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"Making Brooklyn Bloom:" A Day of Info & Networking at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

2013- Beyond Pansies, A Focus on Biodiversity, Savind Seeds, Pedal Power & More


Attend workshops, visit booths, hear the experts at BBG's "Make Brooklyn Bloom" event.

Photo by Rebecca Bullene of Making Brooklyn Bloom" in 2011.

Gardeners, Intellectuals, Green-Minded Attend "Making Brooklyn Bloom" Day at BBG

Interested in gardening, the environment, and such topics as composting, school gardening and bio-cultural diversity? Register to attend the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Making Brooklyn Bloom event.

Started in 1971 as part of the borough's effort to overcome a quarter-century of post WWII decline, Making Brooklyn Bloom might have once concerned itself with how to prettify the mean streets of pre-gentrified Brooklyn. But like the borough itself, Making Brooklyn Bloom has evolved. In 2013, it focuses on both local sustainability and larger environmental issues such as biodiversity. This event is all about making choices about how our planet evolves.

This year, some sessions will also address the question of rebuilding in smart, sustainable ways, in light of the learned from the disastrous Hurricane Sandy of 2012.

From Pedal Power in Your Garden to Saving Seeds from Corporate BioEngineering

One workshop offering that should sell like hotcakes in today's bike-mad Brooklyn, where new bike lanes have been the subject of heated debate, is "Pedal Power: Bike Energy in the Garden."

Much of the program is for green-thumb beginners. For instance, you can discover what kinds of organic container gardens can be grown atop your building roof. The session may or may not prepare you with tips on how to convince your condo and coop board that a green roof is as good an investment as, say, repainting the lobby.

As every kid knows, digging in the dirt is fun. Grown ups, from empty-nesters to retirees and the underemployed -- in short, those with time on their hands -- might consider getting those hands dirty, or at least green. Find out how at an information session on the Brooklyn Urban Gardener Volunteer Program. Or, find out what's growing in your own back yard (literally) at the workshop titled Fruitful Natives: Blueberries and Beyond.

More advanced-sounding sessions dig into such topics as soil nutrition, and using storm water in the garden. Learn about "seed bombs", saving heirlooms (seeds, that is) and more.

In short, the day offers something for everyone: the brownstone gardener with his postage stamp-sized back yard, and the global policy activist concerned with environmental degradation, agricultural degradation, and macro- and micro-levels of agricultural sustainability, not to mention genetically engineered foods, bio-piracy and food rights.


2013 Keynote

Expected to be sold out, the keynote address, Gardening for a Resilient City: Sustainability and Brooklynwill be presented anti-globalization activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, a "global environmental activist, author, and founder of Navdanya," a pro bio-diversity organization dedicated to conserving knowledge of the seed and its utilization, preserving traditional methods of farming, and global sustainability.

2013 Workshops in Detail

Workshops begin at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m; there is no preregistration for specific workshops, and participants may only select two. The organizers recommend that you arrive early to get your first choices.

Topics (subject to change:)

  • From School Garden to Lunch Plate: Connecting Kids to Good Food
  • Fruitful Natives: Blueberries and Beyond
  • The Global Gardener: Growing Food from Around the World
  • Growing Powerful Food Presented in English and Spanish
  • Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities
  • Making Seed Bombs
  • Open House: Brooklyn Urban Gardener Volunteer Program
  • Pedal Power: Bike Energy in the Garden
  • Put More Carrot in Your Carrot: Soil Fertility and Nutrition
  • Refreshing Your Tree Bed This Spring Presented in English and Spanish
  • Resourceful Rooftop Containers
  • Revitalizing Garden Membership with Community Composting
  • Save Heirloom Seed Like a Farmer
  • Starting from Seed Indoors and Out
  • Upcycled Treasure: Tree Guards to Greenhouses
  • Using Stormwater in the Garden


Face-to-face networking and meet-and-greet opportunities will be fertile, with ample time to cultivate new environmentally aware friends, and to name drop such show stoppers as Navdanya, the Indian (as in, subcontinent) NGO dedicated to preserving biodiversity in the face of an onslaught of global corporate interests and chemical and bio-engineering technology.

Who Should Go?

This event will be of interest to: urban gardeners at all levels, environmentalists, those concerned with global food policy, bioengineering, organic farming and related fields, among others.

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