial photography of Google Maps revealed that the site is completely covered by trees. It didn't show that the property spans a steep slope.

Windsor Farm Kickoff
Windsor Farm Kickoff

Whatever this slope is, believe me, when you're on the side of it using edge tools to cut through the brambles, it feels a lot steeper!

Even more challenging are the weeds, which include:
  • Ailanthus altissima, tree-of-heaven
  • Fallopia japonica, Japanese Knotweed
  • Gleditsia triacanthos, Honeylocust
  • Hibiscus syriacus, Rose-of-Sharon
  • Lonicera japonica, Japanese Honeysuckle
... and a few others I'm forgetting at the moment. I don't know what annual species the seasons will reveal.

Fallopia japonica, Japanese Knotweed, at Windsor Farm. These stalks, 3-6" high now, will grow to 8-9' tall by the end of the summer, and produce thousands of seeds.
Fallopia japonica, Japanese Knotweed

On Sunday, the community volunteers began clearing the site, cutting and filling to terrace the slope, and removing debris. I don't know the history of the site. I came across several piles of concrete and rubble that appeared to be construction debris rather than an on-site foundation. It's possible that the site has endured some dumping, though there was no evidence I found of serious trash that has been overcome in the formation of other community gardens.


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Flickr photo set


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Windsor Farm, Windsor Terrace Alliance


Nancy C. said...

Thanks, Xris. It certainly does appear to be a very challenging spot. Great to see so many people enthusiastically working; looking forward to hearing about their progress.

Marie said...

Jeepers. Terraced, raised beds?

Mara said...

This is awesome. Please let me know if this community farm wants to be included as a community garden on OASIS!

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Nancy: There were a lot of people there, and I could only stay for an hour or so before I had to get back to my own gardens. There's a lot of community support for transforming this space.

Marie: Yeah, challenging, as I noted. But I've seen it work in one another Brooklyn community garden, so I know it can be done.

Mara: I'll remind the organizers that they should get counted. Please send me an email to let me know the best way for them to get in touch.

bonnie said...

Knotweed is just plain evil! We've been working on containing it at Sebago but holy cow, there is an entire sidewalk that runs along the Paerdegat Basin that simply vanishes in the summertime. Horrid stuff!