The Red Hook Library at 7 Wolcott St. is hosting a Community Seed Exchange on Saturday, April 21, from 2–3:30 pm. Bring seeds to exchange for seeds from fellow gardeners and for donations from Gowanus Nursery and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. No seeds to bring? No problem. According to the event’s Facebook page, “Everyone is welcome, with or without seeds. Bring what you can, and take what you need.”
Spring is here! Well, not officially, but the crocuses and snowdrops are up, and the hellebore blooms aren’t far behind. The first garden meeting of 2018 is set for Sunday, March 25, at 11 am, followed by a workday. There will most likely be some light snacks. Subjects to be discussed will be open hours, box availability, a welcome to potential new members, the children’s box, the garden blog and social media, fundraisers, upcoming meeting dates and workdays and other topics. After the meeting, we’ll do some garden clean-up and early spring chores.
If you’re interested in becoming a new member, please attend the meeting for an orientation. It is free to join; members simply must keep the garden open a certain number of hours during posted times and take part in some garden events. Boxes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please read our membership FAQ section for more information. Enjoy some early spring photos below!
The 80s.nyc website is like a Google Street View that lets you glimpse into New York City’s past. Over a period of five years in the 1980s, the City of New York had every property in the five boroughs photographed for use by the city’s department of finance to estimate property taxes. These photos are compiled on 80s.nyc and organized into a searchable map view. Since these photos were of taxable property, vacant lots were photographed as well, so many sites of the current community gardens were also photographed. Check out the corner of Summit and Columbia streets, current home to the Summit Street Community Garden, in the 1980s.
Of course, the founding members of the Summit Street Community Garden remember this lot. As documented on the garden’s history page, in 1993, neighborhood residents began moving trash and rubble out of the lot, which was then approved for a lease as a community garden from GreenThumb in 1994. Here are a few more recent photos of the corner of Summit and Columbia streets today.
While looking through the 80s.nyc website, you might see some other familiar community garden sites.
To learn more about the origins of NYC community gardens, check out the WNYC story about New York City’s first community garden, which now bears the name of Liz Christy, founder of the Green Guerillas. In 1973, Christy decided to brighten up an abandoned Lower East Side corner lot at Bowery and Houston Street and enlisted volunteers to haul out trash and debris, lay down topsoil, install fencing, and put in plants. Five years later, GreenThumb began, and this program is how more than 600 community gardens in New York City exist today.
Thank you to all the members of the community who bought baked goods and tag sale items from our fall fundraiser on Sunday, September 20! With your helped, we raised money to beautify the garden and buy supplies. We also always enjoy the opportunity to talk to our neighbors and eat baked goods!
Join us for the Fall Tag and Bake Sale on Sunday, September 17, from 10 am–3 pm!
For many years, the blooming of the forsythia heralded the arrival of spring at the Summit Street Community Garden. However, after several seasons of decline, it became clear that the forsythia wasn’t going to recover and bloom again. Shawn cut down the forsythia this Saturday. “It’s time to say goodbye to a plant that’s been a beautiful part of the garden for a long time,” says Claire.
The Summit Street Community gardeners kicked off the season June 21 with a solstice celebration. About 24 members of all ages showed up to share foods that evoked the summer: deep red borcht served with sunny hard-boiled egg halves, grilled rum pineapple slices topped with ice cream, bright seasonal strawberries, flaky peach galette, and other delicious fare. Both longtime and new members had a chance to socialize in the garden, and some of the youngest members played in the children’s area, a box designated this year for play and discovery. Check out some of the photos below!
Weather permitting, there will be a Summer Solstice celebration of the longest day of the year on June 21 from 5:30 pm onward at the garden. This potluck celebration is a casual affair, so if you’d like to attend, just show up with something to share or grill. In the event of rain, the event will be cancelled, though it looks like we’ll have a nice, sunny day.
Speaking of sun, the plan is for midsummer-appropriate foods that evoke the sun (think: yellow, orange, red, round), as well as seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs. Gardener Sondra, who headed up the celebration this year and last year, says, “The Solstice is also a traditional fire festival, so grilling is on point!” Check out photos of last year’s solstice potluck.
Despite a cool, overcast day, the tag sale May 21 raised some funds for garden upkeep and maintenance! Thank you to all the gardeners who supplied items and baked goods and who helped out by setting up tables, selling items and doing end-of-day pack-up. And of course, thank you to community members who came by and purchased items for a good cause! Gardeners who participated in the tag sale had fun hanging out and meeting people in the community.
I didn’t take too many photos, because I was helping with the baked goods table, meaning I was eating most of the baked goods. I sampled one of everything and can report that it was all good, from the beautiful carrot cake to the cookies made with fresh ginger. The tomato tart made with fresh herbs from the Summit Street Community Garden was a big hit this year.In fact, most of the first tart was consumed within minutes of its unveiling.
We hope to see you at our next tag sale is Saturday, September 16 from 10 am–3 pm!
The Summit Street Community Garden is having its annual spring tag and bake sale fundraiser. Stop by to peruse items for sale, including seasonal clothing, jewelry, music, books, children’s clothing and toys, household items and accessories and more! We’ll also have a variety of baked goods and iced tea. All proceeds go toward supplies, maintenance and plants to beautify the garden.