If you’re an urban gardener, you might very well be a home gardener…
which means you’re probably real crafty and savvy about finding places for your seeds to grow…
Like in a container on your deck or fire escape.
Or you might even be a community garden gardener!
I have been with the Pacific Street Brooklyn Bear’s Community Garden since 1999, the year I lived up the block. This was during the Guiliani Years when the then-mayor went after community gardens all over NYC so he could sell them off to developers.
The garden, once double in size, was plowed by Forest City Ratner in their haste to bulk up their commercial empire and because they assumed the deal was in the bag. The Bear’s garden was on the chopping block for sure and only spared when Brooklyn’s former borough president Howard Golden and his office stepped in to save us. Thanks Mr. Golden!
We may not look like much from Flatbush Avenue, but come inside and you’ll be enchanted and transported. As I was back in the winter of 1999 when I was walking past and saw founding member, Jon Crow, working inside. I joined right away and have been a constant urban gardener ever since.
Koreans are dedicated gardeners and gardens have been an essential feature of the Korean landscape going back to the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910) when plant cultivation went beyond food and medicine––trees, plants, and flowers embodied the mystical and religious beliefs of a people.
Yes, the zinnias and quince and witch hazel that grow in the Brooklyn Bear’s Garden says a lot about this Korean gardener’s beliefs.
They say don’t underestimate what gardeners can do! We don’t just grow flowers and plants, we grow spirit and peace of mind. Community gardens grow community!