24 June 2012

Welcome Back, and A Garden Grows in Crown Heights

After a lengthy, year-plus hiatus, Broad Bean has returned! Needless to say, over the past year life got in the way of cooking, blogging, or even finding much solace in food.  A death in the family, a double-parent health crisis, and a new job all conspired against my spirit and caused a halt in my ability to cook much more than veg on toast.  In April 2011, my parents found themselves each in critical condition in the hospital in the same week, though thankfully a year on and both of them are on the mend.  Needless to say, my interest in cooking anything too elaborate waned for several months.

My thoughts returned to my humble blog last winter, amid the root vegetables and roast meats of Thanksgiving and Christmastime, but other projects and life events kept me preoccupied over the winter and spring. And then, as Spring turned to Summer and I was walking to work the other week, I noticed this.

The vacant lot on New York Avenue in Brooklyn, which I walk by most days on my way to work, is showing all signs of being converted into this:

The beginnings of a community garden, and by all appearances a produce garden!

Over the past year and a half I've bemoaned the lack of lunch options around my work neighborhood, causing me to come up with creative solutions at the start of every work week, and cramming the smelly work fridge full of bagged lettuce and yogurts.  This neighborhood, particularly along and around Fulton Street -- where the Crown Heights neighborhood meets Bedford-Stuyvesant -- is also short on green spaces and particularly short on places to buy locally grown fresh produce.  It is not especially short on vacant lots and abandoned buildings.

For the past several weeks now I've been watching with interest the slow development of this little vacant lot, littered with garbage as it is.  Forget the hipster cafes opening several blocks to the West and North, this taking hold of a previously dingy, depressing space is how new beginnings are formed and neighborhoods renewed and transformed.

The whole thing gave me a bit of inspiration to return to my own focus on seasonally fresh foods and my own renewal.

1 comment :

  1. nice to see this pop up today in my feeds! looking forward to reading more!


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