Jeanette Ware

Urban Farmer Profile: Mrs. Jeanette Ware

By Sharnay Procope, East New York Farms! Youth Intern

Here in East New York, Brooklyn, you may be surprised, but there are many kinds of places to farm; such as backyards, community gardens, and urban farms. I was lucky enough to interview one of our many farmers, Mrs. Jeanette Ware. Mrs. Ware is 60 years old and has lived most of her life in East New York. She has gardened for 20 years in her own personal backyard, and now she farms with her husband at Hands and Hearts Garden (a new half acre urban garden on New Lots Ave.), where she is also on the board of directors. All of the gardeners at Hands and Heart Garden commit to selling at least 5 times at their local farmer’s market. The Wares were one of the top 3 of sellers of their produce at the farmer’s market in 2007. Mrs. Ware enjoys working with the youth interns from the East New York Farms! Project, the organization that also runs the market, and calls them her “babies.”

Mrs. Ware and her husband grow everything from collard greens to five different kinds of tomatoes to swish chard, which I think is so awesome! Her favorite things to grow are collard greens because they help clean out your system and are very good to eat. There are many opinions about “why people want to take up farming,” and Mrs. Ware says “ we need things for people in the neighborhood that are healthy and nutritious” and “to have youth help grow vegetables and work together on gaining knowledge of farming.”