Kirk Gordon’s bedroom is ideal for growing plants: light pours in through a pair of windows that look out over his street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, keeping his money tree, jade plant and pencil cactus happy. On the bottom level of a shelving unit, though, he’s brought in some extra help: a set of grow lights casts a bright halo over a row of seedlings and cuttings.
The shelf is home to two types of sumac, a flowering shrub used to make a mouth-puckering spice that he hopes to plant in his backyard this spring; a spindly bough of oregano, propagated from a local community garden; and a few hardy stocks of witch hazel, a native plant that he desperately hopes will grow roots in his new home.
This ragtag collection of roots and leaves is part of a grand plan that Mr. Gordon, a landscape architect, has for the apartment he moved into last December. He hopes to plant a backyard full of native plants that will support local biodiversity. It may even become a place to grow seedlings for Imani Community Garden in Crown Heights, where he has been a member since last spring, helping with composting efforts and harvesting food from communal plots.
SCAPE in Manhattan.
A hopeful roommate search: “In my listings, I tried to express that I am looking to establish a home, and I’m trying to find people who want the same. As a millennial, you often just find a bunch of strangers and hope it works out.”
Unlikely pets: “We have a worm bin in the basement, with compost worms. We feed them food scraps and cardboard, which they use as bedding, and they turn it all into compost. We can use that in our houseplants, or in the garden.”
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