Friday, July 31, 2009

Jose and Stephane: garden and businesses

Jose German urged me to see his garden this week, and I did. It's a remarkable garden, very different from mine. He has LARGE pots in his macadam driveway in which he raises tomatoes, eggplant, and even collards, showing that a paved driveway need not prevent a gardener from raising vegetables. His three large raised beds next to the driveway have wooden enclosures, and they include many different types of edibles. Vegetables are tucked into a variety of other places among the flowers. He raises potatoes ably, an art I have not yet mastered. His pea vines are still up in many places, dead as is seasonably appropriate, but evidence of a good crop without woodchucks. Maybe the critters don't like Grove Street.

Jose's flowers are amazing and abundant. It is little wonder that his garden, at 69 Grove Street, and mine apparently had the most visitors in Saturday's CNNJ tour.

You may remember that Jose has started his own landscaping and gardening business this year, Green Harmony. (www. 973-233-1106 It is thriving, and he has hired several employees. I keep getting praises from his customers both for his design and maintenance successes.

Jose is one of two of my friends who left a high-paying, money-centered career in NYC to work locally helping people live better lives. The other is Stephane Morteir, who is now a handyman. He writes the following about his current offerings:

"Creative handyman services:
Projects: I analyze problems and present clients with several creative solutions.
Fix/Setup: I also do the traditional fare around the house and outside (walls, doors, insulation, painting, carpentry, plumbing, electricity, landscaping, etc...).
Fix and maintain bikes: I extend the life of these wonderful method of transportation one way or another. I gave a class at the adult school of Montclair last spring, on bike maintenance and ride preparation.
Appliance repairs: Most problems are easily diagnosed with a little research, and fixing them often involves replacing a part, not the whole unit. Having a knowledgeable handyman do the job is a clever way around expensive repairmen (lots of whom end up recommending to buy a new unit for the cost of the repair).
Computer support, repair and maintenance: I've supported technology and users for a bank for 7 years, and still love to share my knowledge of computers to make people more proficient. I can recommend a plan of action to keep your computer humming along for over 5 years (the average life expectancy being less than 2 years). Mine is 7 years old and faster than so many of the computer I work on.

Graphic design: I design ads for stores participating in, business cards/logos and manage web sites design projects.

Voila! (Oh, I give French tutoring and conversational too) It is eclectic, as I follow what I love to do in order to provide the best service to my customers. I am meticulous, creative and naturally try to repair rather than replace."

You can reach Stephane at 973-873-4330.

I have lots of faith in these two men, and I hope we can support them in their useful, local businesses.


No comments: