Summer's more or less upon us, and many of us do not have our own yards or gardens. What to do? Find a community garden! Before I lived in CH, I spent two years in Hell's Kitchen. One of my favorite things in the neighborhood was the Clinton Community Garden. Residents just needed to show up on the appointed day with a utility bill and a small deposit and would get a key to the garden to enter at any time. Individual plots were also available for those looking to grow veggies or flowers.
It's taken me awhile to seek out the community gardens in our area, mainly because there are so many and because a lot of the info I found online is incorrect. I recently spent a sweaty Sunday hoofing around the hood to see what was available. I checked much of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill to just past Classon. I've coordinated with BedStuy Blog, who will be posting the Bed-Stuy gardens today as well.
(Most of my specific info on garden offerings was culled from OasisNYC.) Name: Brooklyn Bears Carlton Ave. Garden Address: 397-401 Carlton Avenue Cross Streets: Btwn. Greene and Fulton
Garden Description: Part of this garden is a productive farm, with giant boxes divided for multiple members and a huge planting oval for community vegetables. There's also beautifully landscaped flower beds all watched over by a colorful mural featuring a winged mantis. (The group gets its name from an abandoned teddy bear found on the site at an early clean-up day.)
Waiting List: No Dues: no Host Volunteers: yes Membership Procedure: work a certain amount of hours Year Founded: 12/1/1985
Types of Events: music, bbqs Structures: tool shed, gazebo, picnic tables, seats Herbs: mint Donate Produce: no Ornamental Plantings: flowers
Garden Description: Mrs. Murry’s 2nd grade class from P.S. 287 has been working very hard to save their garden. Their efforts have not gone unrecognized- the class was featured in a Daily News article in March. The children have learned about community gardening through a cross- disciplinary approach. They have used math skills to measure and record the temperature in the garden, they have learned about city government through their campaign to save the garden, they have used their writing skills to write letters to their elected officials, and they have planned many science experiments to start this growing season. The garden was started in 1992. Name: Hollenback Garden Address: 460 Washington Ave. Cross Streets: Gates & Greene Hours: T,Th, Sat, Sun 4:00-7:00pm
Waiting List: yes Dues: yes Host Volunteers: yes Membership Procedure: Call Contact, Come to workday, Meet Contact at Garden, Year Founded: 4/1/1980 Types of Events: arts, culture, education and recreation Garden Description: Situated in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, Hollenback is the only public green space in the neighborhood. The majority of the gardeners at this garden are senior citizens, three of which were involved with starting the garden 19 years ago. The garden is also used by children from P.S. 11 and P.S. 287. After the news about the May auction, the children from both schools wrote letters to City Council member Mary Pinkett and the mayor on behalf of their garden, attended the public hearings, and decorated the garden’s fence with ribbons and signs. Three classes from P.S. 11 are planning and designing their garden plot for this season. A second grade class from P.S. 287 have planned an experiment to study the effects of the sun on plant growth. For their experiment the class plans to grow the same plants at two different community gardens one with full sun and one with shade. The gardens they plan to use for the experiment are the Hollenback garden and the Children’s Garden (2099/43). The garden was started in 1980.
Waiting List: no Dues: yes Host Volunteers: yes Membership Procedure: attend a meeting and speak to contact person Year Founded: 7/1/1983 Types of Events: barbeques,Art/Music Activities, Community Activities, Block Parties, Religious Activities Structures: brick bbq pit, mural wall, archway, brick walkway/path
Amenities: mural, meeting area, artwork (paintings) Vegetables Grown: squash, tomatoes, red peppers, collards, string beans, watermelon, potato Donate Produce: yes Ornamental Plantings: yes Shade Trees: yes Composting: container Garden Description: Brick walkways divides garden into 2 parcels that yield numerous vegetation. Large wall mural across back wall depicts block resident history. Recreation area through archway with tables, benches, BBQ pit, tool shed and shelter.
Name: Greene Ave Cedar Tree Address: Classon and Greene Virtually no info on this garden online, but it looks both large and nice!
Name: Pratt Garden Address: DeKalb at Hall This garden was open on the CH house tour, but I've never seen it open or occupied otherwise, except for a few black cats. A shame, since there are some gorgeous flowers inside! Name: Clifton Place Block Association Address: 289 Grand Avenue
Cross Streets: Clifton Place & Greene Hours: Sat: 9-1PM Organization Member: TPL Waiting List: no Dues: yes Host Volunteers: yes Membership Procedure: Ask at Garden, Volunteer, Other Languages: Spanish, Chinese Year Founded: 8/1/1991 Types of Events: Youth Activities, Art/Music Activities, Community Activities Structures: seating area, tool shed Vegetables Grown: tomatoes, lettuce, peas, turnips, eggplant Herbs: basil, chives, parsley, sage, thyme Donate Produce: no Ornamental Plantings: violets, roses, lilies, peonies Shade Trees: apple, Southern Magnolia, evergreens, dogwood Composting: general yard waste, household waste Garden Description: A small garden behind the school boasts a mural and hopes the garden becomes a means for the community to work with the school.
Greene Room Lefferts bt St. James and Grand (I had a difficult time finding this one, so not sure if the photos are correct. They might be the wrong garden, further down Lefferts. Also, the web did not have info!)
For garden contact info, call the city at 212-788-8070. The people at Green Thumb are extremely friendly, and can look up the info right away!