Soon after I moved to New York from Oakland, California I contacted Vera and Mirem of the Edible Schoolyard in Brooklyn to see if I could volunteer some of my time down in the garden. My goal is to get my hands dirty and get some sunshine, connect with nature(believe it or not there is lots of nature in NYC!), get to know the folks and the neighborhood here at this new garden/classroom project.
I spend once a week pulling weeds, turning compost listening and learning about how this garden develops. It’s only been around for a year but day by day there is something new. It’s really exciting to see how the combination of community, teachers, gardeners, activists, friends, and children all work together to start a wonderful garden space where there once was pavement and cars.
The garden is situated in a tree lined neighborhood called Gravesend at Public School 216 on Avenue X near Coney Island. The character of the neighborhood is Italian, Jewish, and pretty much anyone from the Soviet Union. Here you can find Italian delicatessens making hero sandwiches with mortadella next to Russian markets selling Central Asian Uzbek flat breads and Vodka.