This Summer, BBG Celebrates a Different Kind of Native New Yorker

Brooklyn, NY—New Yorkers pride themselves on their local roots—and plants can too! In 2011, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of its Native Flora Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) celebrates plants local to the region. The Garden presents its first-ever Homegrown event on June 11, dedicated to locally cultivated talent and featuring Brooklyn bands, cooking demonstrations by Brooklyn chefs, samples by local food purveyors, Garden-inspired workshops, and book signings.

June 11 also marks the opening of Native New Yorkers: Know Your Neighbors in Nature, a garden-wide trail highlighting the Native Flora Garden and indigenous species throughout the Garden, with a special brochure and interpretive signs; and Mapping New York Natives, a gallery exhibit of spectacular native plant images, maps and displays representing BBG's groundbreaking scientific research with the New York Metropolitan Flora Project (NYMF).

More information about each program is available below; all programming is free with Garden admission. For hi-res photos or interviews, contact 718-623-7241 or [email protected] For more information on BBG's celebration of native plants, visit

JUNE 11 | NOON–6 P.M.

BBG invites visitors to learn how to preserve seasonal produce, creating tomorrow's treats with today's harvest. The "June in a jar" programming features chefs including Kelly Geary (Sweet Deliverance NYC, author of Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Picking Recipes for the Modern Kitchen) and Shamus Jones (Brooklyn Brine Co.), demonstrating how to make delectable preserved items like strawberry–bay leaf jam, rhubarb-lavender syrup, preserved garlic scapes with kaffir lime and Thai chiles, French lavender cucumber pickles, and strawberry jam with pink peppercorns and mint (Laena McCarthy, Anarchy in a Jar).

Elsewhere in the Garden, visitors can participate in hands-on workshops on herb butters and vinegars, handmade paper, natural dyeing and weaving, and an herbal bath potion activity designed especially for kids. Strolling among these activities, visitors will catch the urban honky-tonk of the Defibulators, the high-octane chamber music of Project Trio, and the retro jazz of the Matt Munisteri Band. The authors of The New Brooklyn Cookbook, Tart and Sweet, and It's a Long Road to a Tomato will be signing copies of their books, and a dozen local food purveyors, including Mama O's Premium Kimchee, Anarchy in a Jar, People's Pops, and the Brooklyn Salsa Company, will be offering tastings of their products. Plus, Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer will lead a special walk-through of the garden, highlighting warm-season wildflowers and touching on relationships between native plants, insects, and wildlife.


This year's summer trail will reveal the delights of native plants for visitors of all ages with border and container displays and specimens of native species and cultivars. Design ideas for landscaping with natives and tips for choosing indigenous plants for containers will inspire home gardeners. Throughout the Garden, identifying signs with insects, birds, and other animals will put focus on the vital link between local flora and wildlife. Kids can enjoy their own special trail guide, complete with activities and collectible cards! And everyone will appreciate the native eats on a new menu at the Garden's Zagat-rated Terrace Cafe, which features seasonal specials showcasing local edibles like ramps, blueberries, Jerusalem artichokes, and maple syrup.


BBG's distinguished history of botanical research has included a strong focus on native plants; for the past 20 years, BBG's Science department has been engaged in the New York Metropolitan Flora Project (NYMF), an inventory and description of plants found in counties within a 50-mile radius of New York City. Mapping New York Natives explores BBG's NYMF work and how this research is being used to help understand native species conservation, global climate change, and the long-term health of ecosystems.

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