Living in Staten Island, we are the pit of all jokes from the rest of the boroughs. Whenever I meet new people in the other boroughs (especially Manhattan) and tell them that I live in Staten Island, they give me this face, that is part disgust and part "why on Earth would you live there"? If I had a dollar for every "face" I would have lots of extra money to spend on my garden. Haha. I don't blame them. I too am guilty of this "face" before I moved here. The reason we considered Staten Island was because I lived decades of my life in Queens, Brooklyn (I never lived in Manhattan) and to be honest, I grew tired of living in a 850 square foot apartment (or less) with no backyard, no terrace, no "outdoors" to speak of. We are lucky to have a pretty substantial backyard. Also, Staten Island actually has a lot of amazing things to do. There are beaches, an amazing Botanical Garden, Museums, and the Staten Island Zoo. However, many people in the other boroughs rarely come into Staten Island to see these fun places. It's a bit of a trek if you don't have access to a car. Which most people in the city do not. It's also not very accessible with mass transit.
I visited the zoo for the first time yesterday with some friends we had visiting from out of town. To my surprise, in the middle of the zoo was this pretty cool vegetable garden. I have never seen a vegetable garden at any zoo I've been to.
The basil was gigantic. I mean huge Italian leaf basil. Giant leaves. The smell was out of this world. I really wanted to pick a leaf and pop it in my mouth, but I resisted. Hahahhaha If you bigify this photo, you will see tomato plants, eggplants, and basil. I kept thinking, how in the heck did they grow this basil so big. I saw that they were sitting on raised beds. The soil must be rich with fertilizer or nutrients.
Here in the back of this photo are some pepper plants. Aren't they huge? They were easily 5 feet tall. I was in awe of how large the plants are. I'm growing peppers too, and it sure as heck does not look like that! I couldn't help but wonder if these vegetables are eaten by either the animals or used within the Cafe at the zoo. There was no sign near the garden. We also saw grapevines at the zoo also, with grapes. However, my camera ran out of battery so I didn't get a photo. Staten Island Zoo, you're pretty cool in my book.