Meet Jesica Clark! Jesica is teaching Intro to Square Foot Gardening for the HVGA Winter Lecture Series. She is the farmer behind South Pine Street City Farm in Kingston, which has just completed its second year of summer production. Formerly the farmer at Phillies Bridge Farm Project, she has been working on small to mid-sized sustainable-minded farms for 9 years. Jesica also designed one of Hudson Valley Seed Library’s 2013 Art Packs. Read on to discover what she has to say about flower gardeners, cucurbita and calluses.
1. What is your favorite Hudson Valley garden to visit?
There are so many beautiful ones out there, what with all the historical sights and mansions, but my favorite large garden is Innisfree in Millbrook. I just love being immersed in its design and strolling through the little scenes. My favorite small garden is the historic vegetable garden at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie. It’s beautiful, it’s a food garden and it has heritage varieties, what more can you ask?
2. What book should no gardener’s library be without?
For food production, I always think of John Jeavons’ “How to Grow More Vegetables.” To tell the truth, for other gardening tips, I mostly look on the internet!
3. If you were a tree, what would you be?
Maybe witchhazel? Small, useful, flowers when you least expect it.
4. What new (to you) plant do you have to have this year?
I just got a baby bay laurel tree as a present and I am so very excited to have it!
5. If you were to plant a 3 genus garden…
Cucurbita (cucumbers, melons, zucchini), Phaseolus (string beans, pole beans, runner beans), Solanum (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants)….all the good stuff of summer, easy.
6. Garden tool you can’t live without?
My digging fork. I literally cannot garden without it.
7. Gloves or no gloves?
No gloves unless it’s really cold out. Even if I forget and start off with gloves, I take them off halfway through because I just love the feel of soil and plants. Also, the calluses I get make me feel like a badass.
8. Favorite place to shop for plants in the HV?
I always like going to Catskill Native Nursery. And for seeds, I love the Hudson Valley Seed Library.
9. If you could spend the day gardening with anyone, who would it be?
Albert Einstein. I don’t even know if he liked gardening, I just think you get into the most interesting conversations when you’re gardening together and I think he would have been fascinating to talk to.
10. Any garden outings planned for this season?
I keep wanting to go down to NYC to visit the various urban farms and gardens there. Maybe I’ll make it next year.
11. I’d like to learn more about _________.
Flower garden design for small spaces and front yards. I envy people who can design beautiful flower gardens.
12. What project, plant, idea, etc. are you most excited about this season?
Currently I am in the middle of a compost heated greenhouse project funded through a SARE grant and I am really excited for the spring when I get to use it to grow seedlings for South Pine Street City Farm. The compost is made of coffee grounds and yard waste and heats up the greenhouse without electricity or fossil fuels. I’m looking forward to raising my own seedlings so close to home, as well as working with community gardeners to help them raise seedlings for their gardens.
Intro to Square Foot Gardening
Sunday, February 10th at 11am
Art Society of Kingston, 97 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401
South Pine Street City Farm
27 South Pine Street, Kingston, NY 12401
(Farm location only, no mail)