Glendale community garden awarded compost grant

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Glendale community garden is getting $750 of seed money from the Citizens Committee of New York City to expand its composting capabilities.

“Soil is complicated stuff,” said Gian D’Elia, a Glendale resident who runs the garden, located on 88th Street and 74th Avenue, and applied for the grant  in March. “People just buy a bag of soil and that’s it. They don’t really think about what goes into it.”

The community garden was opened in 2009 by Community Board 5 member Dorie Figliola. Since then, D’Elia became increasingly involved in the garden and it now boasts a bee colony, and all kinds of herbs and fruits.

The garden also has a composting system, the process of breaking down organic trash into a soil additive, but with the grant money they will be able to add three new bins that will churn out fresh compost at a higher rate. D’Elia hopes to get more Glendale residents involved in the process at a time when the community is undergoing its own compost conversion under the city’s pilot program.

“The idea is to get the community involved,” D’Elia said. “Because it’s really a shame that we’re throwing all this usable trash into landfills.”

For now, there are three, sometimes four, households that supply the garden with trash for the compost and they’re hoping that by getting more people involved they will also be able to expand the garden. D’Elia wants to get a few chickens and plant more fruits and vegetables at the site.

“I want to get some chickens here. Chicken poop is great for compost,” D’Elia said. “As we continue to grow we’ll be able to process more compost and supply the whole neighborhood [with compost].”