BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — If you’re looking to escape to some greener pastures this season, look no further than your own back yard.
As the weather warms up, New Yorkers are returning to local community gardens to soak up the sun and enjoy the city’s lush, outdoor spaces.
Bedford-Stuyvesant is home to more than 30 community gardens, where residents can become members or volunteers.
The green spaces create an opportunity for neighbors and new residents to connect with one another, organizers said.
Spots in Bed-Stuy host a bevy of cookouts, festivals and events and the spaces provide free, fresh food for the community, according to Demetrice Mills, operations chair for the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust.
“You don’t even have to live in the neighborhood to garden there or enjoy,” Mills said. “Don’t be afraid to go inside and ask questions. That’s the best way to get involved.”
Community gardens create an oasis in a concrete jungle, locals said, and joining can serve as a small way to give back to the area.
“We need this sort of nature. Gardens make it bearable to live in an urban environment,” said Ena K. McPherson, a longtime member of four Brooklyn gardens.
Volunteers can stop by to chip in with some hands-on experience, while members are responsible for their own plots or beds and assist with the year-round caretaking.
Membership fees and policies vary with each garden, so check with your local gardeners for more information by dropping by during open hours or calling the contact numbers posted in each lot.
If you'd like to start your own, check out these tips.
Interested in joining a community garden? Take a look at DNAinfo New York's map of Bed-Stuy’s green spaces.
Let us know in Neighborhood Square or the comments section if we’ve missed any of your favorite spots.
Jane Bailey Memorial Garden
327-329 Greene Ave.
Established in 1988, the 4,326-square-foot garden is home to a wide array of raised-planting beds, rain barrels, and picnic tables for gatherings. Gardeners grow chard, collards, kale, lettuce, broccoli, eggplant, onion, sweet peppers and more.
Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger Saratoga Farm
1971 Fulton St.
This nonprofit working to end hunger across the city grows 14 different fruits and vegetables in its garden. The space is operated with Eagle Academy for Young Men and hosts health education classes. Produce is sold at BSCAH’s weekend farmers market and local restaurants, and used at the agency’s food pantry.
Greene Acres Community Garden
324 Franklin Ave.
Green Acres has an active compost program where locals can bring food scraps to the garden to be turned into rich soil, and is also home to four resident chickens. Gardeners grow cantaloupe, strawberries, bok choy, lavender, lemongrass, figs, parsnip, winter squash and more.
Myrtle Village Green
913 Kent Ave.
The garden hosts beds for about 70 neighboring households and families and provides gathering space for public meetings and community events. MVG is open to the public on Saturday and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., as well as any other time the gate is open.
Clifton Place Memorial Park and Garden
1031 Bedford Ave.
Founded by the block association in 1982, the garden features fruit trees, a 1,000-gallon rainwater harvesting tank, and two beehives with queens named Beeyonce and Bee Arthur. Gardeners grow blackberries, watermelon, spinach, chamomile, cilantro, apples, nectarines, cherries, beets and more.
Greene Avenue Neighbors Association Garden
490 Greene Ave.
The 2,000-square-foot space boasts a gazebo and colorful mural amid a variety of plants.
Target Community Garden
931 Bedford Ave.
The garden features a paved patio with seating and coverage, crushed-gravel paths and a rainwater collection system with a wooden water tower. Designers also used a recycled brownstone slab to create a bench inspired by the neighborhood’s historic architecture. Gardeners grow lettuce, mesclun, oregano, peaches, beans, carrots, radish, peas, and more.
Golden Harvest Garden
338 Throop Ave.
Located next to Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation’s food pantry and commercial kitchen space, the garden is home to raised beds for vegetables and flowers. Harvests go toward the Golden Harvest Client Choice Food Pantry’s clients.
Hart to Hart
104-108 Hart St.
The former vacant lot boasts a large garden membership which tripled in 2009, according to GreenThumb. Members have large beds, and the area has a chicken coop and tool shed. Gardeners grow cantaloupe, rhubarb, strawberries, watermelon, arugula, bok choy, thyme, habañero and jalapeño.
462 Halsey Community Garden
462 Halsey St.
This green patch uses recycled materials, rainwater collection, and composting. Members are against chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers anywhere in the garden, as well as chemically treated wood for garden beds. The spot is open to members year-round and to the general public from April 1 to Oct. 31.
Vernon/Throop Avenue Block Association Garden
257 Throop Ave.
The garden sits at the end of three-four row houses at the end of a small block, with a gazebo and bench in the middle. Organizers say it’s been passed down through three generations. Gardeners grow watermelon, chard, collard, lettuce, echinacea, lavender, mulberry, carrots and more.
First Quincy Street Community Garden
397-401 Quincy St.
The three-lot open space opened in 1981 and houses a compost station, mosaic mural, rainwater harvesting system, and special memorial dedicated to fallen black firefighters. Gardeners grow collard, lettuce, spinach, thyme, apples, cherries, peaches, cabbage, cucumbers and more.
100 Quincy Community Garden
100 Quincy St.
The garden officially opened in January 2013 after community residents sought to transform the area into a “vibrant community space.” The lot is home to chickens and features a greenhouse.
Shiloh Garden Inc.
323 Monroe St.
The community garden was founded in the late 1980s and thrived until 2004 when a new housing development took over. The construction resulted in the loss of half the lot. Residents revived the space in 2010 and continue to host events. Gardeners grow arugula, bok choy, chard, collard, pears, beets, broccoli, carrots, cayenne and more.
Whole Neighborhood Garden
1001 Bedford Ave.
The 4,000-square-foot garden was formerly used as a play area by the Association for Black Social Workers daycare. Following the agency’s closure, the space was rebuilt as part of the 2013 Gardens for Healthy Communities program.
Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Garden
95 Malcolm X Blvd.
The Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Garden, formerly the Lola Bryant Community Garden, features raised planting beds, a central lawn for gatherings, trellises for grapes and vines, green walls, and picnic tables. Gardeners grow collard, kale, lettuce, mesclun basil, cilantro, dill, lavender, parsley, apples, peaches, eggplant, onions and more.
Hull Street Community Garden
145 Hull St.
Three-quarters of the garden is devoted to play equipment for neighborhood children, and the back space offers a barbecue grill, arbor with climbing vines and a garden shed.
Garden of Angels
978 Greene Ave.
Founded in 1996, the garden produces food shared with local seniors and the homeless population. Gardeners grow collard, lettuce, peaches, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, corn, potatoes and more.
Cheryl's Villa Garden
395 Kosciuszko St.
The small, ornamental garden features a mural celebrating African heritage, as well as picnic tables and a composting area.
Seasons of Vision
9 Rochester Ave.
Seasons of Vision has 10 beds (3 extra large beds and 7 standard) as well as clinging vines on the walls. Gardeners grow collard, kale, basil, apples, jalapeños, peas, sweet peppers, tomatoes, winter squash and more.
Patchen Community Square
868 Putnam Ave.
Organizers at the 5,000-square-foot lot host community workshops. The space is open to compost drop-offs from April through October and also has an active herbalist who grows and teaches about natural remedies found in the garden.
Spencer’s Little Heaven
2 Spencer Place
The L-shaped garden near Pratt Area Community Council Housing has a picnic area, mural, small pond, herbs and butterfly-attracting plants. A vegetable bed shared by residents and children from P.S. 3 is also housed in the space.
659 Willoughby Ave.
During a visit to Tranquility Farm you’ll see painted murals of historic African-American figures, as well as inspirational quotes throughout the garden. The space has a greenhouse and members have worked with local, at-risk teens to teach them about beekeeping.
Hattie Carthan Community Garden
677 Lafayette Ave.
Formed in 1991, the garden is named after Brooklyn environmentalist Hattie Carthan, who helped plant more than 1,500 trees through the borough. The space has a children's learning garden, mushroom patches, chicken coops, and composting and vermicomposting systems. Two-thirds of the garden is dedicated to food production. Gardeners grow figs, peaches, apples, plums, sour cherries, apricots and more.