Comments and Testimonials:
The Hattie Carthan Community Garden is a wonderful place that is doing very innovative things in the realm of urban and local agriculture.
- Daniel, Market Volunteer
When I first saw the land where the Hattie Carthan Community Market would stand, it was overgrown with knotweed and trash. The transformation into a beautiful marketplace has been wonderful to watch. This market shows us that we can heal our neglected urban spaces and create instead spaces for health, celebration, creation and learning. In this space I have talked with farmers, bought delicious vegetables and fruit, learned about improving soils with cover cropping and enjoyed playing banjo and singing to Guyanese folk songs. Supporting this market means supporting a necessary and beautiful community-run farm and supporting your own health and well-being.
-Owen Taylor,Training and Livestock Coordinator,Just Food
The Hattie Carthan Community Market began with a vision, inspired by community gardener, leader, and activist Yonnette Fleming. The market has grown into a beautiful space that brings together so many different people who care about eating good, fresh, local produce. The market provides the neighborhood with healthy food options, opportunities to learn and teach about good food, a place to gather with and meet others, and a chance to relax, watch a cooking demonstration, dance to the beat of a drum, and to buy some delicious food. Community leaders and food justice advocates from around the city and beyond can learn from the Hattie Carthan Community Market, and they will continue to teach us as they grow.
Jane Hodge,City Farms Program Manager,Just Food
Dear Yonnette, thank you for having me this summer at the Hattie Carthan garden. It was such an amazing experience to work on the farm and learn more about urban agriculture. My senior project has taken up a lot of my time in the last couple weeks. Basically the premesis for the project is documenting what you do, as not just a garden, but a local grass roots food hub that is very flexible. I specifically love the way you bring in food from regional farmers and can be the broker with restaurants as well as your own market. I am really beginning to see that everything that you do as something totally special; you are doing things beyond your means that other people here are just starting to see are possible when linked together.
-Daniel Lawler 2009 Urban Agriculture undergrad student
This year marks my 30th year working with community gardens. I know of the Hattie Carthan Garden from back in the mid-1980's when it was named after Magnolia Tree Earth Center. It was a favorite summer field trip site for me to take a group of children from the Madison Square Boys' and Girls' Club on 29th Street and 2nd Ave in Manhattan. Back then MTEC was the garden's sponsor under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks & Recreation's GreenThumb Program. This garden has always been a favorite of mine, mostly because of the people who care for it. There's Mr. Kolajo, Yonnette Fleming, Mr. Reilly, Mr. Simmons and many more very friendly outgoing folks who seem to me to love gardening.
Over the years I have seen the garden change its name, become much more self-reliant,expand in membership, build tool sheds,herb gardens, greenhouses, arbors, chicken coops, a children's garden and increase in size and programming for the Bed-Stuy community. For the past 20 years, the first weekend in May, marks the Council on the Environment of NYC (CENYC) annual plant distributions in this garden to over 125 city-wide community garden groups.
The recent addition in 2009 of the farmers market was a welcome endeavor.Not only did it bring fresh produce it also attracted a strong, commited group of local teenagers to help with the market, provide the much needed physical labor of lifting and carrying, and learn marketing skills. The adjacent lot where the market is now located was an eyesore, littered with debris and needed constant cleaning, not to mention a danger and hazard to the community. Working with Yonnette and Emmanuel, CENYC was glad to assist in a small way, with coordinating the new fencing, soil for the raised beds and some vegetable seedlings to get the season growing.
I personally shopped in the Hattie Carthan Farmers Market several times this past summer and fall with my partner David. We even brought along our Boxer, Jake. The farmers and summer interns were very friendly and helpful. The produce was fresh and reasonably priced. I picked up some collards, swiss chard, corn-on -the cob and honey.The hot herbal tea was a pleasant addition to our experience along with the local artists, performers and musicians.
I'm looking forward to this coming year. I have volunteered to help Yonnette and Company tend to the chickens.
Congratulations to all involved!
-Gerard Lordahl, Director,CENYC's Greening Program
Working as a youth intern with Hattie Carthan not only taught me valuable farming and marketing techniques, but also showed me that a small group of young people guided by committed adults can make change in communities that need it most. I saw food justice being put into action as seniors, families, and youth worked together to grow nutritious food and build intergenerational relationships. In my process towards becoming a powerful change agent in my community, Hattie Carthan has provided me with invaluable tools, experiences, and relationships that I will never forget.
-Guido Girgenti, Youth Corps Member
To Send us your comments, stories or feedback click on Contact Us
Copyright © 2010 Hattie Carthan Community Garden
677 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11216 l 718-638-3566
Website design by Katie Joiner
We would like to honor the memory of Mr. Riley Hawkins, May 4, 1926 - August 7, 2011, beloved member of the Garden.