Sustainable Gardens in Greenpoint/Williamsburg

For those of us who have lived in this community for quite a while, we need not delve into the importance of sustainable gardens in our urban areas. Regardless, it’s worth mentioning.

Perhaps our families have lived here for decades, or perhaps we’ve migrated here because of newly developed families, jobs, and friends. Whatever brought us to this bustling metropolis, there will always be a part of us that seeks greenery. Maybe that’s why our gardens mean so much to us, because they are so unexpected in such a stone and cement world.

What often starts as a community effort to show our children what it is like to watch something grow, or to have our hand at garden fresh vegetables, usually evolves into a statement for society and the coming generations. In terms of sustainability, this is all too true. There are plenty of sustainable gardens in our Greenpoint/Williamsburg area, and we endeavor to show you a wide variety to support.

Whether you can volunteer, take a tour with your kids, or join a CSA, we invite you to explore the local options within sustainable gardening. Refreshing and inspiring, these organizations have powerful potential to impact the now and the future!

We’ll begin with one of the wider known sustainable growing organizations, that of Brooklyn Grange. Operating atop two rooftops spanning over 2.5 acres combine and producing over 50,000 lbs of organic produce a year, Brooklyn Grange is a force to be reckoned with. With one location in The Navy Yard and the other in Long Island City, we are lucky enough to be bookended by this operation. Offering educational, consulting, and event services on top of organic farming, Brooklyn Grange is quite a beacon of hope in greening  not only our locale, but spreading this innovative use of space atop the massive roofs of these buildings. Their CSA is wildly popular, and even requires a waiting list for 2017 at this time! (Bonus, their CSA offers a flower option, if your heart isn’t already so full!) For a broader selection, check out their list of wholesale businesses, from restaurants to retail to catering companies. Brooklyn Grange also serves as an incredible space to practice yoga, or have a private event. Talk about a full package!

Hopefully we have all passed by many of the community gardens that are splattered across the boroughs. In conjunction with Grow NYC and projects such as Greenmarkets, our community gardens are a place to grow, learn, and come together as a group. Specific to Williamsburg, you can find three different community gardens dating back to 1991. If that’s not a deep rooted inspiration, we’re not sure what is.

Placita Infantil at Nuestros Ninos Daycare began this journey over 2 decades ago and has since grown into an important play space for local children. While the original space was separated into a front and rear play area with a patio, pergola, and abundant greenery, it now houses a newly renovated play space for the daycare. While the space may not serve as a garden these days, we are thrilled to know the space is going to growing our community’s children!

Within Williamsburg, we find Sunshine Community Garden tucked away on McKibben Street. Filled with vegetable beds and flowers, this garden holds workshops for children in the summer months, and invites family and church groups for events to be held.

Located at 347 Keap Street, Keap Fourth Community Garden is filled with raised vegetable beds. These beds are wonderfully supplemented by a rainwater harvesting system. This garden was established in 2013 as a part of Gardens for Healthy Communities, a program within the Mayor’s Obesity Task Force Initiative.

Nestled on Franklin Street in Greenpoint is the 61 Franklin Street Community Garden, wherein you can find the plants tended to by diligent community members happy to have a space to practice gardening. In action from April 1st to October 31st, this garden provides solace and a chance to watch something grow for a good amount of the year!

Wrapping up our look at sustainable gardens within the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area, we invite everyone reading to take a look around each site that these gardens have, and when spring arrives – please check them out in person! These gardens thrive on the support of the community, just as we thrive with their wonderful produce!

By Romey Louangvilay