Saturday, March 13, 2010

Urban Garden Challenge! Calling all superheroes

email us and write "I Grow" to to JOIN THE CHALLENGE!

"But each spring...a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground." -- Lewis Gantt

Many people, especially us New Yorkers, have long since lost this instinct as we spend less and less of our lives in nature.

Spring has come once again and for those of you who think that gardening and city life don’t mix, the Brooklyn Green Team is here to help you see how they can.

Community Gardens add to the diversity of the urban world, and therefore, grant a deeper sense of place and connection with the larger community. (Rough Terrains Urban Gardeners)

And according to the American Community Gardening Association, gardening:

• Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
• Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
• Stimulates Social Interaction
• Encourages Self-Reliance
• Produces Nutritious Food
• Conserves Resources
• Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
• Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots

There are many community gardens and even a few farms right here in the five boroughs and now we challenge you to bring a little gardening into your own urban life, even if the only little bit of ground you tame is a window box of fresh herbs.


A pack of tomato seed costs about a dollar. Planting these can yield 20 tomatoes in one harvest. 4 vine-ripe tomatoes from your grocery store cost between $4 - $6. You can also use these tomatoes to make tomato sauce, paste, salsa or home-made ketchup. That's a lot of savings

If you grow your food organically, without pesticides and herbicides, you’ll spare the earth the burden of unnecessary air and water pollution. You’ll also reduce the use of fossil fuels and the resulting pollution that comes from the transport of fresh produce from all over the world (in planes and refrigerated trucks) to your supermarket.

Americans throw away about $600 worth of food each year! It's a lot easier to toss a moldy orange that you paid $0.50 for than a perfect red pepper that you patiently watched ripen over the course of several weeks. When it's "yours," you will be less likely to take it for granted and more likely to eat it (or preserve it) before it goes to waste.

According to a study posted by the Community Food Security Commission, "Urban gardens and farms produce surprising amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and meat. In a 130- day temperate growing season, a 10’x10’ meter plot can provide most of a 4-person household’s total yearly vegetable needs, including much of the household’s nutritional requirements for vitamins A, C, and B complex and iron."

The same report states that, "Community and residential gardening, as well as small-scale farming promote nutrition and free household income for non-garden foods and other needs. Approximately every $1 invested in a community garden plot yields $6 worth of vegetables. Cooperative buying partnerships with urban area farmers, called Community Supported Agriculture
(CSA), maximizes food quality at stabilized prices. Household garden donations and farm gleaning projects increase emergency food providers’ access to their scarcest commodity, fresh fruits and vegetables. "


Organic Gardening Magazine online is an easy way to get things going.

GrowNYC lists gardening resource sheets specific to urban dwellers, including plants for tree pits and window boxes.

Check out this gardening guide from Treehugger.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden has a sweet Gardener's Resource Center. You can even call their Gardener's Help Line on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m., at 718 - 623 - 727.

Visit a garden near you on the Oasis Map.

Want to volunteer to build gardens? Contact Green Guerillas.

Green Thumb (NYC Parks Dept) has a great page of resource links


Rather than run out and spend all your money at some big box store, seek out independent stores in your neighborhood. Here are some Brooklyn suggestions:

Chlesea Garden Center: (718) 875-2100

Gowanus Nursery: (718) 852 - 3116

Green Thumb Nursery: (718) 646 - 8303

Kings County Nurseries, Inc.: (718) 493 - 2363

Liberty Sunset Garden Center: (718) 858 - 3400

Sprout Home 388 - 4440

Tamilio Nursery: (718) 934 - 1355


How-to Grow a Garden in a Small, Urban Space

Window Farms Introduction

Gardening Tips: How to Build a Vegetable Garden

Urban Gardening

New York Urban Agriculture

And: We like this website a lot.


sarah said...

Thanks for the great links and info! BK needs more people like you ... keep up the awesome work. :)

Viagra said...

That is a great idea!

Elliott Broidy said...

Fantastic thought!