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April 2014
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Workshop: DIY Rainwater Harvesting

Rain Barrel

Join us for a hands-on workshop that will lead you through building a basic rainwater harvesting system for your community garden.

Learn the importance of water conservation, how to plan and design your system, where to put your system, what materials are needed for your system, and how to assemble and maintain your system.

Sponsored by the generous support of the National Grid Foundation. Keep an eye out for other DIY workshops in the series to be announced soon.

April 26
Bushwick, Brooklyn
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

This is a free workshop, but space is limited.
To RSVP, contact Wilfredo Florentino:  | 212.822.9568


Uniform Land Use Review Procedure Public Hearing




Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to Sections 197-C and 201 of the New York City Charter, the Brooklyn Borough President will hold a public hearing on the following matters in the Community Room, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201, commencing at 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.


140277 ZSK AND 140278 HAK

In the matter of applications submitted by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), pursuant to Sections 197-c and 201 of the New York City Charter and to Article 16 of the General Municipal Law of New York State, the following:

a) for the grant of a special permit pursuant to Section 74-902 of the Zoning resolution to modify the requirements of Section 24-111 (Maximum Floor Area Ratio and Percentage of Lot Coverage) to apply to a non-profit institution with sleeping accommodations in connection with a proposed 6-story building on property located at 768-770 Decatur Street a.k.a. 1696-1712 Broadway;

b) the designation of such property as an Urban Development Action Area and an Urban Development Action Area Project for such area; and

c) the disposition of such property to a developer to be selected by HPD

to facilitate the development of a six-story mixed-use building with approximately 79 residential units of affordable and supportive housing and ground floor commercial space.

Note: To request a sign language interpreter, or to request TTD services, call Mr. Richard Bearak at (718) 802-4057 before the hearing.

Garifuna-American Heritage Month proclaimed at City Hall


By Tequila Minsky | CaribBean Life

Earlier this month at City Hall, March 11-April 12 was proclaimed Garífuna-American Heritage Month. Members of the Garifuna Coalition and others in the community were on hand for the honors. Heritage Month acknowledges the great contributions of Garífuna-Americans to the fabric of New York City and New York State.

At City Hall, members of the New York area Garifuna-American community hold the proclamation declaring March 11-April 12 Garífuna-American Heritage Month. Photo by Tequila Minsky

At City Hall, members of the New York area Garifuna-American community hold the proclamation declaring March 11-April 12 Garífuna-American Heritage Month.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

Among the month of significant dates and scheduled events, Garifuna-American Heritage will be celebrated April 3 at Bronx County Courthouse and April 11 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, both starting at 5:30 p.m.

Also, a Garifuna (full) Day Conference & Festival will take place on April 12 at 344 Brook Ave. in Bronx. This is the Garifuna Community’s sixth year celebrating Garífuna-American Heritage Month in New York.

Heritage Month pays tribute to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Garífuna’s countries of origin—Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

New York City is home to the largest Garífuna Community outside of Central America, part of a migration since the 1930s. The community was virtually obscure, but the Happy Land Social Club fire on March 25, 1990, when almost half of the 87 victims were Garifuna, brought more visibility. A granite memorial dedicated in 1995, east of the 1959 Southern Blvd. site of the fire, commemorates those who died. Behind the impressive marker is a placard that lists the names of those that perished in the club.

Garifuna-American Heritage Month 2014 also observes the 217th anniversary of the forcible transfer of the Garifuna people from St. Vincent to Central America and their arrival on April 12, 1797.


About the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

The Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization headquartered in New York City. It was founded on May 9th,1998 and was incorporated as a Domestic not for Profit Corporation on May 28, 1999. The purpose of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. is to serve as a resource, a forum, and advocate for Garifuna issues and a united voice for the Garifuna community. It seeks to find solutions to social problems such as, poverty, immigration and housing affecting the Garifuna people, through grassroots organizing and community development

Workshop: To Be Or Not To Be a 501(c)(3)

Stressed Pretty African-American Woman Citizens Committee is partnering with the Lawyers Alliance for New York to offer a new workshop to community groups: To Be or Not To Be a 501(c)3. In this workshop, we will explore the questions:

  • Does it make sense for your community group to apply for 501(c)(3) status?
  • What is 501(c)(3)?
  • What is the difference between 501(c)(3), incorporation, and tax exemption?
  • What are the benefits and obligations of each?
  • What are the drawbacks? What is fiscal sponsorship?
  • We will not cover how to become a 501(c)(3).

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Tuesday, March 25 Midtown Manhattan This is a free workshop, but space is limited. To RSVP, contact Wilfredo Florentino:  | 212.822.9568


An Idea Whos Time Has Come

Shared by Lee Kottner on Facebook

See if you can get somewhere in your neighborhood to do this.


“We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter: ‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’ They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?” My friend: “Wait for it and you will see.”

Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers – three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks ‘Do you have any suspended coffee?’

It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such cafés or even grocery stores in every town where the less fortunate will find hope and support? If you own a business why don’t you offer it to your clients… I am sure many of them will like it.

Please join

Very Respectfully,
Scott Sonnon

Thank You! from ENYF


ENYF! 2013 Farmers Market has been amazing! We had cultural performance during our SummerDaze events with ArtsENY, we had another year of our annual corn festival, pie contest, pumpkin fest and lets not forget our hot pepper contest! We want to thank you for making this a successful year. Full of fresh produce, creativity and community collaborations.

THIS SATURDAY at 9:30am Congressman Hakeem Jeffries will be visiting the market . Come meet our new Congressman, learn more about the Affordable Care Act and tell him what’s important to YOU and our community.

As a reminder the last day of our farmers market is November 16th. Vendors are accepting WIC, Senior, Fresh Connect and HealthBucks coupon this Saturday! In efforts to continue access to fresh and affordable foods all year long, our first Winter CSA Program will start December 2013. To find out more and sign up for ENYF Winter CSA  Apply Here!

This cycle of ENYF! 2013 Fall Food Diginity Mini-Grant has been awarded to Toyin and Alicia! Congratulations to Toyin Ayanfodun of Tomorrow’s Leaders and Alicia Williamson of Transitional Living Community (TLC Garden) for their dedication to providing healthy foods and nutrition education in East New York.

Are you resident, organization or local bussiness of the East New York area? Want to increase access to healthy foods in East New York? Apply for ENYF! 2013 Winter Food Diginity Mini-Grant, applications are due December 13th 2013. For more information please view the flyer here. Read about our inspiring 2013 Fall Grantees below.

Tomorrow’s Leaders is an after school academic based program for middle school teens who have repeated a grade numerous times and need support to make it to High School. With this grant Tomorrow’s Leaders will be able to make healthy snacks for their program. Youth will learn how to shop in their community and prepare nutritious meals.

Transitional Living Community (TLC Garden) of East New York provides homeless, low-income, women with shelter and assistance to secure permanent housing. TLC staff and residents transformed a formerly vacant lot into a community garden. This award will help them continue to build raised beds to garden and grow food.

“In the garden, I feel happy. It is like therapy. It is a breath of fresh air!”
—Josefina, a TLC resident

As always enjoy our chemical free & freshly harvested produce! Don’t see what you were looking for? Feel free to suggest produce for next years growing season. This week’s highlights are Sweet Potatoes and Greens (collards, kale, swiss chard, bok choi and many more), you won’t find these in the grocery store!

Sincerely, East New York Farms Team


BRIC at the Brooklyn Public Library


  • Central Library in the new state-of-the-art Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons (located at 10 Grand Army Plaza)
  • Kings Highway Library (located at 2115 Ocean Ave)
  • New Lots Library (located at 665 New Lots Ave)
  • Coney Island Library (located at 1901 Mermaid Ave) coming 2014

Now Available at Kings Highway and New Lots Library:

  • Video Production in the Field: This popular BRIC Media Education course is now available in different neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn. Gain hands-on experience using professional video camera, sound equipment, and portable light kids to create your own show on Brooklyn Free Speech TV.
  • Production equipment check-out 

Free media classes include:

BRIC also offers orientations at Central Library. Our orientation is a great introduction to what community access television is all about, the variety of classes available with BRIC Media Education, services available from BRIC, and our policies and procedures.

Just a Reminder


Just a reminder the last day of our farmers market is November 16th. In efforts to continue access to fresh and affordable foods all year long, our first Winter CSA Program will start December 2013.

Enjoy fresh produce during the winter season with a once a month pick up. Available December, January, February and March. $35/month, due before the first Tuesday of the month.

Make payments in cash, check, or EBT. EBT recipients are automatically eligible for a share at a reduce price. To apply for ENYF Winter CSA  Apply Here!

Community Educator Applications are due by NOVEMBER 16th! Community Educators are people are who trained to spread the word about food justice and community health by conducting presentations and cooking demonstrations throughout our community. Community educators will receive a small stipend for each demo. Any questions please call Heather Horgan at 718 649 7979 x. 29 or

As always enjoy our chemical free & freshly harvested produce! Dont see what you were looking for? Feel free to suggest produce for next years growing season. This week’s highlights are Sweet Potatoes and Greens (collards, kale, swiss chard, bok choi and many more), you won’t find these in the grocery store!

East New York Farms Team

Nutrition Labels on Food: How to Read Them, and Read Between the Lines

by Donna Gates

reading_nutrition_labelsReading nutrition labels can be tricky, but is essential if you want to eat healthy and protect your health. Learn what to look for, and how to compare different food choices.

Did you know that the loopholes in FDA requirements for nutrition labeling allow the processed food industry to trick even the savviest consumer? That is, if you’re reading nutrition labels at all.

When it comes to reading nutrition labels on processed foods, studies show that most people either don’t pay attention to them, or don’t have the knowledge necessary to make use of them.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from health issues like: abdominal pain, food allergies, fatigue, candida, diabetes or obesity, reading nutrition labels as part of your clean eating lifestyle can go a long way toward renewed health.

Why “Nutrition Facts” Aren’t That Important

Most people reading nutrition labels have been programmed to think that the “nutrition facts” are the most important part. Especially for weight control.

This is the section that lists calories, fat grams, and the weights of macronutrients, sodium, fiber, and different vitamins and minerals on a product.

The good news is that when you follow clean eating principles, you don’t need to count calories, fat grams, protein grams or carb grams in order to control your weight and be healthy. That should make you pretty happy right there.

In this way, reading nutrition labels becomes less about the ratios and more about the ingredients in the foods you choose.

Health is in the Ingredients!

We’ve always emphasized that processed foods should be avoided because they contribute to numerous health issues and serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

The reality is that even when you are doing your best, and taking steps to eat healthier, there are still times when you want to take short-cuts. And with so many health food stores selling prepared and processed foods, there are better choices today.

However, just because a food is labeled organic or “natural,” or is sold in your health food store, does not necessarily mean it is good for you.

Many examples abound of foods that have developed a reputation for being healthy, when in fact they are not. A few examples include some organic, whole grain cereals, energy bars, organic broths, soups, or “natural” salad dressings.

The only way you will know if a food is really healthy is by learning the hidden sources of unhealthy ingredients, and by carefully reading nutrition labelsto look for those ingredients.

Here’s What To Look For When Reading Nutrition Labels:

    • Ingredients are required to be listed in order of weight. The first ingredient listed is the most predominant, and so on.
    • Hidden Sugars: Sugar makes your blood highly acidic, and feeds candida (yeast overgrowth), which can wreak havoc on your health.

The problem is that most processed foods contain sugar in some form or another, but don’t list it as “sugar.”

These are only a few of the dozens of different names “sugar” has:
sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, malt, fructose, glucose, carbitol, mannitol, lactose, evaporated cane juice, or concentrated fruit juice.

  • Beware of MSG: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) seems to be a staple in every processed food. It is used to enhance the flavor of processed foods that lack the real flavor of real foods.MSG has highly toxic effects, and you might be consuming it in one of its many disguises: glutamate, yeast extract, glutamic acid, hydrolyzed proteins, autolyzed yeast, natural beef flavoring, whey protein, maltodextrin, soy protein isolate, soy sauce extract, natural flavoring, and anything that has “seasonings” in the ingredients.
  • Gluten: Gluten is a difficult to digest protein found in typical grains that can cause celiac disease and many symptoms of digestive and immune distress.Many whole grains with wheat, barley, bran, rye, and oats, and the flours or cereals made from them, contain gluten.But since gluten is also added to many processed foods as a binder, starch or filler, it can be hidden in foods that are free of any of these grains in their ingredients.

    Some examples of foods or ingredients that contain hidden gluten include: soy sauce, garlic salt, onion salt, some mustard powders, flavored teas and coffees, hydrolyzed proteins, colorings, flavorings, anything with msg, modified food starch, malt, or graham flour.

  • Know Your Oils and Fats: The good news is that the media has made us all much more aware of the benefits of certain oils like olive oil, cod liver oil and fish oils. And by now everyone knows the hazards of trans fats found in margarines and processed foods.Unfortunately you may still be buying the wrong qualities of the so-called “good” oils.
    Always look for healthy oils that say organic and unrefined. Even if it says cold-pressed, or expeller pressed, it can still be refined and will not be as good for you as the virgin unrefined options.Read the label carefully when you purchase a product with olive oil. If it says extra virgin that means that it is from the first pressing.

    Take care because refined olive oil is often used in products that say simply say, olive oil. For example, Whole Foods Market uses this cheaper quality of olive oil in most of their prepared deli products, so beware.

    Avoid canola oil, or soybean oil, used in many organic, “natural” salad dressings.

    Be extremely aware of some processed foods making the claim “trans-fat free,” when in fact, reading the ingredients list clearly shows that some hydrogenated oils were used.

    How does this happen?

    The FDA allows food processors to make the claim “sugar-free”, or “trans-fat-free” if the serving size of a food has less than half a gram of these items.

    Just remember, anything that has “hydrogenated” in the ingredients is bad for you!

  • What exactly is “Natural Flavor”?
    The word “natural” is often equated to healthy foods, but just because a label says natural does not mean that it’s healthy. In fact, there is no meaning in law or regulation around the word natural.The food processing industry knows that you are more likely to buy something that says it has “natural flavor” as opposed to “artificial flavor”. But the distinction between the two is actually quite arbitrary. Both natural and artificial flavors involve some laboratory processing and additives.So try to avoid “natural flavors” as much as possible.
  • Can you pronounce it? It should go without saying that if you don’t know exactly what an ingredient is, or can’t even pronounce it, it’s probably not good for you!


All of this information can seem overwhelming at first, especially when food manufacturers have so many marketing tricks.

But just like any new skill, take it one step at a time. Reading ingredient lists is a great way to arm yourself with the kind of information that puts your health into your hands and you’ll be a pro before you know it.

When you consume truly wholesome, all-natural foods, and if you do decide to take short cuts every now and then (and who doesn’t?), you’ll know exactly what ingredients contribute to your best health!

About the author…

, a nutritional consultant, author and lecturer has helped thousands of people overcome candidiasis and other immune system disorders. Her book, The Body Ecology Diet, was written after years of research to find a cure for her own candida-related issues. If you or a loved one struggle with digestive or candida issues, be sure to learn more about the Body Ecology Core Program

East New York Farms is looking for Community Educators

East New York Farms! is working with the Pioneering Healthy Communities Network (based out of the North Brooklyn YMCA) to recruit a new class of Community Educators this winter.

Community Educators are people are who trained to spread the word about food justice and community health by conducting presentations and cooking demonstrations throughout our community. Community educators receive a small stipend.

We hope you will consider joining this training and our team of Community Educators for 2014!

Please call Heather Horgan at 718 649 7979 x. 29 with any questions.

There is a short application to fill out by NOVEMBER 16th.


East New York Farms!
United Community Centers

613 New Lots Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11207

(718) 649-7979
Fax (718) 649-7256
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