Grace Freedman and other members of the Forth on Fourth Committee (FOFA) of the Park Slope Civic Council are hosting a sub-irrigated planter (SIP) workshop on Sunday, September 22, 2013 from 11am to 12:30pm. They will conduct it at the Warren St. Marks Community Garden (Google Map. While you are in the neighborhood, stop by the Re/Max office at 4th Avenue and Garfield Place to see a storefront urban greenscaping installation using sub-irrigated planters.
I will be at the workshop to help answer questions and share information about the many benefits of growing fresh food as well as decorative plants in sub-irrigated planters (SIPs). If you are not aware of them, you owe it to yourself to learn about the horticultural and environmental benefits of SIPs. Tell a friend or bring a friend. You will be welcomed.
Sub-irrigation has been a valuable part of American horticulture for over 100 years. Liberty Hyde Bailey, considered the father of American horticulture, wrote about it extensively. Some of you may know that L.H. Bailey was the founding dean of the NY State College of Agriculture at Cornell University back in 1904.
I learned about sub-irrigation when I ran an interior plantscaping business back in the late 1970's, early '80s. Surprisingly it was not in the U.S. horticultural field of view at that time. The products I first used were European imports (MONA from Sweden and Grosfillex from France).
Somewhere along the way since L.H. Bailey, American horticulture has had a massive case of amnesia. It definitely was not helped by the counter-cultural invasion of both ornamental horticulture and landscape architecture programs when I was attending graduate school at California Polytechnical State University (aka Cal Poly) starting in 1975. I had just left a 20-year high tech career, mostly with IBM.
Hippies were everywhere on the Cal Poly campus scrambling to find career paths other than business or STEM. This is where a great many counter-cultural students found their way into USDA Extension Programs, botanical gardens, interior plantscaping, forest management and landscape architecture.
We live with their rather anti-technology ethos to this day. That, my friends, is not a good thing for the average mainstream consumer who would like to grow some fresh food, decorative container plants or houseplants.
Writing a book is not likely to quickly change a pervasive situation like this but that is what I am going to do when I get back to San Diego in a couple of months. Progressive change has to start somewhere. Sadly, it is not likely to happen in my birthplace called the Big Apple, to me now a mushy apple. My plan at this time is to self-publish a low-cost, heavily illustrated e-book readable on your Kindle or iPad. Stay tuned.
Details about the workshop follow:
Sub-Irrigated Planter (SIP)
Workshop & Build
in the Garden
Sunday, Sept. 22
in the WSMC Garden
Learn how to make SIPs! Help Beautify the Neighborhood!
What are SIPs? SIP stands for Sub-Irrigated Planter and it's a planting method that promises less use of water, less maintenance, and high plant growth for container gardening, including window-boxes and sidewalk planters. It is especially well-suited for urban environments.
On Sunday Sept 22, 2013 at 11am, gardeners from Forth on Fourth Ave (FOFA), a committee of the Park Slope Civic Council, will host a workshop and build session at the Warren St. Marks Community Garden. Come and learn about the SIP system, help us build out some containers that will reside on 4th Avenue and/or bring your own container to adapt. Bob Hyland (www.insideurbangreen.com), local SIP guru, will be on hand to answer questions.
For more information or how you can help contact Grace Freedman, email or 718-858-4847.
Workshop is free and open to public.
Materials needed for workshop (not required, but would be greatly appreciated):
-- Clean, empty plastic water, juice or soda bottles (any size)
-- Plastic take-out or veggies containers (like 8 oz mushroom containers)
-- Your own plastic container or window box (better if NO drain holes, though holes can be plugged if needed. Plastic tubs and buckets can also be used.
-- Bring your own gloves.
Warren St. Marks Community Garden