Monday, September 10, 2012


After six weeks abroad I returned to New York City and was shocked to see the Lakshmi Garden overgrown with weeds. Ok. I wasn't actually shocked. We had been locked out earlier in the summer by the property "owners", and a drunken, disgruntled, neighbor, who has been actively campaigning against the garden was caught red-handed,tearing down our sign at 3am (recovered). After that there was a degree of emotional exhaustion that ensued.
Vincent in action

Rachel gets it done
Jeremy D. however was undeterred and his fresh energy led the charge back into the fray. I was woozy with jet-lag when he insisted that we get back to work... immediately. He urged me to send out a call for volunteers via email. I didn't see the point. With barely 12 hours notice I doubted any busy Manhattanite would respond. I was wrong. At our peak last Saturday there were 10 volunteers working in the garden.

We had reached an agreement with the "owners of record" at the last block association meeting. After we articulated to them that "we come in peace" their position changed from eviction to "not opposed to the garden but concerned with liability issues". Fortunately for us our fiscal sponsor stepped up to the plate and provided us coverage. The rider and other documentation has been forwarded to them. They have not responded. Our position is that until we hear otherwise... it's a go.

On September 1st while I was out of town there was a Harlem Gardens walk. Jeremy was there to host and relayed to me via text that over 100 people visited the Lakshmi Community garden.  Among them was Roland C. deputy director of Green Thumb. He enthusiastically supports our efforts and has articulated a plan going forward. You can imagine how pleased I was to read this poolside in Reno.

Thanks to all of you who showed up last Saturday. Tremendous inroads are being made toward establishing our garden infrastructure.

If you are reading this and are interested in participating, please come by. Lakshmi Community Garden embraces the principles of Radical Inclusion. No one will be turned away. All are welcome.


The miracle pumpkin

My homeboy phil.
Norman and Steven