Hattie Carthan Community Farmers’ Market: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight

by Cameron St. Germain

What they do: In 2009, urban farmer/ food justice advocate Yonnette Fleming organized 13 community gardeners and volunteers to revitalize and reclaim an abandoned land parcel which was used to dump toxic materials for over twenty years. In a matter of years, the lot adjacent to the Hattie Carthan Community Garden was to become the Community Market. Thousands of volunteer hours helped us to convert that blighted property into a thriving farmers market which increases the neighborhood’s limited access to fresh food and thus our overall community health.

How they do it: In 2012, the market doubled it’s capacity by reclaiming and remediating a second brownfield used for dumping for over thirty years two blocks from the first market. The organization now grows and produces most of its food, fruit, and herbs at the new farm. The farm provides holistic programming to the community around herbs and healing foods. The farm also operates an ancestral herbal apothecary and holds a weekly healing drum circle on Sundays at the farm contributing to the health of the local Bedford Dtuyvesant cultural landscape.

Mission: The Hattie Carthan Community Farmers’ market is a grassroots, people of color-led agricultural revitalization project in Central Brooklyn NYC. The community based markets contribute to the health of the Bedford Dtuyvesant eco system by inspiring the WELLBEING and growth of people, food and organisms in the environment.

Latest project/campaign: Healing Plants, People & Cultural Resilience Plant exhibit – 2016

Major Funding: Grassroots fundraising, NYC Council, Northstar fund, Jesse Noyes foundation, Tides foundation.

Profit/nonprofit: For profit

Annual budget: 50k

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system:

Hattie Carthan cultivates high vibrational food for a community based farmers’ market in a neighborhood classified as a fresh food dessert. The organization also provides seasonal food education to thousands of shoppers and market volunteers and builds human infrastructure through providing food justice leadership trainings to people most affected by inequities in the food system.

In 2013, they cultivated 9,430 pounds of local nutrient dense food Distributed 42,879 pounds of food at two markets.



First Location:

  • 363-365 Clifton Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11221

Second Location:

  • 49 Van Buren Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11216

Core Programs: Urban Agriculture Youth Corps, Mixed Basket Program, food justice leadership cooperative, Institutional Basket Program, Artesianal Market, Herbal Wellness, Education services, drumming up health, composting at the market

Number of staff: Three part-time staff members

Number of volunteers: 250

Areas served: Brooklyn

Date started: 2009

General  Coordinator: Yonnette Fleming

Contact Information: 

(718) 638-3566


Photo credit: Hattie Carthan Community Farmers’ Market

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