Tuesday, April 26, 2016

HELP OUR GARDEN GROW! Spring Update + GoFundMe Campaign

Hello, and happy spring!

We have some great news to share: our eviction was overturned in court last fall! That means we can look forward to another season in the garden this year, and our gates will remain open to the public as a place to relax, grow food, and reconnect with nature.

Now that we're back on the land, we're even more stoked to make the garden better than ever! There's a real chance we could become eligible to become a land trust garden in the next couple years, which would permanently preserve the space as a community garden. But to do that, we need your help.

We are excited to announce the launching of our GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the Eldert Street Garden's 2016 growing season. Anything helps, big or small. We're working to raise $1,500 in two weeks to help us pay for making basic repairs in the garden, and building new raised beds for neighborhood residents to grow in. Please help if you can!

It's been a challenging year, and there's no way we would be where we are today--looking forward to another great season in the garden--without our amazing lawyer, Paula Segal of 596 Acres. Paula generously donated her time and expertise and worked tirelessly for us in court. We are also grateful for the support of our community members and Council Member Rafael Espinal.

For more about our plans for the garden and to donate, check out the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/eldertstreetgarden

Thank you for your continued support!

-The Eldert Street Garden crew

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Dear Neighbors and Friends of the Garden,

WE NEED YOUR HELP. Yesterday, we were wrongfully evicted from the garden without due process in court. Today, thankfully, we got a judge to stay the eviction, meaning we can continue to access the garden until at least the next hearing. That hearing is scheduled for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 AT 10:30 AM at the Kings County Courthouse, 141 Livingston St., Room 603, in downtown Brooklyn.

Friday's hearing will determine, essentially, whether we get our fair chance to defend ourselves against this eviction in court. So it's CRUCIAL that we come out to the hearing in numbers to show our support. This could be the last chance the legal system gives us to assert our right to the land. Hopefully it won't be, but there's a lot riding on the outcome of Friday's hearing.

A little background for those who didn't know: last Fall, the garden was sold to a private real estate developer. We did not become aware of the sale until February this year, and the circumstances surrounding the sale are dubious. At the time of the sale, we had been operating legally with the permission of the non-profit organization that used to own the land. The Brooklyn Attorney General's office is currently investigating whether the sale was conducted illegally. Recently, certain members of the non-profit have come forward saying the sale was not conducted properly.

Regardless of who owns the lot, the fact is that we have tenancy rights, and the only way those can be taken away is through a proper eviction hearing where we get our day in court. That's what we'll be fighting for this Friday.

Here's the eviction notice brought by the Marshal when they took possession of the garden on Tuesday. Following that is a copy of the court order staying the execution and setting the next hearing for Friday. PLEASE COME OUT AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Take a Tour of the Garden

If you haven't had a chance to visit, let us show you around the garden. Just inside the gate, a stone footpath winds around our ornamental beds--plants that are not grown for food, but there to provide you with lush, attractive company! Here you'll see shrubs, flowers and ferns rubbing shoulders in dense, eclectic arrangements. We try to feature native flora as much as possible--plants native to the natural landscape of what is now New York City.

On the other side of the path is a lawn with two fruit trees where people can relax in front of a beautiful mural. The mural was painted by neighborhood kids and their parents based on a sketch by Rodrigo Gonzalez, one of the co-founders of Eldert Street Garden, and was made possible by a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council. The mural-painting project took place at a barbecue party that featured performances from local musicians and an open mic where kids showed off their talents. This gathering is just one example of how the garden cultivates engagement with the arts on our block. There are many artists and musicians in the Eldert Street Garden community, and we strive to make the garden a welcoming space for creativity of all kinds!

Going further into the garden, you'll encounter our raised-bed vegetable plots. Garden keyholders can have their own vegetable plot to grow whatever they like. Keyholders are garden caretakers who pay a small annual fee and agree to take on some responsibility for the upkeep of the garden as a whole. You'll find a wide range of fruits and vegetables growing in these plots, everything from classics like tomatoes, collards and chard to more adventurous delicacies like chili peppers and purple heirloom beans.

In the back of the garden, behind a shelter that holds some garden supplies, you'll find our compost bins. These bins are an important source of healthy, nutritious soil for our vegetable plots. Gardeners and other neighborhood residents collect their food scraps and drop them off in the bins, where they are transformed into a rich compost with the help of some resident worms. Compost collection sites are few and far between in southeast Bushwick, so Eldert Street Garden plays an important role in reducing food waste in our community and contributing to a more sustainable urban ecology.

Composting is just one of the sustainable methods we employ in cultivating the garden. We've also created a rainwater catchment system that helps supply water to our ornamental beds. 

Like berries? We do too. A large mulberry tree hangs over the back of the garden, casting cool shade on those hot summer days over our composting and barbecuing area (yes, we have a grill!), and plentiful mulberries. We've also got blackberry and red currant bushes.

Any tour of the garden would be incomplete without seeing some local wildlife. The garden attracts a surprising variety of insects, some of whom pollinate our plants so that they'll bear fruit. From colorful beetles to majestic swallowtail butterflies, you'll never believe you don't have to leave NYC to see these guys.

That concludes our tour! We hope you've enjoyed it, and we invite you to visit in person sometime for the real deal. Today's Eldert Street Garden represents years of hard work to convert a rubble-strewn lot into a lush green oasis for everyone in our community to enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What's up Newsletter for these final days of Summer.

Greetings everyone! It's been a while since we posted, and we've got a lot to talk about.
For starters, we'd like to invite everyone to our fall barbecue/performance fundraising event on Sunday, October 4th. Come by and see the garden's progress, watch the show, eat, drink and be merry with us. More details in our next posting.

We'd also like to send a few thank you's out to some businesses and individuals who've been really helpful to us this summer:

-Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Greenbridge program donated a lot of plants to us which are now filling the garden with much-needed greenery.

-A shoutout goes to our generous neighbor arborist Venola, who donated a truckload of mulch to us this summer.

-Thank you to Jeff Bialas and Bialas Farms of New Hampton, N.Y. for donating herbs, vegetables and a couple carloads of beautiful healthy soil for them to thrive in.

-Bushwick's own community board 4 director Nadine Whitted has been instrumental in assisting us with rubbish removal.

-We'd like to thank the Overboard Longboard Crew for doing lots of heavy lifting and cleanup in the garden and donating materials, time and labor to build us our big composter. Which brings us to our next point:

COMPOST! We started filling our new composter up right away and it has already turned into wonderful soil for the new garden plots and flowerbeds we've constructed. We've also placed a compost bin in the garbage area of 345 Eldert street. (So if you live in the building, please contribute!)

Our first veggie harvest was delicious, and it's still going. We grew tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, basil, mint, peppers and a bunch of other herbs.

Garden contributor Miriam Betancourt harvested the mulberries from one of our two resident mulberry trees and made a batch of delicious beer out of them. We can't wait for the next mulberry harvest so we can drink some more of her creations!

Now, as always, we are looking for new garden volunteers. The plots we're building now will be open to neighborhood residents in the 2010 season. If you or anyone you know wants to cultivate their own plot, contact us to find out more about it.

We wish everyone a wonderful September.

More to come...stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

B.G. visual memories

Photos of the Breaking Ground event

Here's some of the performers doing what they do best.

Whats Up Newsletter: Breaking Ground recap

Hello and good day,

We would like to extend our gratitude to our friends, artists, and everyone
who came by to spend their Saturday afternoon with us at the garden.

Muchas Gracias!

We had a great time, The weather was warm, the smiles were sweet and the food was tasty.
The energy the Association invested into the event paid for its self thanks to the generosity
of all of the guests and the art show supporters.

The Eldert Street Garden raised a sufficient amount of funds to continue its building
process into the these coming summer months. We can direct some of the earnings
towards legal type things like opening a bank account, beginning the non-profit
Status, et cetera.
The garden can acquire necessary materials to finish the brick path, build a compost bin
and a rain barrel water access system.

And maybe even get a lawn jockey (kidding!)

Also we wish to thank the businesses that contributed supplies and foods
for the Breaking Ground fund raising BBQ/ Art exhibit.
Heres a list of who they are and where they are located,
please stop by and support their establishment if the need arises.

Jazmine Grocery- corner of Irving Ave. and Halsey St.

Food Bazaar- 454 Wyckoff Ave. and Putnam St.

Green Market- corner of Myrtle Ave. and Stephen St.

Parrot Cafe- 58-22 Myrtle Ave. off George St.

Nat Hardware- 576 Wilson Ave. between Covert St. and Decatur St.

The Artists info and photos of the work presented at the Junto Gallery
will be uploaded on a separate posting.

Have a good evening and hope to see you at future Eldert Street Garden events.

Que viva la tierra y la jente de ella!