Starting tomorrow, Saturday, the annual Hattie Carthan Community Farmers Markets are open at Cliton Place and Marcy Avenue. The markets come from an initiative in 2009 when community advocate Yonnette Fleming led gardeners to revitalize and reclaim an abandoned parcel used to dump toxic materials for over twenty years. The space is now beautiful, thanks to thousands of volunteer hours from the community.
The markets feature a variety of community programs, including fresh local food (of course), mixed veggie basket pickups, compost drop off, cooking demos, youth programming, food for sale, a smoothie bike, fresh eggs and food justice education.
For more information on the markets, how to volunteer, or to learn about programs like the food basket, go here.
Did you know Bed-Stuy has a weekend farmer’s market that is part of a grassroots, POC-led agricultural revitalization project based here in the neighborhood? The Hattie Carthan Community Garden–once a vacant, toxic plot of land–has been transformed into a full-on garden on the corner of Lafayette and Marcy. They’re growing enough that there are now two weekend farmer’s markets that also host regular events.
The first takes place on Saturdays, 9am to 3pm, right next to the garden on Clifton Street between Nostrand and Marcy. The second is on Sundays, between 1pm and 6pm, on Van Buren Street between Tompkins and Throop.
Local kids works the stands, and there are a number of community events rooted in various food justice and social principles like sustainability, culture and community. Upcoming events include a bread baking class (in the farm’s clay oven), a Life and Death dia de Los Muertos celebration, and communal farm dinners. To check out upcoming events, go here! And you can like and follow the farm on Facebook here.
Photos courtesy of the Hattie Carthan Community Garden
The 462 Halsey Street Community Garden, a wonderful green space located between Marcus Garvey and Lewis, has launched a fundraiser for a new shed and irrigation system. Here are details:
We desperately need a new shed to capture rainwater and irrigation system to water our 600+SF of organic, food-growing space. Building a shed will provide us with much-needed storage space while allowing more surface area to harvest rainwater. This project requires a lot of lumber, water storage tanks, a solar-powered pump and more. It’s a big project but with your help we will make it happen!
It takes hundreds of gallons to water our garden every day – while that sounds like a lot, as a community we save a lot of resources (water, petroleum, etc) by eating locally. As it stands now, we have to run 300 feet of hoses out of the garden, across the street to the fire hydrant. It’s a cumbersome task. At each joint we lose water, which is counterproductive to our waste reduction goals. We constantly have to buy new hoses as they are run over by cars and buses on our busy street. It takes three hours to water the garden – and we do this every single day! The irrigation system will allow us the freedom to weed, compost and do other maintenance work while we water. It will save us time, water and make the whole process easier. Additionally, we need money to replace tools, host events and spruce up our space!
There are 15 days left for the fundraiser and the goal is to raise $4,670. $1,000 has been raised so far. If you’d like to donate, do so here!
Photo courtesy of the Halsey Street Garden
Photo via Facebook
Thank God for warm weather in New York, which also means that the neighborhood community gardens are back in business. Today is the season opening for the 462 Halsey Community Garden, which is a really great, friendly spot between Marcus Garvey and Lewis. I spoke with Richelle Trivedi, who works at the garden, and she filled in me on what to expect this season. 462 Halsey is big on compost — last year, the garden processed 19,000 pounds of compost! This year, the garden has upgraded to a five bin system and can accommodate even more food scraps from the community. That means that anybody can drop off food scraps when the gates are open, which is Monday through Friday, 8am to dusk; Saturdays, 9am to 8pm and Sunday, 9am to 6pm. A big compost work day and workshop should be coming to the garden soon.
This summer the garden is also participating in the city’s Food Box program. As Richelle told me, “It’s the best deal in town.” For $12 you get “a curated selection of 6 to 9 types of produce, grown on Northeast and East coast farms” (says the city). Richelle says there are even fresh eggs included. Basically, this is like a CSA but you do not have to sign up for a whole season, you can participate weekly. The only caveat is that you have to sign up the week before you actually pick up your Food Box. You can pay with credit/debit, foodstamps, cash or Healthbucks. The city hasn’t released the summer pickup dates yet, but it should start up in May.
The garden mostly holds communal beds, and there’s space if you’re interested in growing. They are always looking for volunteers to help with planting, watering, maintenance and the like. If you’re interested in volunteering you have to pay a $15 due and sign up for one of the four committees. For more details on how to join, go here. You can also follow the garden on Facebook.