Showing posts with label community gardens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label community gardens. Show all posts

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Green days: 6&B Garden program teaching East Village kids how to garden and cook

Images and text by Daniel Efram 

The 6&B Garden Kids Cooking Workshop series continued on Aug. 21 with Gallo Pinto Collard Green Wraps on the menu, a recipe shared by one of the community garden's members from Costa Rica. 

This program for kids (ages 5 and up!) has been running since the fall of 2016, with a break during the worst of the pandemic, and offers not only some tasty recipes but also resources about gardening and sustainability. 

"Our goals for the program are to share with kids from the neighborhood the experience of picking vegetables and herbs straight from the garden and cooking and eating them outdoors," explains 6&B's Michael Mangieri. "As a cook and chef, this has always been my greatest delight. It never gets old. I am happy to have a way to share with the next generation."
"We share our love for the growing and cooking of food with the young people in our community through a lens of food justice and cultural appreciation," 6&B's Briar Winters continues. "We donate produce from the kids' farm that our program participants have helped us grow to our local food pantry at Trinity Church on Avenue B. Most of our recipes are shared with us by our garden members or folks from the community, with a special emphasis on sharing cultural food traditions."
The garden for kids provides an authentic farm-to-table experience, solidifying that the vegetables can be grown, nurtured and harvested in their own space in the East Village. 
"This program is part of our community food justice program," says 6&B member Barbara Caporale. "Our garden hopes to shift the paradigm of how community gardens are viewed by some as private clubs, to being seen as a place that can help meet community food need, and our children are a part of that solution."
After being shown what the vegetables look like when ripe for picking, the trio instructed the kids on how to choose and care for each plant. After rinsing, the kids were shown how to prepare the collard greens, pressing and flattening them, then removing the stems. 

Next, the crew cut up tomatoes, avocado and crumbled cheese. Mangieri boiled the collard skins until they were bright green and tender and cooked down onion, garlic and peppers with coconut oil to get the sofrito in shape. He then added black beans and rice to the sofrito base for the kids to stir together.
Afterward, the participants could enjoy the wraps they had created.

The next 6&B Garden Kids Cooking Workshop is on Saturday (Sept. 17) at noon, featuring recipes to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. 

For more information, please please visit the garden's website or email

The community garden is on the SW corner of Avenue B and Sixth Street.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tuesday's parting shot

An EVG reader shared this from an unnamed East Village community garden ... "the sky and trees on the surface of the pond makes it look like the turtle is swimming in the sky. She is my favorite turtle in the neighborhood — very curious and frisky."

Saturday, July 16, 2022

About '7 Gardens' in East Village community gardens

There's a new public exhibition in a handful of East Village community gardens. 

Here's more via curator Lola Kramer: "7 Gardens has been conceived as a journey connecting local public space to the practices of established and emerging artists working to represent ideas of nature and community engagement." 

You can find the art from eight (not seven!)  artists in these spaces (there's a Google map here) ...
The work, which debuted on Thursday, will be up through Sept. 30.

Top pic via Lola Kramer. Map courtesy of LUNGS.

Friday, June 3, 2022

These 2 community gardens are hosting a free summer theater festival

In 1956, Joseph Papp began the outdoor theater tradition on the Lower East Side when he introduced "Shakespeare in the Park" in the (now-demolished) East River Park Amphitheater. 

This month, LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) continues this tradition with the free LUNGS Summer Theater Festival in two East Village community gardens. 

Via the EVG inbox... 
The theme of the 2022 Festival is Mother Earth/Nature. 

The festival will present six 30-minute plays performed in two community gardens. Three plays will be performed on Saturdays, June 4 & 11 at 6B Garden, on the corner of Avenue B and Sixth Street ... and three different plays will be presented on Sundays, June 5 & 12 at Green Oasis Garden, 370 E. Eighth St. between Avenue C and Avenue D. 

A set of three plays will be performed twice on Saturdays from 2-7 p.m., and twice on Sundays from 2-7 p.m. Each program will be repeated the following weekend, Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12.

This inaugural Theater Festival is curated by Penny Arcade, Erez Ziv, Riki Colon, Roman Primitivo Albear, Bonnie Sue Stein and Charles Krezell. 
Everyone is welcome! We are hoping for great audiences to experience Free Theater in our community gardens! 
Find more info here.

Friday, May 20, 2022

A spring BBQ fundraiser for El Sol Brillante Community Garden tomorrow

The folks at El Sol Brillante are hosting a Spring BBQ fundraiser tomorrow (Saturday, May 21) at the community garden on 12th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

Per the EVG inbox: "The event promises refreshing drinks, vegetarian food and T-shirts for sale ..." Plants too! From noon to moon (8 p.m.!).

Thursday, April 21, 2022

On Saturday, a Spring Awakening and Car Free Avenue B

Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens (LUNGS) is hosting its annual Spring Awakening in honor of the neighborhood's community gardens on Saturday.

Here's more via the EVG inbox:
Join LUNGS NYC for the 9th Annual Spring Awakening. The parade kicks off from El Sol Brillante Community Garden (12th Street between A and B) at noon and continues to Avenue B Open Streets, where we'll celebrate until 5 p.m. with pop-up gardens, pony rides, presentations and more.
Avenue B will be closed between Seventh Street and 10th Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday as part of the citywide Car-Free Earth Day...
Among the activities on B Saturday (via this news release) ... 
• Bio Bus Lab: Scientists help participants investigate the environment through a different lens, and develop scientific reasoning skills in a mobile biology lab set-up

• Black Cowboys of Brooklyn: Children are invited to enjoy activities and pony rides from 1:30 – 4:30 pm. The Black Cowboys of Brooklyn are committed to sharing Black Cowboy culture and heritage with children in urban environments.

• Citizens' Climate Lobby: Learn about respectfully engaging elected officials, community leaders and the public on the best solutions for climate change. Children are invited to make climate change postcards.

• FABnyc/East Village Community Coalition: Participate in arts and culture workshop led by a team of artists and organizers working to preserve, strengthen, and grow the cultural vibrancy of the Lower East Side. 

• Materials for the Arts: Materials for the Arts will have a booth set up where everyone can make their own art pieces out of an inspiring selection of found objects and re-used materials including hundreds of leftover shiny CDs. People can make puppets, wands, and whatever else their imagination decides upon at this art-making station that celebrates sustainable strategies.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sen. Schumer announces infrastructure funding for community gardens at La Plaza Cultural

Photos by Stacie Joy

On Friday morning, Sen. Charles Schumer visited La Plaza Cultural on the SW corner of Ninth Street and Avenue C to announce infrastructure funding (aka "Bipartisan Infrastructure Law") for NYC community gardens...
Joining him for the announcement were Sen. Brad Hoylman and local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera...
We will update when we receive more specifics — beyond the general announcement/photo opp — about the funding for the community gardens... 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

DeColores Community Yard collecting books for displaced Ukrainian families

The volunteers who run DeColores Community Yard on Eighth Street are collecting Ukrainian-language books for displaced families who fled to Europe to escape the Russian invasion...
You can drop off books anytime at the garden, 311 E. Eighth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

Looking for Ukrainian-language books? You could try Arka on Second Street or the Ukrainian Museum on Sixth Street.

Images via Instagram

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

A new chapter at the 11th Street Community Garden with debut of a lending library

Members of the 11th Street Community Garden have debuted a free community library outside their space between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Residents are welcome to drop off books and pick up a few in exchange.

"We ask that if a book is taken, another book is eventually returned in its place," said garden member Connor Davis. 

11th Street is the latest community garden to set up a lending library. La Plaza Cultural also has several at their space on the southwest corner of Avenue C and Ninth Street. 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Saturday's parting shot

A scene from the annual Dias de Los Muertos at Campos Community Garden on 12th Street today... thanks to Stacie Joy for the photo...

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween in community gardens

There's a lot of Halloween happening today at La Plaza Cultural, the community garden on the SW corner of Avenue C and Ninth Street.

Events scheduled yesterday were postponed until today to make for one action-packed Sunday.

Via the EVG inbox...
  • All day: Haunted Adventure Garden and Rat Race Maze, featuring mystic fortune telling, face painting, the world-famous Rat Race of Capitalism Maze, and thrilling coffin rides — bring the kids
  • 1:30 p.m.: Spooky sounds with the brass-tastical Dead Ghoultastical Eek-chestra
  • 4 p.m.: Spine-tingling tunes from Pinc Louds
  • 6 p.m.: Macabre dance performance with Masse dancers
  • 7:30 p.m.: "Ill Angels Only" horror film fest
 An EVG reader also shared this... happening today in the Garden of the Humanitarians at 270 E. Fourth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C...

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Oh, Henry! A live performance of 'The Lion in Winter' at Green Oasis Community Garden

On Saturday night, Le Petit Versailles/Allied Productions, Inc. is presenting "a live outdoor theatrical performance" of James Goldman's original 1966 play, "A Lion in WInter." 

The show happens at Green Oasis Community Garden, 370 E. Eighth St. between Avenue C and Avenue D at 8 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday at 2.) Here's info via the EVG inbox:
An Even Queerer Rendition Than The Movie 
If you know the 1968 film directed by Anthony Harvey you know the over the top performances delivered by Katharine Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Hopkins and budding stud Timothy Dalton. Director and artist par excellence tops the dark comedy in performance, and by delivery of the original script as written, historically based while hilariously anachronous. 
Admission is by suggested donation of $20 with no one turned away for lack of funds. Proceeds will benefit the play's presenter Le Petit Versailles and the hosting Green Oasis Community Garden. 
The performance represents the first collaboration in cultural programming between the two community gardens and the last major presentation of LPV's 2020 season. The fundraising compliments Allied Productions' celebration of its 40th year in serving the public through its support of the development of experimental art and progressive culture.
Find more info, including cast and credits, at this link. Directed by Bizzy Barefoot.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Mozart in the garden

Among the activities today in neighborhood community gardens... dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's Opera in the Park concert series continues with excerpts from Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio."

This free event is happening this afternoon from 3-4:15 in the Campos Community Garden, 644 E. 12th St. between Avenue B and Avenue C.

Find more info here

Image via

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Fall plant & zine fling on 1st Street

A lot of people seemed to enjoy/appreciate this event last time around (June 5!) ... so, the First Street Garden between First Avenue and Second Avenue is hosting another zine and plant swap today from 1-3.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

A night at the opera via the LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival

The 10th annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival continues through Sunday in neighborhood community gardens. 

Here's one of the more unique events taking place... tomorrow (Friday!) night, dell'Arte Opera Ensemble and LUNGS present "The Great Aria Throwdown" in the Campos Community Garden on East 12th Street just west of Avenue C.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., you'll find "an hour of music at operatic proportions featuring Bahati Barton, Perri di Christina, Diana Charlop and Jeffrey Mandelbaum with Pablo Zinger at the piano."

Find the full LUNGS schedule here.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The 10th annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival is underway

In case you missed our post from Wednesday... the 10th annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival is underway.

This year's festival includes activities at dozens of gardens, each featuring various performances, concerts, workshops and other related events.

Check the LUNGS website here for the day-by-day, garden-by-garden schedule. There's a lot of free live music on the calendar for today (Sunday!).

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The 10th annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival begins on Friday evening

There are 10 days of free events in the neighborhood's community gardens connected to the 10th annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival.

This year's festival includes activities at dozens of gardens, each featuring various performances, concerts, workshops and other related events (dominos tournament!). 

The festivities begin with an opening-evening celebration at 6 at Green Oasis, 370 E. Eighth St. between Avenue C and D.

Check the LUNGS website here for the day-by-day, garden-by-garden schedule.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Albert's Garden celebrating 50 years on 2nd Street this Sunday

Albert's Garden is celebrating its 50th year coming up on Sunday... when you can stop by the space at 16-18 E. Second St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery between noon and 5 p.m. for some music and refreshments...
And it's a chance to check out the variety of plants, flowers and ferns... not to mention a redbud tree and a small pond with several goldfish (no fishing please) and the bird mural by Belgian artist ROA.

Per the garden's website:
Help us celebrate fifty years of serving the community and welcoming strangers to our small miracle: a picturesque garden that grew from rubble. Sit on welcoming benches, stroll on meandering paths, enjoy the tall trees, rustic walls, and shrubbery, and delight, as many birds do, in this small spot of nature we all need and love.
And as Ramones fans likely know... East Village-based photographer Roberta Bayley shot the Ramones here for PUNK magazine... an iconic image used for their debut record in 1976.

Find more garden history here.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Gardening in the East Village is 'a great way to meet your neighbors' — and other things

 “Two Gardeners,” a watercolor sketch of El Sol Brillante gardeners Patrick McDonald and Barbara Augsburger courtesy of Kaley Roshitsh

By Kaley Roshitsh

For many, a community garden is a place for healing, a sanctuary amongst concrete — and a lifeline.

This holds true, especially for the gardeners of El Sol Brillante (ESB). Meaning “a brilliant sun,” ESB is a 1,000 square-foot community garden on 12th Street between Avenue A and B. The 29-plot garden is complete with managed plots, common space, compost and worm bins, a tended beehive and ample space for community members to interact.

A once broken lot, the community banded together to raise the garden from ashes in 1977 — and the space couldn’t be more sorely needed in strange times.

“I was here through the blackouts, riots, 9/11, floods, Hurricane Sandy, and as horrific as some of those [events] were, the [COVID-19] pandemic was a new level because the city just seemed so empty — and it was soul-crushing,” said Patrick McDonald, a resident on the block and chef for 35 years, speaking on the impact of the latest event.

Despite the recent pandemic-induced surge in green spaces and outdoor park visits, many long-standing garden members can attribute their joining to a friendly neighbor.

McDonald first joined ESB in 2012 and received his plot the following year. He describes the influence of the late Ken Bond, who counts many friends among the current members, in joining the garden. Bond’s mother Florence, or “Flo,” was referred to as a “block historian” by many on the block and was “instrumental in starting the garden,” according to McDonald. Both Bond and his mother served as president of ESB.

“For me, it’s a little slice of heaven in the middle of the concrete jungle,” said McDonald on the importance of the garden. Describing his front-facing plot, he added: “I like its location. As you come into the garden, it’s one of the first ones you see. I always try to have something fun going on.”

Taking the right pathway tracing the edge of McDonald’s tended plot, on-lookers find pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes — the evidence of a chef (and gardener) at work.

A Place for Love, Healing — and Democracy

“It was such a great way to meet your neighbors,” chimed in Barbara Augsburger, a Swiss native who moved to New York in the 1980s (following a then-boyfriend who was a musician). She would join the garden in 1983 and meet her husband only five years later.

Music is a central theme. “There was a guy in the store [on the block] who used to play Latin music and I would be sitting on the stoop [listening],” described Augsburger nodding along, “and that’s how I met my husband.”

Like the roses twisting atop the lover’s arch between her and her husband’s neighboring plot, Augsburger finds unity at ESB. “I learned how to be in fusion with nature,” she shared. “I mean, I knew already because I hiked a lot in the Alps, and I was always in nature, but this made it even in a more intimate way.”

In Augsburger’s plot, there are fresh healing herbs like lavender or lemon verbena, as well as oregano and fragrant rose geraniums.

“I think that every block should have a garden and life would be — for mental health — so much better,” said Augsburger calling the garden her “lifeline” and a space for “healing,” which is fitting given her energy work.

The garden is also rightly “a place of democracy,” in the words of Augsburger, as no communal space can be free of heated discussions where plot politics, fresh harvests and lingering branches are concerned.

A Fresh Take

Austin Frankel joined the garden in winter 2017 to meet new people and soon rose the ranks from friendly neighbor to key holder to plot holder to influential board member.

“In my plot, I’m making a space for myself, and it’s very organic. What I’m developing is coming along from what I’ve set there, and what I’ve inherited, and that’s a very cathartic experience,” described Frankel.

Cucumbers and shishito peppers are the stars of Frankel’s first harvest. But as is true of East Village — one can expect the unexpected to sprout up. When clearing his plot, Frankel discovered of all things a red stiletto boot nestled amid the weeds. (The other shoe to the pair was recovered in the garden common space for those curious. A bent spade atop the garden fence gives reason to suspect midnight stiletto-clad climbers).

His plans are to make a planter from the found shoe and continue providing a fresh take to garden meetings.
The Arts, Alive

Greeting amblers on the block is the 100-foot long fence that was created in 1993 by artist Julie Dermansky using scrap metal and speaks to the artistic presence at ESB that is still kept strong by members like Alejandro “Kuki” Gomez, among others.

“All of a sudden, I decided to start helping and working with the garden and getting dirty. There’s something about touching the dirt, the sticks, the leaves,” said Gomez, drawing the inspiration back to his work as a graphic designer, artist (known by the neighborhood for his tape designs), and now, events director, where an amalgamation of creative talents come together.

He joined over five years ago after first seeking solace in the garden as a guest. Gomez’s mother — an avid gardener — inspired his passion.

On Aug. 25, Gomez helped put on a free jazz event in association with The Jazz Foundation of America and Ariana’s List as part of the City Parks Foundation’s 28th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. A strong turnout despite the heat, “Jazz in the Garden: with Willie Martinez and His Latin Jazz Collective,” drew newcomers and regulars in for a night of swirling sounds.

Along with summer jazz, Gomez organized a watercolor painting night in the garden. Like many in the garden, his tended plot takes on a distinctive flair, with Gomez’s shady corner plot taking on a heart shape among rectangles. Close to heart, “safety” is what ESB provides to Gomez.

Amid what he felt was an abandoned state of the city on the onset of the pandemic, Gomez reiterated that “this was heaven for us.”


Kaley Roshitsh is the first-ever sustainable fashion journalist at WWD. Her work appears on U.N. Women USA NY, Her Campus Media and the independent magazine she founded called ThriftEd Mag. You can find her on Instagram ranting about her latest thrift finds or the importance of knowing your neighbors at @KaleyRoshitsh

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Spring Zine Fair is underway on St. Mark's Place, and in community gardens

The Spring Zine Fair is underway now on St Mark's Place between First Avenue and Second Avenue ... happening until 7 p.m. (Thanks to Steven for the photo!)

Printed Matter/St. Mark's and 8-Ball Community teamed up for this event.

Also! Don't sleep on the collaborative events at these neighborhood community gardens...