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Flower children! Kids celebrate summer at Waterfront District urban farm

Bee-wildered: Elliot Webber and Henry Phillips learned the ins-and-outs of beekeeping at the Spring into Summer Festival in Red Hook on Saturday.
Brooklyn Paper
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Now this is a garden party!

Dozens of families welcomed the start of the warm months at the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden’s Spring Into Summer festival on Saturday, where youngsters got their hands dirty doing arts and crafts, face-painting, and releasing ladybugs into the Columbia Street Waterfront District green space.

The outdoors bash was both a way to honor the people who run and use the garden as well as the local organizations that offer a different kind of green to keep the veggie patches at the corner of Columbia and Sackett streets up and running, said an organizer.

“The best part was being able to celebrate the community and thank some of the organizations that helped us,” said the aptly named Sunshine Flint, a Red Hook resident who has organized a bash for the garden every season since 2013.

The shindig also celebrated the urban farm’s induction into the Parks Department’s Green Thumb program, which provides taxpayer-funded tools, soil, workshops, and small grants to community gardens.

The Children’s Garden, which first sprouted in 2012, provides a place for school and preschool scholars to go on literal field trips, and for local families to compost, grow, and harvest food.

Members pay $40 individually or $70 per family each year, which entitles them to take part in the urban agriculture and take home a portion of the harvest.

Last year the plot yielded 578 pounds of produce — including 200 pounds of tomatoes, 90 pounds of beets, and 26 pounds of lettuce — 170 pounds of which the garden donated to food banks.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:51 am, June 23, 2016
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