New things are happening…

September 20, 2013 by

Hello fellow lovers of the Frankford Ave Garden,

Stay tuned for a new blog and website. There are new things happening at this sacred site. If you are reading this and would like to contribute to what is happening, come stop by the garden on Friday afternoons, or seek the right people (you know who they are). We are excited to present the full vision of what this garden means in the context of the history of Philadelphia, as well as what it represents to the neighbors and community of Kensington. Thank you to all who have contributed their time and love to this space.

Friends of the Frankford Ave Garden.


miraculous beauty on the ghetto super highway…

April 4, 2012 by

miraculous beauty on the ghetto super highway...

“I dreamt last night, oh marvelous error, that there were honeybees in my heart, making honey out of my old failures.”

—Antonio Machado


March 26, 2012 by

Spring.  Walking around in a garden is a meditation, seeing things long gone suddenly reappearing!  Nothing truly dies.  Now we are preparing for spring, in this time of Lent; how appropriate!  We’re weeding out the bad, and planting some new things, and encountering parts of ourselves we thought we had lost.

Good Friday

April 24, 2011 by

Planted 7 asparagus crowns & more collards. Thanks Amanda for the excellently grown starts. Now we wait for the harlequin bugs to appear. Soap spray?

a note on the puttering reflex…

December 26, 2010 by

sunny rose hip

Gardening is a human being’s most efficient means for reviving the ability to co-communicate with plants. This ability is systematically developed by the reawaking and refining of one’s innate “puttering reflex.”
The puttering reflex is triggered automatically the instant you step into your garden. Since the event of your last appearance in the garden, the resident plants have been growing and anticipating your return, and they will have a variety of organic details they would appreciate that you attend to.
Upon reentering the garden, you sense this intuitively, and in classic reflexive fashion—which seems almost involuntarily performed—you start tending immediately to the salient project nearest at hand. The perpetuation of the reflex loop is automatic as you hear the plants’ requests and respond, hear and respond, hear and respond throughout the garden community. In short time, this “puttering” process shifts gears into enchantment, graceful movements, shameless humming, deliberate creativity, full on joy, and non-resistance to total participation in the well-being of you innate health. Time ceases to exist along with the sidecar full of pressures that habitually ride with time in your life. Garden puttering is a mild form of trance that you enter, and when you come out of this green space, both you and the garden are emotionally and physically transformed. It is ambrosial adventure that enhances your immune system and tones your nervous system. Concurrently, the circulatory system is caressed by your complete disconnection with all time-related stress; the five senses are acutely activated; and like your muscles when enjoyably exercised, the more you us them, in turn, the more pleasure they give you. So, be well, putter forth, and play with the faeries.
The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual
By James Green



Self-Sown Stuff

November 6, 2010 by

We just harvested a lot of cilantro which finally sprouted & grew from last year’s crop, some of which I let go to seed, then scattered earlier in the summer. I love self-sown crops. Besides cilantro, there’s also bok choi, arugula & a good hot purple mustard that have established themselves — even some lettuce still growing from last year’s seeds.

And there’s always wild tomatoes — we’re ripening the last of those now. Flowers too — verbena still blooming, & orange cosmos. Next year I expect to see lots more gaillardia, & the zinnias we planted for a wedding. The four-o’clocks come back year after year as well, ditto the perennial flax, corn-flowers, other stuff. Hollyhocks have become a bad weed. The anise hyssop would probably try to take over large areas if we let it.

No frost yet. Garlic will go in the ground in the next few days, & we’ll sow winter rye in some of the beds. Looking forward to next year…

Dan S.


October 5, 2010 by

It’s been one of those years…It started out pretty good, lots of strawberries, etc. But then it got HOT and DRY. Not even hours of hosing did much. I see that this was the hottest year in recorded history around Philly, even tho we only saw 100+ once, I think. July was sorta OK, but the pattern got worse again for the rest of the season.

Now it’s October. Good rains recently. Lots of work cleaning up & getting ready for next year. Gardeners are always hoping, always saying, “Wait til next year”.

Dan S.

A Ghanian prayer

September 10, 2009 by

The sun has disappeared,
I have switched off the light,
and my wife and children are asleep.
The animals in the forest are full of fear,
and so are the people on their mats.
They prefer the day with your sun
to the night.
But I still know that your moon is there,
and your eyes and also your hands.
Thus I am not afraid.
This day again
you led us wonder-fully.
Everybody went to his mat
satisfied and full.
renew us during our sleep,
that in the morning
we may come afresh to our daily jobs.
Be with our brothers and sisters far away in Asia
who may be getting up now. Amen.

I found this in a book call Earth Prayers that I have yesterday and found it quite beautiful. I am thankful for the evening harvest from a few small city garden plots across the street: winter squash (crazy huge vine  just grew right out of the compost bin!), basil, tomatoes, lemon balm and st. johns wort (both for drying). st. johns wort is known for being medicinal for depression. im saving that stuff for the winter.


Sunrise, Sunset

August 19, 2009 by

Here are some pictures Dan took of the dawn sky as seen from the garden.



I like the shoes, nice touch Dan.


And alas, La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre bathed in the morning light.


The “Virgin of Charity” is tucked away in a quiet and orderly section in the back of the garden, yet she is visible from the front gate, as a welcome into the garden. Here is her story if you would like to read more about her.

tomato pride

August 6, 2009 by

i learned today from the weekly greensgrow email that there is a tomato blight wiping out tomatoes pretty strongly in the northeast of our country. i started my seeds extra early this year, put them out at a daringly early day that would be ambitious at least to call spring, and generally babied them a lot. im not sure yet whether it was entirely worth it, but its been cool to get some early tomatoes that taste delicious.

here are some pictures of a garden project which has been taken on mostly by me. i sure welcome ideas, insight and help any time, but i do also enjoy being the mastermind of it of sorts. or at least just the mind. hope it gets you to want to spend some time digging in the dirt.