In the latest of the Community Agriculture Project interviews, I sit with Giselle King, current treasurer for the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT).
We had a conversation in the beautiful gazebo at the Central Bainbridge Community Garden (CBCG). The CBCG first began in 1978 when 8 women from the community began clearing a debris-ridden lot . The garden is currently stewarded by a woman named Iris, who among many other things, helps to keep the garden manicured, cultivates a community garden bed full of vegetables, herbs and flowers, and ensures that the great Fig tree is nurtured properly.
Giselle helps me to understand how the CBCG serves its Bed-Stuy locals. We talk about how kids can engage intimately with nature in the garden space, different workshop offerings like their recent Arbor Day tree walk, and learning new ways to preserve food through the garden’s “foodie” community members. From there, we dip into conversation about herbs, herbal/food medicine, and sacred cycles in the food system. All in all, the garden is a place of mutualistic deep care for the earth and the people that cultivate and engage with it.
The following week, I returned to the garden to volunteer. We cleared out overgrown sections of the garden around the fence, revealing hidden treasures of lily flowers and blossoming roses. We weeded garden beds that were getting ready for planting. We watered garden beds that are already growing an abundance of food. We sprinkled rock dust and special nutrients to the beds and fig tree. The volunteer hours were productive, pleasant, and truly illuminated the beating heart of the space - the community and their special gardening insights that gift a bounty.