Our mission is to grow a diversity of blooms, herbs and native species that provide a palette of seasonal color and texture. Flowers are not only beautiful, but are vital to the well-being of all living things since they provide nourishment and habitat for our important pollinator species like hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and, our favorite, the damselflies, to name just a few.
We are committed to regenerative agriculture and the strong community it helps build.
Denise is a first generation farmer with roots in education and urban farming. She was and still is a compulsive seed saver and appreciator of windowsill experiments in propagation thanks to her mom. As child Denise was fortunate to grow up in NYC with the unique experience of being surrounded by 1000 acres of new growth forest that held hints of its past life as a dairy farm. There were still large stands of beech trees, ferns and babbling brooks. Denise’s father is a tree hugger although he may not admit this, she knows the truth and he and her mom instilled an appreciation of the natural world from the time she was just knee high to grasshopper. There were always flowers in bloom in the house, tales of plant swaps with neighbors, garden visits and the joys of the changing seasons in the forest beginning with the dense carpet of May Flowers in spring to the blooms of the wild Turkish Caps in summer. She was hooked but it would take a little time to get her hands in the dirt.
Thanks to the exceptional teachers at PS3, The Charrette School and her daughter, Denise made the leap into growing and left her corporate job in marketing in 2010 to teach elementary school students how to grow their own food. This lead to a land search and introduction to The Battery Conservancy and launch of Battery Urban Farm in lower Manhattan. As a founding educator for this new venture, Denise had the privilege to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers with children on the front lawn of NYC, just 300 feet from the original farm that sustained the first Dutch settlers. This lead to gaining more field experience working on farms in Columbia County during the summer. Serendipitous events led to designing and managing the community roof top garden at Manhattan’s Starrett-Lehigh Building in 2015 and attending Hawthorne Valley’s Farm Beginnings program in 2017. Damsel Garden was launched in 2016. Later on that year, Damsel Garden set its permanent roots at Farm at The Landing in Stuyvesant, NY. This past year was spent beating back weeds with family and friends, improving infrastructure and learning more than she thought possible. She is stoked to have beautiful land to grow on, care for, andshare with other farmers who are ecologically minded.
Harnessing the Power of Soil Biology
Soil health is something we care a lot about so we keep our tilling to a minimum allowing microorganisms to flourish because we believe healthy soil is linked to healthy, more nutritious food. There is no spraying of pesticides or herbicides on our crops or flowers. We are a toxin free farm. Nature is the best teacher so we will mimic her by continuing to build up soil health and biodiversity as we grow more flowers and healthy food for our local community and beyond.
Damsel Garden’s serendipitous array of projects all stem from a love for growing flowers responsibly.
New York, NY