La Casita Verde (Parks Greenthumb Community Garden)
- Arts & Culture
- Children & Youth
- Education & Literacy
Location451 Bedford AveBrooklyn, NY 11249 United States
La Casita Verde is a GreenThumb & NYC Parks community garden and living lab established in November 2013. The founding members came together to transform a derelict lot into a space for people in the community and beyond to participate in the soil food web (or the interconnected system that sustains our body and environment!). Members and visitors learn how to make fertile soil, grow healthy food and use the values of permaculture -- all through the union of community, art, science, and fun.
We have over 40 raised beds and grow a range of vegetables, flowers and herbs. In the winter, members decide together what to grow each season. People do not own their own boxes but we make planting decisions together as a group and share the harvest. We also recycle food scraps and use our compost to grow food.
The lot was vacant and a dumping ground for over four decades. It took volunteers a year to just clear out the garbage and bring in soil (over 200 cubic yards) to create a solid and safe foundation. Our original focus was composting because you can’t grow healthy food without healthy soil. For the first year, if somebody asked us what we were growing, we replied "soil!"
In 2016, we designed and built a 3-bin aerated static pile (asp) composter. This machine is solar-powered and blasts air through the bays to reduce labor (no turning piles!) and speed up the decomposition process. We made a how-to video so others could use our design to build their own.