Friday, July 20, 2007

Red Hook Goes Green

If you are not already aware, I want to tell you about some great green steps being made down in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Every Thursday and every Saturday from now until mid-November there is a farmers market in Red Hook put on by the folks at Added Value. Added Value is an organization that runs a 2.75 acre urban farm down in Red Hook, powered by devoted staff, volunteers, and the youth of the community. They grow an unbelievable crop of fruits and veggies that are sold at these markets and to local restaurants.

On Thursdays the market is held in front of the Red Hook Senior Center, at 6 Wolcott Street, from 10am to 2pm. (On Saturdays the market is held at the farm on Columbia and Beard Street). While you are there you can also see the new garden being installed for the seniors and local community by The Horticultural Society of New York.
The raised beds planted with tomatoes and peppers this spring are literally overflowing with foliage and bushels of produce gathered and eaten by the folks at the Senior Center.
We also use the gardens to educate the young of the community. Here these young men and women were spreading compost from the Added Value community farm and checking on the status of the crop.
In the afternoon John Cannizzo, HSNY staff member and leader of the GreenTeam, showed up to help teach some young interns the finer details urban gardening. In addition to planting and plant care, John also incorporates into every garden his knowledge of masonry and woodworking skills. Here they were working on mixing cement and laying the footings for a number of new benches and seating to be installed in the garden.

As you enter the garden at the Senior Center you are welcomed by a large Buddleja, or butterfly bush. Loving full sun, this woody shrub becomes covered with these gorgeous panicles of blossoms from mid to late summer that are roughly 4-6 inches in length. Over many years the shrub can get leggy and need pruning, but the flower always seems to be a hit with humans and butterflies alike.
While you are in Red Hook, you also have to make sure that you visit our GreenBranches Learning Garden at the Red Hook Public Library right across the street from the Senior Center. Designed and installed by HSNY a number of years ago, this garden is one of many throughout Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, where we lead demonstrations and workshops on different horticultural topics.
For more images and information on our GreenBranches Learning Gardens, including great before and after shots, check out our website:

1 comment:

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