Monday, July 31, 2006


Wow, I can't believe July is ending. I guess that means that half the summer is over... Oh well, tempus fugit, but that's nothing new. So today, Monday, we did a lot of work on the garden; or so it seemed. After we finished the postcard booklets for Sara D. Roosevelt Park, we worked on the stencils for the garden. We had to modify each of the stencils to make them match each other. After a stencil was designed and tested, even though it looked good, there still seemed to be something missing. Something could be changed to make it look better, but it was hard to decide how to change it. While the stencil-improving was going on, Yanely was working on the "Water Me!" "Pick Me!" "Grow Me!" and "Plant Me!" signs. It seemed pretty frustrating working with Adobe Photoshop. I guess it's not that easy. Then, we FINALLY went to the garden. We cleaned up, moved the bean plants into a sunnier area, and planted the lettuce into the empty planter. Quite a few kids showed up to help out. It was nice. Well, that's all for today. Peace out.

Friday, July 28, 2006

the power of the key

What's up y'all. It's Justin and Eric. There isn't much to say for today because we are only going to be here for two hours. That's because of the workshop on Tuesday, which counted for eight hours of work so we can work three hours less. So we'll tell you what happened yesterday.

Yesterday, we went to the garden at 11 AM. We watered the plants and passed out fliers to kids, inviting them to come to the garden. During that time, we experienced some very funny events. While we were watering the plants, Eric noticed that the two containers were low on water. He suggested that we go fill them up with the hose. Then Eric plugged the hose into the faucet at the side of the school. But, we found out that the knob to turn on the faucet was gone. So we went in to the school and asked the people there to help us turn it on. The janitor helped turn it on with a screwdriver-like object that fits into the missing knob area. When the container was full, we went to find the janitor to turn it off but he wasn't there. The containers were overflowing so Justin went and filled up the watering cans while Eric tried to close the faucet with his hands. And then a miracle, Eric gave up trying to close it with his hands and started playing with the garden keys. He saw a weird object that looked like it would fit into the missing knob hole and it fits! And that's how we saved the garden from overflowing.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

a short fun-filled day

Today we started off by making another list of things to do for SDR and the garden. The SDR group continued organizing the postcards and making them into booklets while the garden group continued to work on our "Harvest Me!" stamps trying out different ways to make them work better. The "Harvest Me!" stamps were a huge pain especially since we were cutting styrofoam and we were cutting out small letters. After a few hours of hard work, everyone became hungry so we started our potluck! Everyone brought or bought different types of food and we all shared and ate until we were bloated. There was rice, noodles, dumplings, fried bananas, cherries, a huge watermelon (which we didn't even finish eating), and red bean ice cream. Everything was delicious but we couldn't finish it all and gave some food to some people in leroy street studio who have helped us. A bunch of people also came down to eat some watermelon. We also took a bunch of pictures while we ate, everyone had a lot of fun. Maybe we will have another potluck next week.

man, i forgot again

Hello, it's Emilija Bedilija. so maybe my day shouldnt be wednesday and rather thursday to post a blog. Anyway, i will talk about yesterday, wednesday the 26th. The day started out with the new morning meeting method where Ona, Ming, Yanely, Alex and I meet at 9:30 to have a discussion of what has to be done during the day. We made a list of what to do, and then Alex had to leave to pick up some, actually a lot of donated soil for the garden using Diana's truck. In the meantime, the Interns and I did what we had to do. When Alex came back, we all kind of jumped in surprise and then tried to avoid being near him because he was covered in dirt, and closley resembled a bum. We had lunch, and then went to the garden. It was actually a very successful garden day because many kids and some adults showed up and helped us in the garden. We also harvested many peaches. Then Claire visited! We were all very happy to see her. That was Wednesday the 26th.


hi this is jeantte again =) sry nothing was posted yesterday. Worked another long day at the garden. We harvest all the peaches at the garden! i ate a few =x they're pretty good. We also grouted the planter that the kids from ps 134 created. It was fun at first but it got messy when i started to use my hands because the tools weren't working for me. We also got a truck load of pottsoil, around 25 bags. It was a pain in the ass to carry them to the garden but we need the soil. We have this purple pink stuff that when you plant it and water it, it will grow a variety of flowers. I helped prune the peach tree since we picked all the peaches off of it. We put them into a bucket and when we got back to hester street, we put them all in a giant brown bag so that they would ripe more. Some of the other interns replanted the rest of the tomatoes into planter. We had some kids from a local afterschool program helping us. It was really fun. They really helped with watering and grouting the mosaic planter. Some of the other interns raked the empty planters and mixed in potting soil into it. We put some potting soil into the pots that had only dry dirt and we planted some new seeds into them such as lettuce, carrots, and beans. We did a lot. We really need more seeds for the loney, empty, potting soil. =(

pictures of the peaches that we picked:

yummy peaches =p

a few kids from the local afterschool helping out the interns replant the tomatoes. =)

why good day

hello, hi, labas, hey, hola, bonjour.
(several ways of saying hello)
anywayss, today is not my official blog day (tuesday is) but i forgot and as a result i am writing one right now!!
on tuesday, i worked really hard on creating posters for the garden. the posters had a picture of a peach on them and read "harvest me!". These posters were made in an effort to create awarness of the garden and spur exitement and envolvment of the community. yesterday, we took these posters and put them up around the area of p.s. 134. this way, people who walk by the posters will find out about the garden and hopefully want to find out more about it. Contact information was included on the posters on little rip off peices attatched to the end. we also worked ALOT in the garden yesterday. I helped load huge bags of mixing soil that almost crushed me under their heavy weight. Alex helped me load them onto my shoulder while Jeanette pointed to the ones i should take. She ws afraid of falling down under the weight and resulted in playing with a centipede and a leaf in the trunk of the pick up while alex and i did the grueling labor that should have recieved extra high pay but unfortunately did not. I guess the advantage is that we will get nice toned bodies and pirky muscles. After a nice lunch and some time spent in refreshing air conditioning, we all headed over to the garden. We spent time transplanting tomato plants, watering and sweeping. I even made some grout necessary to fill the cracks in the tile mosiac of a plot. A good thing is that 4 little kids showed up. Hopefully they are becoming aware of the garden and enjoying themleves.
Well, enough for now.
-Queen Ona

Monday, July 24, 2006


Hey, it's Steph. Today, we got a visit from Rachel, who is a designer of some sort. Part of her profession is to observe how people use things as opposed to the way they were designed to be used. With her observations, she designs those objects in a way to that'll make them more useful, or easier to use. That's pretty much what the park group is supposed to do with Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The garden group started designing posters/fliers to advertise for the dirt days at the P.S. 134 community garden. We made a few drafts for the fliers. Then, Alex said we could make stamps that say "Harvest Me!" with an image of a peach. We made a big one for bigger sheets of paper and a small one for postcards that we could hand out to people walking by on the street. The stamps were cool, even though they were hard to make. When we tried them out with paint, we found that the print came out better if we used paint brushes instead of ink rollers. The prints we made with the ink rollers weren't as clear as the ones we made with the paint brushes. With the paint brushes, we were able to put paint on just the words and image. With the ink rollers, paint got all over the stamp block, even in places we didn't want it to. A lot of excess paint was in the spaces between the letters of the words, too. It was hard to clean. While we were finishing up the stamps, the park group went out to the garden. They watered the plants and swept the floor -- the regular stuff. That was pretty much it for the day. Bye bye, kiddies!

Friday, July 21, 2006

<('.' <)<( '.'<)<( '.' <)<( '.' )>(> '.' )>(>'.' )>(> '.')> dance kirby dance

Yo, it's Justin and Eric both of us again. Today was awesome. The only interns that came in today were the both of us, Ona and Emilija because everyone else had today off. We had fun painting the animals that were cut out that would be the mascots of each grade at PS134. Then we looked for pictures of dragonflies and hummingbirds for the mascots. We found a great one for a hummingbird and were about to print it out, but something really funny happened. When it was about to be printed out, someone printed on the transparent papers that Eric put into the printer. Therefore, he had to put another transparent paper into the printer. Also, Jenny from CPC came and interviewed us. It was cool and funny. Then it was time to go to the garden, but it was delayed because it was raining really hard. We waited until the rain stopped to go. Then it was time to go, but we came back after walking a few blocks because it was thundering. Alex said if it thundered six times, we were going back. So here we are, back, typing the blog. And that's all for now. Peace in the middle east!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

about wednesday

Hey it's Em writing. So today is thursday, but I'm going to talk about yesterday, which ofcourse was Wednesday....yay a garden day. The day started out with my group (garden group) diligently and patiently cutting out animal stencils. Once our fingers felt like they were going to fall off we decided to stop and brainstorm some ideas of how to achieve our garden group goal: encouraging community members, students and teachers (of P.S. 134) to help create an educational garden that they would be proud of and excited to be associated with. Then for lunch, wednesday lunch, we all met at Seward park to eat together. Some of us got wet, while others prefered to be dry, or they were just too lazy after eating a lunch full of MSG to run around in the sprinklers. Anyway, it was a fun lunch and Alex pointed out that the parking meters on the street were solar powered. I think he was really excited about it. As soon as we returned to Hester Street, half of us went to the garden and the other half of us sanded the shelves of our table. It was hard and sweaty work. Then we went to the garden and I ate a peach off of the peach tree. It was good, a little hard and sour but nontheless peachy. Then Alex's friend Lizzy came and tought us how to transplant cucumber plants. Unfortunately Alex happened to dribble some worm poop juice on my shoulder which made me a little sad, but I enjoyed learning how to transplant a cucumber plant. Berfore I knew it, it was six o'clock and time to hop on my bike and ride home!!

an exciting day full of action

Today we arrived to our beautiful, new, fully built table. we divided into two groups one working on preparations for the garden, and the other working on the Sarah D. Roosevelt Park project. The latter organized the postcards and began to create an efficient system of recording the data we have found so far. A design professional friend of Alex's will be coming in on Monday to assess our work so we need to be prepared to present. We printed out the photos we took at the park and made them into very aesthetically pleasing postcards. We need to present the types of people we found hang out in the park, what they do, and their age groups. Yesterday a trip to Columbus park showed us how other parks are used and how their design benefits the community.
The garden group is creating signs to make sure that all the community members know about next DIRT DAY!!! Anybody can come help out at the garden. We are looking for those with experience and without. We will be transplanting the potted plants and maybe sneaking some of the peaches and beans. The peaches are almost ripe but still a little yellow and hard. Maybe we'll make a pie or something to celebrate the harvest.

long long long work

Sorry nothing was posted yesterday. Hi this is jeanette again. I'm an intern at hester streets collaborative just to remind you. Yesterday we went to the garden near ps 134. I worked until 6 something at the garden. It was tiring but fun. At first we were weeding the plants so that we can plant some potted plants and vegetables into the planters. We finally decided to transport the tomatoes and the corn plants to a planter but we didn't know how so Alex had a friend come in and teach us. We dug a ditch big enough for the plant to fit and then we put fertilizer into the ditch, the fertilizer is water that had worms living in, then we put dirt over it so the plant doesn't touch the fertilizer directly. When plants are transported, they are sensitive so its best to keep them from the fertilizer for now. Then we covered the roots with dirt and learned to make mounts so when we water the plants, the water doesn't go anywhere else but the plant. We also harvested lettuce because we noticed that some lettuce looked fried from the last dirt day. We were planning to harvest the peas but we some how forgot. The peaches look good enough to eat, but we can't pick it yet because they aren't ripe. I ate one though.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Hellooo. It's Jennifer again. It's so crazily hot these days. Yesterday we worked at the garden again, and I swept stuff. We also might have drowned the plants because we wanted to get rid of the water from those huge barrels. They should be okay, since they were so dry when we got there. There were also sprinklers in the nearby park, and we ran through them a few times. It felt really nice. There was a CVS Pharmacy, which felt like heaven because it was air conditioned. We bought a small bucket of strawberry ice cream, and that was really good too. Today we printed pictures I took at the park. They actually came out pretty nice. I really want those swings to be fixed, because everybody likes swings. We're also finishing up the big table in the basement, and it's really shiny right now. Stephanie and Eric are putting yet another coat of polyurethane on it.

A few days ago I was covered with sawdust (we were cleaning up the basement). It was pretty fun, and I liked how it came off so easily. Stephanie and I also carried all of Mark's boxes up to the second floor, and it was quite an experience. There was this really heavy box that we carried up the stairs together. It always felt like falling, and I think we disturbed some of those serious looking people on the second floor. The basement is so much cleaner now though.

Work here is fun as always.

ona likes to build things

Hello, hello, hello!!
Currently, I am sitting at a computer that is very dusty. In fact, my hands are pale because they are covered in light yellow sawdust. Wondering where all this sawdust came from??? Well, i will tell you. These piles upon piles of sawdust in every nook and crany of the basement are from the many hours of sanding a table that we are building. In fact, I helped design this table and it is marvelous to see it almost completely done. We are planning to eat lunch on it tomorrow. Hopefully it works out. The table has gone through many stages of being sanded and then painted upon with polyurethane. Alex is a perfectionist, but so am I so it is okay. This morning I spent quite a while organizing postcards of the park, analyzing them and brainstorming ideas of how to get public opinion. We need the public opinion in order to go through the reconstruction process. Today we are also going to be building the shelves of the table. The last thing that needs to be done to finish it!! YAY! I also can't wait for tomorrow when we get to go to the garden. My plan is to hang plants from the fence. That way we can spice up the walls of the garden and effectively let all the plants get sunlight.
Until next week,

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Slow Day...

Hey, this is Stephanie. So, it's Monday again. Today was a pretty slow day. We started out trying to finish what we didn't get to do on Friday. We sanded the tables more. I learned how to put a sanding block together -- yay! We cropped and edited the photos of Sara D. Roosevelt Park. It took us a while to find the pictures on the computer because we forgot where we saved them. We were supposed to scan the postcards that we made, but we didn't know where they that didn't work out so well. We made a guest book for the garden. Jeanette made a really nice cover for it. Then, we had lunch. Now, we're about to go out to the garden and fix it up. We made a whole list of things to do there. I hope it won't be too tiring. Ahh, it's so hot outside. Oh, and Claire's not here anymore, so we're going to have to work a lot harder -- boo. =( She's gonna come back and visit though, so yay!

EDIT -- 10:06 PM
It's Steph again. I'm at home now, but I thought I'd fill in what we did at the garden today. We cleaned up the wagon that all the tools were in. It was pretty hard, but not as hard as cleaning the barrels of water. We had to find somewhere to dump all the dirty water and refill the containers with cleaner water from the hose. We decided to water everything. We even watered the trees on the sidewalks. The barrels were really heavy, so it was hard to drag them to another area to dump it out. Uhh...what else did we do... We swept a lot, as always... Oh yeah, we used chalk to tell people to come to the garden. We wrote "Come to the P.S. 134 Garden" at most of the entrances of the playground. Then, when Alex got there, we studied some of the pots of plants. We had to pull some weeds out of some of the pots because they were blocking the sunlight for what we wanted to grow in those pots. We'd have to research on some of the plants because we're not sure what they look like and how to take care of them; like okras and how to transplant cucumbers. I think that was about it. Hmm...okay, good night!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

a very busy day

Today was a very busy and exciting day... well, sort of. With so many things to do, it was hard to determine exactly what to do first. We have been working on publicizing the garden, the Sarah D. Roosevelt project, the table etc... We've been making postcards depicting the comings and goings of the park next door and plan to send them to the head of the parks department. We want the park to be a place that fits the neighborhood's wants and needs. Old people and young people alike use it daily for, often times, very different purposes. We organized the postcards, making them as clear as possible to those who will be receiving them. We scanned them so as we will have a documentation of the project and, brainstormed on exactly how we would bring attention to our cause. We might take a survey in the near future, but that would involve writing in Chinese.Uh oh. Later, we began to redesign the stencils, we want them to have a stylized appearance and will use them to promote the park with t-shirts and other paraphenalia. At present, we are uprooting the garden in front of all the weeds and garbage, it will be lovely.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hard at work in the garden

Hi this is Jeanette. I'm an intern working at Hester street collaborative. It has been about a week since i worked here. It's kind of fun working here. Today has been a busy day. In the morning, we were preparing things and events for kids from ps134 that were planning to come back to the garden to help us and also bring in the plants that they planted last time. We were also sanding the tables down because the polyurethane didn't work out. Some of us interns went out to Sarah D. Roosevelt Park to draw on more post cards of things we think needs to be changed in the park. After lunch, we went to the garden to see what we can improve or fix up in the garden. Today was my first time at the garden. Claire and Yanely were pruning the rose bush and trees that were blocking sun light from other plants. Ona and I were mixing dry dirt with the potting soil into pots so that when the kids bring in their plants, we have soil ready for them to put their plants in. Jennifer, Judith, and Stephine were watering the plants and sweeping the dead leaves and dirt in the garden. Eric and Justin were helping to lossen up the dry dirt but they decided to quit so all the girls helped to shovel the extra dirt into the corner of the garden. A lady came in today and bought in the cucumber plant that her child was growing. The lady was really excited. Another lady bought in corn that her child was growing. There wasn't actual corns but there were sprouts. Also there are peaches growing on the peach tree and apples growing on the apple tree. I want to pick the peaches when they are ripe. The tomatoes are growing nicely and so are the peas. The sunflowers are blooming into little flowers and there are some peppers growing too. We found only one strawberry in the strawberry patch. We decided to move all the potted vegetables onto the bunch next to the fence where people walk so that we can attract more people and get them interested in helping out in the garden. We decided to leave the garden when we were done cleaning up, because it sounded like it was about to rain, but when we got back to Hester Street, more people started to come in and wanted to plant their plants into the garden. I had a fun day working at the garden, even though there were bugs everywhere.

work-hard wednesday

Hello, this is Emilija, or Em for short, speaking. Today was the day. We (all of the interns) were going to go to the garden and have a bunch of kids come in and plant and do the many art projects we had planned. Unfortunately the weather predicted thunderstorms and we were forced to accept the fact that our grand plan might not work out. However, despite our grim expectations, we managed to accomplish an impresive amount of work in the garden. We cleared an entire plot, we swept and got rid of all of the annoying leaves, we pruned the trees, and adjusted the vines. We worked hard and were anxiously moving about trying to race the storm so that we could finish as much as we could in the garden. Also, two parents brought in plants, and Ming and I made a successful trip to the materials store and managed to bring back a bag full of disgustingly heavy grout without breaking our backs. Oh, and not to forget, this morning we sanded the table, made certificates, and practiced making postcards. Right now, Alex is in the garden with some other interns and apperently some kids are there too! Today was a grand day after all. I am having a good time at HSC, and look foward to working here throughout the summer. I also am very excited to see the garden progress throughout the summer.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

yay! tuesday.

Hello!!! My name is Ona Vaiva Rygelis, i am 16 years old and an intern at Hester Street Collaborative this summer of 2006. This has been my third day of work and im lovin it! So far i have helped design and build a table, observed people in Sarah D. Roosevelt park, and worked on making successful stencils for the kids at p.s. 134. These are all parts of several projects we have been working on at HSC. The main goal of these numerous projects is to create a pleasant, successful and collaborative community. I never thought that i would be capable of designing a table let alone building one!! I also came to realize the effort put into maintaining a garden. There must be a community or some group of people involved in taking care of and maintaining a garden constantly. I always thought one just plants a seed and voila! The sun and rain took care of the rest! I guess not. I am really looking forward to the next few weeks of working here. I obviously learn something new everyday!


Hi people. I'm Jennifer, an intern at Hester Street Collaborative. Everything has been so fun. These few days I went to Sarah D. Roosevelt Park to observe the activities of random people. We want to rebuild the park in a way that fits their needs and make the place even better. Today I helped paint over the newly made wooden table with polyurethane, which apparently prevents water absorption in the wood. I really like the smell of paint, unlike many other people. I'm weird. I heard it was poisonous too. Yesterday I had a mini presentation, and I'm aware that I should be louder and more relaxed. That's something I aim to get better at this summer. Last Friday I worked at the garden, and it was nice and tiring at the same time. I've never been so dirty before, but it's not so bad. I'm very happy with the work here at HSC, and it's definitely going to be a great experience for me.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Hi, this is Stephanie andClaire. Today, we started the day off with brainstorming ideas for activities at the garden on Wednesday. Claire ran the discussion beautifully. A few of the ideas we came up with were potato stamps, fun games, and postcard-making. Then, we split up into pairs and elaborated on the ideas. Alex told us how to make good presentations. Mostly, speak confidently and clearly and make eye contact with the audience. Afterwards, we continued with what we did last week; working on the table, studying the Sarah D. Roosevelt Park, and working on the garden. After lunch, we made a whole bunch of postcards for Wednesday. Claire and Em worked on making stencils for the activities at the garden. We went to the garden and cleaned up a lot. We fixed up the fence that kept the dirt from going out onto the sidewalk. We began emptying a planter into pots, which was really hard and tiring. Then, we walked back to Hester St. and took a well-deserved break...until now. Until next time...Stephanie and Claire. Dun dun dun!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hard and dirty work

Hi this is Justin and Eric. We've just gotten back from the garden that we have been working on. We are exhausted from all the digging we did. We visited a woman, named Diana, who taught us how to print images on T-shirts using a screen. It was okay. Mostly we just mixed the paint, but Eric also put paint onto the screen for me to print the picture onto the paper. We did a lot more at the garden. We dug out a lot of bricks. Eric dug out a few worms. We learned that they live after they're cut in half. It was awesome. The hard part was when the dirt kept coming back down when we dug deep in to the hole so we put on gloves and dug with our hands. To make a tiring story short, we successfully dug a ditch by the fence and we left. Then, we bought soda. It was awesome. Well that's all for now. Peace out y'all. 'Til next time, which is next Friday.