Herb Spiral Tour and Solstice Happenings at Children’s Garden at Campos

As we told you last week, Children’s Garden at Campos has been working with the Boys Club of New York to create an herb spiral in the middle of the children’s garden space. An herb spiral is a permaculture garden that uses a spiral of rocks or bricks to contain soil and other filler to grow a diverse array of herbs. For more information on how we built the herb spiral, see NYC Foodscape’s June 18 post, “Boys Club of New York’s Herb Spiral Project Incorporates Math, Permaculture Design, Soil Science, and Microclimates.”

Herb spiral in progress
Herb Spiral before strawberry tower planted


The herb spiral is complete and has been fully planted as of this weekend. Here’s a tour of the plants from the top of the spiral to the bottom:

  1. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 12-36″ tall
  2. Pineberry strawberry (Fragaria ananassa-hybrid), 8-12” tall
  3. Flavorfest strawberries (Fragaria ananassa-hybrid) 12-16” tall
  4. French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus Sativa) 12-24″ tall
  5. Rue (Ruta graveolens), Perennial, 18-24” tall
  6. Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) 12-24″ tall
  7. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) 12-20” tall
  8. Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum) 12-18″ tall
  9. Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus), Perennial, 6-12″ tall
  10. Italian Oregano (Origanum majoricum), Perennial 15-24″ tall
  11. Prostate Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’)) 2-6″ tall, 1-4’ long (if unharvested), Perennial in warmer climates
  12. Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), Perennial 8-12″ tall
  13. Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) 2-5′ tall
  14. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ), Perennial, 8-10″ by 18″ wide
  15. Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) 2′ tall
  16. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) 12-15″ tall
  17. Purple Sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’), Perennial, 15-14” tall
  18. Calendula (Calendula officinalis), 1-3′ tall
  19. French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus) Perennial, 2-3′ tall
  20. Variegated Sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Icterina’), Perennial, 18-24″ tall
  21. Italian Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), Biennial, 2′ tall
  22. Dill (Anethum graveolens) 18-20″ tall
  23. Bergamot or Orange Mint (Mentha piperita citrate) Perennial, 18” tall
  24. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), Perennial, 15-18” tall

Interspersed between the herbs are marigold plants for an eventual splash of color. Here are some photos of various vantage points of the spiral to get a good look:

Rosemary and Pineberry strawberry plants at top
Strawberry tower with tarragon, oregano, basil and marigold
Another view of strawberry tower with chives, thai basil, lemon thyme and rue
View of eastern and northern side of spiral
Eastern side of spiral
Western side of spiral with lower plants (Calendula, variegated sage and italian parsley) visible
Roman Chamomile
Final turn of spiral
Spiral from the north, with catchment “pond”
















In an upcoming post, we’ll talk about some of the herbs, their characteristics and give you some healthy and delicious ways to use them.

Herb Spiral Planted with herbs and strawberries


Here is more news about what’s been happening at the Children’s Garden and Campos Community Garden in the last days of spring:

The Culture and Horticulture of Campos Community Garden at Solstice

Beyond its prolific vegetable growing and inspiring youth education, Campos has become an epicenter for numerous art, music and other cultural activities. Recently, it hosted several events, including Essential Elements, a dance recital by the East Village Teen Dance Company, a Spanish guitar performance by Marcelo Guimaand exhibits from The Cultural Immigrant project, presented by Campos, Arts Loisaida, our fiscal sponsor, along with Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens (LUNGS) and several other East Village community groups:



John Legend Film about Ron Finley and South Central Community Gardeners to Include Photos of Children’s Garden at Campos 
CYDTNYC Foodscape was contacted by the filmmakers of “Can You Dig This?” asking for photos from the garden to use in the credit sequence of the documentary, in exchange for credit and special thanks. Can You Dig This? is executive produced by musician John Legend and stars Ron Finley, LA’s “gangster gardener.” Finley “plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where ‘the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.'” His TEDtalk is one of the most watched among of TED’s talks with over 2.3 million views.

The film explores the urban gardening revolution currently taking place in South Central Los Angeles, what Finley calls one of the largest food “prisons” in the country. The film follows Finley and the inspirational personal journeys of four other ‘gangster gardeners,’ all planting the seeds for a better life. The director, Delila Vallot, recently won the LA Muse Award  at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where the film had its World Premiere two weeks ago. We’ll keep you posted about the films full release so you can keep an eye out for photos of Campos’ youth in the rolling credits!

More Film Happenings
Another local documentary filmmaker is looking at the historical, cultural and culinary aspects and relevance of community gardens in the Lower East Side’s Puerto Rican community. He has used Campos as a filming location, taking footage of gardeners, interviewing them, including asking NYC Foodscape’s President Carolyn Zezima to help film gardening activities with a GoPro camera on her head. We’ll keep you posted when we learn more about the documentary’s release and title.

Author as “assistant cinematographer” with GoPro camera filming gardening activities for documentary in production
Filmmaker talks to gardeners and East Village neighbors after Spanish guitar concert about role of gardens in EV and Puerto Rican culture
Heirloom tomato bed going gangbusters
Sorrel plant and dill go to seed
Bee attractors getting ready to seduce
Milkweed to bring back the butterflies
















Solstice Photo Interlude

Here are a few Solstice photos of the garden, as spring ends and summer begins. The Boys Club is on hiatus until July 9, so we will update you with more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and other garden learning activities (and cooking!!) when they return. We’ll also give you a more detailed map of the types and varieties of garden plants in an upcoming post. We’ll also give you some recipes as the peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers and beans begin to ripen.











































Lavender, dill and borage
Sage flowers
Edamame in straw bales
Mixed lettuce in straw bale
Lemon cucumbers climbing the trellis
Okra and peppers
Blueberries among the borage
Fennel and flowers
Dill forest
Red Radicchio
Roma Tomato Plant with Basil and Marigold
Purple podded peas


Happy Summer!!

























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