Community Gardens Updates

I've received a few Community Garden updates since I posted the comprehensive list. First, here's a blog covering all three of the Brooklyn Bears gardens.

Next, the Hollenback Garden into posted on the NYC Green Thumb site is apparently outdated. The garden coordinators have sent me the latest information:

The Hollenback Community Garden Located at 460 Washington Avenue Between Gates and Greene Avenues Brooklyn, NY

Planting the Seeds of Hollenback The Hollenback Community Garden began in 1980, through the hard work and dedication of community members who saw possibility in a lot rendered empty by the fire that destroyed the Hollenback Mansion.

Brick by brick, and wheel barrow by wheel barrow they cleaned up the site and then seed by seed, they created beauty from destruction.

To learn more garden history, come in and ask to speak to Gertrude. She is one of the concerned citizens who started the garden, and she has been gardening at Hollenback ever since.

Who are we? We are currently about 40 gardeners, each working in individual plots as well as sharing responsibility for communal areas used by the garden membership and the larger community. Our garden is part of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, a coalition of 34 community gardens.

What do we do? ☼ We create a place for garden members from the community to produce locally grown food.

☼ We preserve a flourishing green oasis for the community to visit and enjoy, contributing to overall neighborhood beautification.

☼ We make all garden decisions democratically at monthly meetings.

☼ We offer several community events every season, including live music, movies, BBQs, garden workshops, tours

☼ We share our gardening knowledge and experience with the community

☼ Environmentally speaking, we harvest rainwater from a neighboring rooftop, and store it in a 700 gallon tank, reducing both our use of potable water and the amount of rainwater that goes into the city’s overworked sewer system. You can find more information on rainwater harvesting in the city at

☼ We are very proud of our compost system. We not only compost garden compostable materials, but we also process the food waste of over 50 community members, as well as for the Fort Greene Farmer’s Market. Compost collection lessens the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and converts that waste into a valuable fertilizing material. The compost we produce is used in our garden and neighborhood tree pits, as well as by community members. Our compost piles have been used as a learning tool by New York City’s Master Composting Class from the Queens Botanical Garden, as well as by the Lower East Side Ecology Center and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It has even been featured on Japanese television. To learn more about our compost, come in and ask for Charlie Bayrer, our head composter.

Where are we going? ☼ We are currently involved in a project to install a composting toilet in our garden. This will allow us to provide restroom facilities for visitors and gardeners, without having to depend on the non-sustainable, chemical, and costly involvement of a rented port-o-potty. We feel that a composting toilet is safer and more environmentally friendly. We also hope that the presence of the composting toilet will serve as a further platform for our garden, and our community, to learn more ways to harness every resource we can when it comes to supporting our planet from the strain we place upon it.

What can you do? ☼ Any time the front gate is open, please come in for a visit. Stop in, smell and admire the flowers, talk to gardeners, sit and read or just relax in the shade. Bring your family and your sketchbook. Share your knowledge and your questions.

☼ Respect the hard work of all the gardeners by not picking any fruits, vegetables or flowers. Also make sure to let them know that their hard work is noticed and appreciated.

☼ To help you plan a visit, we have regular Garden Open Hours, which are: Wednesdays: 6pm to 8pm Saturdays: 3pm to 7pm Sundays: 10am to 12pm and 3pm to 7pm

☼ To get more information, inquire about membership, join our mailing list, find out how you can help, learn about community events, ask a question, or make a request, you can reach the garden coordinators at Cara Perkins at 917-701-2875 Mark Trushkowsky at 917-804-0414