Summer Bounty in BQLT Gardens

Thanks for Hosting and Sharing your Gardens during the 2022 Season’s BQLT Monthly Operations Meetings!

On Saturday, July 9th 2022, the BQLT Operations Committee continued its warm-weather garden tour of BQLT’s member gardens with a meeting at Concerned Citizens of Grove Street Community Garden in Bushwick. BQLT Garden Representative Luis Munive and the rest of the Grove Street gardeners greeted visitors on a beautiful and temperate Saturday morning and welcome one and all.

The garden is on a big lot with benches in front for passersby and a children’s playground. It is a wonder, with a beautiful mural and hand-painted sign, as well as an impressive array of raised beds supporting all manner of flora, and then there’s the chicken coop populated with no shortage of live, egg-laying chickens.

Guest speaker Maria Garcia, Membership and Program Coordinator for Cooperative Economics Alliance for New York City (CEANYC) spoke to gardeners about the New York City’s solidarity economy and the shared resources available to groups, including the Lower East Side Credit Union as a source for gardeners in need of a garden bank account. It’s an option that won’t drain a garden’s account with excessive fees and has a straightforward, user-friendly application. Definitely good news to get for anyone who has been part of a group that sat for hours at a bank branch on a Saturday morning attempting to add or update the names on the account.

Learn more about the work Maria and the rest of CEANYC are doing here. You can also email Maria Garcia at with any questions you have.

Happy Chickens at Concerned Citizens of Grove Street on July 9th 2022 (photo by Curtis Flowers)
Mural at Concerned Citizens of Grove Street Community Garden (photo by Curtis Flowers)

On Saturday, August 6th, the BQLT Operations Committee and couple of dozen BQLT gardeners met for our monthly coffee and donuts and general garden chatter at United Herkimer Garden Club—a jewel of a garden just off of a well-traveled stretch of Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. We were hosted by Tamara Bourdeau, Garden Manager and BQLT Rep, along with Zack, garden member. The garden was packed with plants–calaloo, squash, cucumbers, bittermelon and more, and soon, gardeners, who filled most of the available, open space. We love a good crowd.

Slotted into the guest speaker’s spot was Kwesi Joseph, Urban Gardens Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest NY. His gardening stories and tips are all based on his own experiences. The man can tell a story and hold an audience’s attention with all manner of gardening information spiked with wit and good humor. Kwesi is a proponent of and had successfully been using basalt rock dust as fertilizer. Seemed brilliant, in a way things unknown often can, to be honest. He also sent those interested home with a takeaway, called Kwesi’s Killer Plants, his list of plants and flowers that attract beneficial insects, including sweet alyssum, calendula, nasturtium, sunflower, sorghum, dill, and yarrow. Gardening info you require? Write Kwesi or check his Instagram.

Learn more about Harvest NY, which works to grow New York’s Agriculture and Economy with programs focused on farm-based beverages, local foods, dairy food processing, urban agriculture, and emerging crops and Kwesi’s work providing Brooklyn’s gardening community with knowledge and resources here.

Tamara Bourdeau, Garden Manager at United Herkimer Garden Club, showed off their abundant calaloo, squash, bittermelon and more on August 6th 2022 (photo by Ashley Cruce)

On August 6th, gardeners learned about Integrated Pest Management techniques and plant selections from Kwesi Joseph, Urban Gardens Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest NY (photo by Ashley Cruce)

The Saturday, October 8th meeting at Hollenback Community Garden featured:
–History and Stories of Hollenback Community Garden
–Solar-powered garden features at Hollenback
–Updates on Tree Committee & upcoming fall fruit tree/pruning workshops
–Upcoming Events (Virtual Rat Academy Training 10/19 6-8pm)
–Open floor for gardeners

Oct. 8th | 10am – 11:30 am at Hollenback Community Garden
460 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, 11238

Co-written by Curtis Flowers, Board member (Garden member at RTV, Brooklyn) & Co-Chair of the Operations Committee and Ashley Cruce, Board member (Garden member at McIntosh Garden, Queens) & Co-Chair of the Tree Committee.

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