Posted by: David Watts | June 14, 2010

a surprise in the sidewalk.

On Saturday, as I was entering the building, a resident ran up to me and cryptically said ‘follow me’. She said she wanted to show me something outside. I asked not a question and obediently tagged behind her out the building and across Bedford Avenue.
On the corner of Bedford Avenue and Prospect Place, I spied a bunch of weeds (or so I thought) growing in the sidewalk cracks around a telephone booth.

the aforementioned phonebooth.

weeds? think again.

What’s the big deal, you ask? I asked the same question. The resident proceeded to point at a cluster of green and excitedly told me that it was Callaloo, a Carribean leaf vegetable (also known as amaranth- Callaloo is actually the name of the dish made from these greens, however, the name is used interchangeably and confusingly with the plant itself). It was thriving in the pee-ridden sidewalk! Incredible! This particular resident hails from Montserrat and is 100% confident in her leafy green detective skills. She also revealed that there are even larger Callaloo plants growing on the corner of St. Johns and Classon Avenue.

why, hello there!

So what did I do with this precious information? I did what any urban gardener in Crown Heights, Brooklyn would do. I ran inside, grabbed my little digger from the roof, and went to work digging the plant out of the sidewalk. It was a struggle because the roots were definitely holding hands with the cement. I managed to get the plant out carefully without harming the roots too much.
Right now it is sitting in a pot by the window on Yemi’s desk. Once it gets a little bigger we’ll move it to its new home on the roof.

'thank you, GP Rooftop. i will never be peed on again!'

Even better, this afternoon, Yemi went on another excursion with the Georgia’s Place sleuth and came back with an entire bundle of Crown Heights Callaloo transplants.

Check out our recipe page for Callaloo dishes once we harvest some of its leaves.


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