Welcome ...

Welcome to the Clifton Place Block Association Community Garden. Since 1991, the garden has been a green oasis for many in this corner of the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. As is the case with so many New York City community gardens, the Clifton Place Block Association Community Garden developed from the community's need to reclaim and transform a garbage-strewn city-owned lot into a place of beauty and an asset to all in Clinton Hill and surrounding areas.

In its years of existence, Clifton Place Garden (short) has served as a place where neighborly bonds are strengthened, the passion for gardening and nature is shared, friendships develop, and neighborhood children learn. Through its open door policy, Clifton Place Garden has endeared itself to the community. It is not uncommon to hear someone passing by compliment its beauty and express pride and appreciation for what the garden does to the surrounding area.

Going forward, Clifton Place Garden will seek to continue strengthen its ties to the surrounding neighborhoods through composting programs, children's workshops, and unique arts events. And we hope to connect, via this Web Log, to other gardening enthusiasts, and to share the excitement of our urban gardening experience here. Hopefully, this site will be a favorite place you will keep returning to, and if in the neighborhood, you will stop by to enjoy the pleasure of our small, flourishing retreat.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Splendid Weather and Great Food

… And it rained for forty days and forty nights. Or, so it seemed during the month of June, 2009 in good old NYC. Then on June 27th, out came the sun and in came the warmth of summer, as if on cue for The Clifton Place Gardens first fund-raiser.

Last year we held our early fund-raiser across the street from the Brooklyn Flea (Vanderbilt & Lafayette Avenue, in our Clinton Hill / Fort Greene neighborhood) , in the hopes our proximity would benefit our bake and plant sale, drawing a portion of the crowd that flock to the weekend outdoor market. With a little coaxing we were able to direct some to our setup. This time we decided to spends some extra “dough” to setup as a vendor within the market and take full advantage of the market's foot traffic. Having taken a little more risk, we very much hopeful (and thankful) for a change in the weather pattern.

This year we dropped the plant sale (lost money last year) and decided to go with baked and cooked items, and a tag sale, with concentration on the food component. Knowing that we would have to compete with the likes of Choice Market, we devised a diverse menu of attractive sweet and savory offerings; assigned recipes to garden member volunteers for baking and cooking, and on the morning of the 27th everyone delivered beyond expectations.

On the sweet side we had baklava, biscotti, blueberry muffins and scones, chocolate-ginger-fig cake, Russian Tea cakes, sweet potato pie, and zucchini-walnut cake. Our savory offerings gave the world a small sampling of the world's comfort foods with: French Brioche, Indian potato bondas, Panamian tamales, and Caribbean cod fish filled johnny cakes. And to wash it all down, we offered homemade lemonade, iced and hot teas, and spiced sorrel. Yum! Aren't you getting hungry? I am!

Check out the slide show!

With the splendid weather and great food, we felt optimistic about our prospect for success. And we were - almost doubling the result of last years fund-raiser. Though, beyond the money raised (and that sure is important), participating members were rewarded with the satisfaction that comes from teamwork and camaraderie. One of the great thing about events like the fund-raiser, is that it gathers members together, spurring informal get-to-know-you sessions.

The proceeds of our fund-raisers is used to address capital and operation cost that the garden incurs seasonally, including: paying for insurance and water usage, purchasing assorted materials (wood, fencing, special plants), and other fees. These fund enables The Clifton Place Garden to continue to meet it commitment of being a green oasis for the community in this corner of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Flea showed a spirit of community that is welcomed from an event sponsor. We are extremely grateful to them for their assistance in making our participation at the Flea way easier than we could have imagined.