Touch the Soil News #575 (Feature photo courtesy of New York City Community Garden Coalition)
The Green Valley Community Farm has been an icon in Brooklyn, New York for decades. The community garden – which has a greenhouse for winter – is located in a food desert, an area lacking access to fresh produce. It’s more than just hobby farming – it’s about survival.
The community garden is located on land owned by a municipal agency – the Housing Preservation and Development Agency. The Agency allegedly sold the ground under the farm for $4 to a developer for a 20-unit affordable housing project. Construction is slated for early 2017.
Gardeners of the Green Valley Community Farm along with other local residents, politicians and food activists recently staged a protest.
Photo: Protestors seeking to save the Green Valley Community Farm are upset in that both the Mayor and the Housing Preservation Development Agency promised the gardeners that the garden would not be disturbed (photo courtesy of Alex Rud).
Amidst the fight to keep the Green Valley Community Farm, some prophetic words came to surface. Farm director Brenda Duchense, vocalized the groups concerns – “new construction should not come at the expense of the neighborhoods primary source of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and other vegetables.”
Over the last 100 years, every nation in the world – whose cities emerged in the midst of the best farmland – have been favoring construction over saving the local sources of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and other vegetables.
International trade and consumption of farmland – that should be saved for future generations – have delayed the consequences of most cities paving the world’s best farmlands. Today, however, there is not as much wiggle room left. The message from the folks at Green Valley Community Farm is more than just about one small community garden.
Following is a short video clip of a similar fight three years ago over the Coney Island Community Garden. Unfortunately, as the protest to keep the Coney Island garden was building, developers ordered bulldozers to go in at night and raze the gardens.