project leader
Sheryll D
2103 Kenmore Terrace
Brooklyn (Flatbush)
latest update rss
Seeds are sprouting!

the project

Help Sustainable Flatbush Build a Healing Herb Garden For Our Community!

Sustainable Flatbush will convert its 340 square foot container garden, located at the historic Flatbush Reformed Church, into a culinary and medicinal herb garden. 

We will cultivate up to 30 varieties of herbs in tiered raised beds, planters, and vertical wall gardens. Our garden will contain a mini hoop house for seed propagation, worm compost bin, worktable, and seating area. We will create two native pollinator garden beds at the garden entrance, to attract bees and other beneficial insects, and build a simple rainwater harvest and drip irrigation system.

Our herb garden will serve as an outdoor classroom, demonstrating basic urban agricultural techniques and offering workshops on the uses and benefits of herbs as both food and medicine. We will provide volunteer and internship opportunities, and pursue partnerships with members of our local community, neighborhood schools, and social service organizations.

The purpose of our ioby campaign is to raise money to build the garden infrastructure.

Construction will be completed over a 2-week period, beginning in early April. We have engaged a professional carpenter to direct our project and work with our interns and volunteers. Because zero waste is one of the main initiatives of Sustainable Flatbush, we will include as much repurposed material in our project as possible. BIG!NYC has already committed 750 linear feet of reclaimed lumber to our project.

To get an idea of our end vision for the garden, watch our short video clip:

the steps

Construction begins in April and will take about 2 weeks.

  • Clear the plot and salvage as much reusable material as possible, such as containers and stone pavers
  • Add compost and till the soil (as part of our ongoing soil remediation efforts), before laying pea gravel as ground cover and making a stone pathway
  • Build tiered raised beds, planters and vertical wall gardens around most of the garden’s perimeter
  • Install rain water harvest and drip irrigation system
  • Build mini hoop house for growing seeds, seating area, and work table
  • Build raised beds for native pollinator plants on either side of the garden entrance

why we're doing it

Green Spaces and Public Health

Although New York City boasts many parks and recreation facilities, and is home to more than 700 farms and gardens, many neighborhoods still lack adequate access to open green space. Our garden is located in the heart of Flatbush, a densely populated urban neighborhood — around 147,000 residents in a 2.3 square mile radius. Flatbush has one of the lowest ratios of open space per resident in the city, as well as a myriad of health problems: obesity, diabetes, lack of physical activity, and more.

Gardens create an opportunity for people to come together by growing fresh, healthy food to nourish their communities and neighborhoods. In addition, gardens provide many other social benefits beyond improving the quality of life for those working in the garden: they provide a catalyst for neighborhood development, stimulate social interaction (especially across generations), beautify neighborhoods, preserve green spaces, and provide opportunities for physical activity and environmental education — just to name a few. 

Flatbush has no community gardens registered with GrowNYC, GreenThumb lists only one, and OasisNYC identifies only two on its map. This serves to illustrate the need for more publicly accessible urban green spaces in a neighborhood that is clearly ill-served.

Environmental Education
We will use our garden as an outdoor classroom where community members, especially youth, can learn about sustainable agricultural techniques and water conservation practices in an urban setting, and about the nutritional and medicinal benefits of food that they have helped to grow for their own consumption.

We will provide internship opportunities for high school and college students, and open the garden to classroom visits and service learning opportunities throughout the year. We are already partnering with two local high schools in this effort — International High School @ Prospect Heights and Academy of Hospitality and Tourism High School @ Erasmus Hall.

We will partner with Sacred Vibes Apothecary, a local medicinal herb dispensary, to conduct workshops during the summer for our community on the use and benefits of herbs as both food and medicine.

Bread for the Journey, the Flatbush Reformed Church’s emergency food program, provides a hot lunch every Wednesday and Saturday as part of their mission to serve our community. Although the program serves the most needy in our neighborhood, it is open to all regardless of economic circumstances, and has become a way to build community across social barriers. Sustainable Flatbush will continue to provide fresh produce from our garden for the church kitchen’s meal preparation.



Only 3 weeks into our campaign and already, we've raised close to a third of the total amount needed to build the hardscape for our Healing Herb Garden. To all our friends, family, supporters and well wishers along the way; to all the volunteers that have come out to help; THANK YOU for your tremendous and continued generosity! — Sheryll Durrant, Sustainable Flatbush Urban Farm and Garden Director



RAISED = 2802.00
ioby Platform Fee  35.00
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) 80.59




  • Carpenter ($120 per day for 14 days) — $1,680.00


  • Additional lumber (50 heat treated pallets @ $10ea.) — $500.00

  • Pea gravel (5 tons @ $50 per ton) — $250.00

  • Dewitt Pro-5 Weed Barrier (4‘ x 250’) — $125.00

  • Everbilt 4” zinc plated heavy duty tee hinge (4 @$3.67 ea.) — $14.68

  • Everbilt 6 1/2" zinc plated heavy duty door pull (2 @ $5.48 ea.) — $10.96

  • 1 box of Paslode 3" x 0.120 ring hot dipped galvanized framing nails (2000-pack) — $59.98

  • Liquid nails (10 tubes @ $2.81 ea.) — $28.10

  • Yardgard 1" x 3' x 50' 20-gauge galvanized poultry netting (2 @ $30.65 per roll) — $61.30

  • Rain maker solar powered automatic drip watering system — $49.98

  • 1 sheet Plexi glass for cold frame hoop house — $100


  • Uhaul (estimate $20 for local usage + $16 for insurance + gas and mileage) — $100

TOTAL — $2980

SUBTOTAL = $2,980
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $89




Seeds are sprouting!

We've begun seeds…and they're sprouting nicely! 30 seedlings so far…and we even have a peppermint volunteer.








The garden is taking shape!

Thanks to our wonderful interns from International High School @Prospect Heights and visiting students from Academy of Hospitality and Tourism High School @ Erasmus Hall, the garden is taking shape! Special kudos to our amazing carpenter, James Davis!

Raised beds have been built with reclaimed lumber, generously donated by BuildItGreen!NYC, and we're almost ready to plant. We also received a donation of mulch and compost from NYC Recycles.

As of April 17th we've received $477 in donations... it's great but we have a long way to go! Please help us make our goal of $3000 by May 1st!



Updates on our project!

Here are a few updates to our project that we'd like to share:

  • We have cleared our plot and salvaged all the reusable material we can — saving a lot of containers we can use as pots and planter; and stone pavers for borders and our stone pathway.
  • We've added compost from our own compost bins and tilled all the soil (as part of our ongoing soil remediation efforts); and covered the area with landscape cloth in anticipation of getting pea gravel as ground cover. 
  • We've started building our tiered raised beds with the reclaimed lumber that was donated by BIG!NYC in Astoria, Queens.
  • And we've received a generous donation of organic topsoil (not included in our budget) from New York Cares.
Here are a few images from our progress over the last 2 weeks since we started our campaign:



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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