If you want to be a locovore, you can join a CSA and carefully purchase your produce from select suppliers. Or you can turn your entire front yard into an experimental garden. Over on Sterling Street between Bedford and Washington, Kate Belski is turning a plot less than 100 square feet into a space capable of generating more than 200 pounds of food for her and five roommates.
Tipping the scales means a long list of edibles. To name a basketful or ten: Zucchini, butternut squash, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, lettuce, carrots, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries and eggplants top the list. And it’s all strictly organic.
Squeezing an entire agriculture into an urban garden doesn’t come without its challenges. In order to properly irrigate all the hundreds of plantings, Belski and her husband Will Pollard have installed a drip system that precisely waters each seedling. And the abundance of new growth had attracted its own fans.
“Every time the strawberries start to ripen, it’s kind of a competition between us and the animals who will eat them first,” said Belski. “And we have three cats who like to torture the plants.”
Her interest in local cultivation isn’t just a hobby. It’s part of her and Pollard’s business to create landscapes and gardens that integrate naturally into urban environments. And at home she follows the same principles. The flowers besides her fruits and vegetables are all natural to the Brooklyn area and can be found in the wild.
Have you grown food at home? Share your experiences with PLOG and write us your queries for Kate Belski. We’ll be checking in with her as the summer progresses and sharing more of her knowledge of local flora and gardening. Next visit: A taste test!