Home Environmental education Greenpoint Library is giving away free produce from its rooftop garden

Greenpoint Library is giving away free produce from its rooftop garden

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When you think of the library, getting fresh produce like lemon balm and Swiss chard doesn’t come to mind. But Greenpoint Library (107 Norman Avenue) hopes to change that. The library gives free to other customers all the products they grow in their garden.

The products come from the demonstration garden on the third floor of the library. The garden is used to show people in the community how different plants grow and to relate them to plants in an urban environment. He also showed clients how to use plants for wellness through herbalism classes. So far, the library has grown tomatoes, kale, and radishes, to name a few.

Basil growing at Greenpoint Library. Photo by Demetria Osei-Tutu

The third-floor rooftop garden is only open during programming. The open space is filled with their demonstration garden featuring plants such as basil and strawberries with lavender and bee balm. There is also a pollinator garden for the bees to do what they do best on the solar panel roof.

Pollinator Garden at Greenpoint Library. Photo by Demetria Osei-Tutu

Since opening in October 2020, Greenpoint Library, which also operates as an environmental education center, has hosted a host of community events involving the environment and sustainability.

“It all has to do with people’s connection to plants in nature. And it inevitably connects people to love [nature]…Once you start loving nature, you want to protect it and we’re the environmental education center and environmental justice is our other focus,” said Acacia Thompson, environmental justice coordinator at Greenpoint Library.

Close up of a grass. Photo by Demetria Osei-Tutu

Thompson hopes that in future the garden will be open year-round. Staff have only grown and donated produce for two seasons – the first giveaway was in May 2021. Thompson wants to maximize all available rooftop space and grow produce like cabbage and spinach. She wants a rooftop greenhouse to educate people more about the plants and to start their own seedlings during the winter.

Although the library does not have a consistent schedule for its giveaways, it does occasionally bring the products to the community fridge near The Lot Radio. For the rest, the library talks about it on its Facebook and Instagram page. So be on the lookout for fresh fruits, vegetables or herbs and come read a book while you’re there.