Waters Garden after dark

a message from Arunas:

Depending on when you visit, you may have noticed that there seems to be a new lock or no lock on the garden shed every other day. That’s because someone has been coming to Waters Garden after dark and breaking into the garden shed and stealing things, or sometimes not stealing things and just writing on the chalkboard and replacing our lock with their own. These are strange times we’re living in.
That being said, the lock and combination have been changed, so ask me, Pete, Poppy or Jules if you want the new new combination to access the shed. We’d prefer not to make the combination too widely available.
If you have not yet emailed me (astatk@yahoo.com) your info and plot number, please  do so. The plot numbers are affixed to some part of the wood if you have a wooden box plot, and affixed to a piece of wood that’s been put in your plot if you have one of the more interesting shaped plots.
A note on water: The water is being shut off periodically during construction of the new wing, so if no water is flowing that’s probably why. If you know how to use the spigot and are lucky enough to be there when the water is on, please refill the blue bucket on the north end of the community garden after you’re done watering your plot. If you’d like to learn how to use the spigot, please email me at astatk@yahoo.com and I could show you how to use it. It’s very simple, but not always intuitive.
Once the shelter in place orders get eased or are lifted, we hope to start up limited garden nights, possibly have garden night stretch out over a couple of days during the week or have a garden day during the week when smaller groups can show up and work in shifts. Until then, there are plenty of tasks in the garden — from weeding to spreading wood chips — which [I heard somewhere] have meditative qualities that others have been known to travel many miles, spend many dollars and spend many hours sitting painfully to achieve — all right here in the neighborhood! If you have a yen to get out of the house and do some work in the garden, Pete is there most days at 10:00 a.m. and he’d be happy to have the help. Please bring your own gloves and wear one of the day-glo green vests hanging in the shed if they’re available.


Five or six years ago one of the baristas from Beans & Bagels on Rockwell started showing up each afternoon with pounds and pounds of coffee grounds. Someone pointed in the direction of the area on the north part of the community garden where today we have the four plots on their own, and he started dumping there. Every afternoon. For months. Throughout the summer a mountain of coffee grounds grew, until it was probably 10 feet tall. That fall we flattened the mountain and spent a garden night and burning material on top to neutralize the acidic ph of the hundreds of pounds of coffee grounds to create some wonderful soil and room for four garden plots. 
Fast forward to 2020 and Waters Garden’s compost bins have become a victim of our own success with visitors from all corners of the Northside—from Lakeview to Andersonville—schlepping their rotting food waste and dumping it our compost bins. We love the enthusiasm, but we can’t handle all those avocado rinds and egg shells. But that barista who spent a summer dumping coffee grounds at Waters Garden now has his own composting business which we recommend you check out. The company is Wastenot Compost and for $6-$10 a week, they’ll pick up your kitchen scraps in a five-gallon bucket and leave you a clean bucket in its place to refill. Imagine the milkman from the days of yore, but instead of delivering milk they’re taking your kitchen scraps.