Garden Visioning Brainstorm Ideas

Garden Brainstorming (photo by Keka Marzagão)

As Jeremy described in his last blog post, on June 16th we had part two of our brainstorming sessions for the new community garden we’re creating with Flatbush Reformed Church, in the backyard space of 890 Flatbush. Thirty people attended this meeting, and were able to see the garden spaces and participate in a vision collage of ideas for the garden spaces.

Here’s what some people want to see (I tried to include everyone’s ideas, so skim as needed!):


  • herbs (examples: basil, medicinal herbs, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, parsley)
  • fruits (grapes, berries, fruit trees, avocados, apples, peaches, cherries, watermelon)
  • veggies (pumpkins, squash, brussel sprouts, eggplant, artichokes, salad greens, radishes, beans, chickpeas, root veggies, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, scallions, ginger, kale, legumes, swiss chard, zucchini, bell peppers, leeks, green beans, cucumbers)
  • wine harvesting
  • flowers

– FOOD-BASED EDUCATION PROGRAMS: youth-run mini-CSA for neighbors, cooking classes and demos on nutrition, medicinal herb workshops

– ART/CULTURAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS: art workshops and art and culture curriculum

– BIKE PROGRAMS: bike riding lessons in parking lot, bike maintenance workshops

–  YOUTH PROGRAMS: education programs with local schools, summer/weekend activities for kids, garden visits from schools around the city

–  GARDENING PROGRAMS: gardening 101 info sessions, Haitian community sharing of traditional farming knowledge, how-to start a backyard garden, sustainability education, solar installation demos, vermicomposting how-to’s

Gathering Ideas (photo by Keka Marzagão)

– SEASONAL PROGRAMMING: spring hat parade, Halloween party with campfire-style ghost stories, pumpkin carving

– THEATER: small performances on the porch, showcase edible plants with “plant of the week” shows for community

– FOOD EVENTS: monthly potlucks, barbeques, tea parties, lemonade stand

– OTHER EVENTS: leaf collection in the fall, plant swaps, party to design the garden sign, live music, acupuncture, garden book club, farm trip, porch party to meet neighbors

– Inter-generational gardening

– GARDEN AREAS: fragrant garden, butterfly garden, kid garden, discovery garden, meditation bench, cactus/low water garden, pollinator garden, pumpkin patch, vertical gardening for fenced area, maze path line with flowers, tree beds

– GARDEN INFRASTRUCTURE: murals, sculptures, long table for potluck, beehive, birdhouse, greenhouse, sundial, solar lighting/lanterns, water fountain (solar powered), rainwater catchment, compost, treehouse, swing, hammock, bike parking, welcome gate with info on how to join, living wall/structure that kids can play in

– GARDEN TECHNIQUES: lasagna gardening, 3 sister planting (corn, beans, root veggies), companion planting, permaculture, container gardening (with recycled containers), raised beds, recycled container planters, cold frames, organic fertilizers

– Heal the soil!

– Keep seed library for future

– Make how-to guide for other aspiring urban gardens

– Recycling on church grounds

– Wind power/human power/solar power/whimsy

– Chickens!

Based on the ideas that people offered, and what the land requires (for example, high concentration of lead in the soil = building raised beds for our plants instead of growing directly in the soil), Chris Kreussling, the Director of our Urban Gardens and Farms Initiative, and others are working together to create several possible designs for our new garden.

On August 1st at 3pm Sustainable Flatbush will host a community potluck to engage in discussion, eat tasty food, and vote for our favorite garden design!

What to do if you’d like to be involved:

  • Bring your ideas and something to eat/drink to August 1st event
  • Sign up to stay informed on the Flatbush Church Garden listserv, and get updated on events, plantings, and community meetings
  • Email us to submit your design ideas

I look forward to seeing everyone at the potluck, and to breaking ground soon!

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