BBQ at the Java St Garden

Yesterday the Java St Garden Collaborative, a new community garden in Greenpoint, BK, on Java Street between West Street and Franklin Street, had a fundraising BBQ that in a lot of ways was its official introduction to the neighborhood. The gate swung open at 4pm and the air quickly filled with the smell of the fire burning on the grill.From around the corner, from down the street, there was a sense that this once-unused, once-vacant lot was now becoming a nexus of activity, a place to find, create and cultivate community.

Instead of being trampled and forgotten beneath a new condo development, instead of being confined to a meaningless existence of passive neglect and overgrown weeds, this lot now clearly manifests the inherent value of the land beneath our feet. The garden constantly reminds all who pass by that we can do more with our land; we can reclaim it and find new meaning and strength through the improvement of it.

Everyone at the barbeque could see the way in which this garden will encourage greater harmony with nature: raised beds filled with eggplants, mint, arugula, tomatoes, and newly-planted pumpkin seeds; a newly-installed rainwater collection system; phytoremediation to clean the soil; stone pathways leading to spaces for gathering and spaces for planting, spaces for sitting and spaces for working. If so much can be done in such a small space, imagine what we can do with the rest of the 596 Acres of vacant public land in Brooklyn.

A rainwater collection barrel


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