project leader
Nancie K
2163 Dean Street
(Ocean Hill-Brownsville)
latest update rss
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the project

Since last fall at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Seeds in the Middle has had the honor to work with schools and community leaders across central Brooklyn's food deserts to transform their neighborhoods from gray to green. 

It has been no surprise to us that minority Brooklyn residents, living in food deserts like Ocean Hill-Brownsville, are the ones dying at the highest rates from COVID19. Central Brooklyn is one of three neighborhoods in NYC with the highest rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, cancer and asthma. That means they have underlying conditions that make them especially vulnerable to the worst effects of COVID19.

We are changing that in our neighborhoods by growing edible gardens, running weekly farmstands and pop-up farm/flea markets, run by Black and Brown residents for the community. Now, we seek to expand into a network of community-run healthy green places -  expanding gardens  and farm stands, broadening teaching on composting and the environment, building healthy cafes  and empowering all to create healthy places to live, learn and relax so they can become models for all on how urban neighborhoods of color can transform their environment - by the people for the people.

In Ocean Hill-Brownsville, we're working with the Sh'ma Israel Green Thumb Garden, Brooklyn Collegiate HS  and PS-IS 178 and What About the Children, all local, community organizations, to expand edible gardens, build a greenhouse and a healthy free cafe, engaging students from PS-IS 178 and Brooklyn Collegiate HS plus paint a mural on the wall of PS-IS 178 and possibly BK Collegiate - the two schools are a block apart. We are also going to create worm composting sites.

We are creating a garden and healthy cafe with art along with our farm stand. We will engage the children and seniors and community in art projects to decorate our outdoor space and learn how to protect and ehance their environment.

We will transform part of the large parking lot of PS-IS 178 by painting the pavement, erecting a hoop house, and creating a second entry gate into the Sh'ma Israel GreenThumb Garden from the parking lot so that we have a large green space and area for outdoor learning and conmunity gathering.

In addition, local artists will work with us with students from both schools to paint a mural on the wall of the school facing toward the gardens. We may also do the same at Brooklyn Collegiate, a block away, and build outdoor edible planting beds for them as well.

But that's not the only places, we're transforming food deserts. We are working with:

  • Wyckoff Gardens residents and local schools to run a weekly farm/flea market to benefit all the community, including the Houses
  • PS 284 in Brownsville to expand our weekly farm stand, hold a Health Fair,  engage local vendors, and build on edible gardens 
  • Flatbush/PLG residents to build a Parkside Plaza Farm Stand/Flea Market and work with Flatbush Eats to write about food and provide fresh
  • Marge Matthews Community Garden on Louis Place with Deon Harris to build a farm stand and edible garden to help special needs children
  • Flatbush - Kings Plaza - to create a farm/flea market for the community of Flatbush, offering Brooklyn local food/drink creatives 
  • We Eat into Wellness - Bed-Stuy with Pastor Sharmine Byrd to expand affordable fresh food in Bed-Stuy

Our big goal out of this pandemic is to empower people in communities of color - in food deserts - to craft beautiful  green spaces to gather as a community, from infants to seniors and to rebuild both their physical and mental health. 

Our funding also will pay for EBT/SNAP equipment, plus Hip2B Healthy Bucks, so we can offer all everyone free fresh food when they "buy" at our markets.

In addition, we will pay instructors to link art and wellness into the curriculum of the schools, to enhance the outdoor learning experience for all students in this area.

We are also launching a pipeline of fresh produce and herbs and honey from Black and Latinx and Native American farmers directly to Brooklyn. You can support our first endeavor by buying raw, unfiltered, certified organic honey for $25 from our partner in North Carolina. 

Plus we run the joyful low-cost or free Crown Heights Soccer at Hamilton Metz Field and Lincoln Terrace Field. Donate to sponsor a child or buy a uniform!

the steps

JUNE 1: Meet with the schools and community members to plan our gardens and farm stands.

JUNE-Sept. 15 - Build gardens, get our EBT/SNAP equipment, hire market managers so we can organize our farm stands/fleas and get them rolling!

why we're doing it

Central Brooklyn is one of NYC's poorest neighborhoods, plagued with lack of fresh food and green spaces  and simply outdoor beauty for their community. Given the pandemic, these outside spaces and access to healthy fresh food are critical to ensuring people can enjoy while being safe. We believe the community can transofrm their environment from gray to green, destitution to inspiration, if given the support and financing. This funding provides the bridge for that to happen. We believe this would be the first of its kind in central Brooklyn, run by the people for the people. We believe it can inspire other similar neighborhoods to do the same. Our commmunities are low-income and nearly all the children are eligible for free or reduced lunch. They are equally deserving of having healthy places to live and learn as anyone else and they have the capacity to create it, too. We will enable that to happen.


REVISED BUDGET (4.28.21): 

$10,000 for Hip2B Healthy Bucks - FREE fresh coupons for all the markets so everyone can eat fresh affordably

$5000 - EBT/SNAP Expenses for 1 year for 5 markets (Wyckoff, Parkside Plaza, Kings Theater, Marge Matthews, We Want to Eat into Wellness)

$12,000  - Funds for paid market managers for 10 weeks ($15 an hour x 10 hours a week = $1500 x 8 markets)  at PS 178, PS 284, Wyckoff, Parkside Plaza, Kings Theater, Flatbush Market, Marge Matthews and We Eat into Wellness Markets

$2000 - Materials, tables, transportation for start-up markets at our new ones (Wyckoff, Kings Theater, Parkside Plaza, Kings Theater, Marge Matthews, We Eat into Wellness Markets)

$1000 - Supports support for underserved children in Crown Heights  so every child can play for free and get uniforms and have the chance to get fit

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  


$2000 - free food for students and community to enjoy garden

$2000 - hoop house

$2000 for two murals, hiring artists to work with students so they can do mural at each school, plus paint parking lot

$1000 - to make special entrance to Green Thumb Garden from PS-IS 178 parking lot

$1000 - tables and chairs with umbrellas and benches so seniors and neighbors can enjoy

$2000 - administrative overhead, insurance, supplies, volunteer organization + teachers to help teach edible gardens.

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  


Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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