A group of urban planning students from Paris are visiting a community garden in Ocean Hill today to study whether urban farming can improve nutrition and food choices in low-income urban areas. They’re being hosted by Citizens Committee for New York City, a micro-funding organization that awards grants for community projects throughout the five boroughs.
The students from the Engineering School of Paris are exploring the 19,000-square-foot Phoenix Community Garden at the corner of Fulton and Somers Streets. They’re interested in Phoenix because it hosts a biweekly series of education sessions on gardening, cooking, herbal medicine and dye plants. The garden is also building an outdoor horticultural classroom and improving the garden beds. “Through this project, the group is training a new generation of community gardeners and sharing the deep agricultural wisdom of garden elders,” Citizens Committee told Brownstoner in an email. These topics tie in well with the students’ research study, which compares the impact of urban agriculture in New York, Rome and Amsterdam.
Greenpoint residents and local pols are eyeing the empty lot at 61 Franklin Street to transform it into a community garden. This Saturday, Council Member Steve Levin will host a planning meeting to discuss the organization, rules, responsibilities and membership of this space. The meeting will be held at 2 pm at GoodYoga on Calyer Street. This particular lot, owned by the HPD, has been empty for decades. The momentum to open it up for public use picked up this winter. The organizers are expecting a very good turnout for this weekend’s meeting. You can also track the progress of the garden at the 61 Franklin Street Facebook page. Photo via Facebook
The mural at the GreenSpace garden at President St and Fifth Ave. has gained a haiku by Brooklyn’s poet laureate, Tina Chang. “Encountering verse in a natural setting can deepen the experience of observing the wilderness around us,” said Chang. This is the first of several haikus planned for Brooklyn’s outdoor spaces. On Saturday, Aug. 4 at 4:30 pm, there will be a public reception for the poet in the garden.
The lot at 462 Halsey Street in Bed Stuy has been empty for over 20 years, but now residents are looking to establish a community garden on the land. The folks organizing the push for the garden are looking to raise some money to make it a reality: “In our contract with Green Thumb and HPD, we are required to have the garden up and running 6 months after the contract is signed, therefore it is very urgent to raise money to have the supplies needed to reach that goal.” The goal is $1,052. They hope to someday supply food to Bed Stuy residents and offer a percentage of the harvest for sale to local businesses, to give them the opportunity to financially support the community effort. The goal is to have the garden up and running by Spring 2012. To help make it happen, one can donate here.
Given the time of year, we thought this would be a great time to celebrate one of the most treasured resources in most neighborhoods–the community garden. These labors of love provide an oasis in areas that at some point were on hard enough times that no one wanted to do anything with the vacant lots that dotted them. Cheers to everyone who contributes time and money to sustaining them. Please send us a current photo and a few words about what makes your community garden special and we’ll post it. We’ll also map them so that when we’re done we’ll have a map with links to all the gardens in Brownstone Brooklyn. We’ll kick things off with this shot of the Cedar Tree Garden. Flatbush Gardener has a great photo set on Flickr of the garden from last year. Can anyone tell us about the history of this space? GMAP