John Street Pasture: A clover field grows in DUMBO, Brooklyn

Hugged by construction, a 6,000-square-foot field with blooming crimson clovers has appeared on the Brooklyn waterfront, down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass.

The John Street Pasture, a temporary “living earthwork” opening in DUMBO this Saturday, is a celebration of the transitional nature of urban land on a former parking lot and future condominium.

“People will interpret it in many different ways. The most important thing is for them to enjoy it,” said artist and farmer Andrea Reynosa.

In some ways, the pasture is a preview for a new section of Brooklyn Bridge Park expected to complete next year. Bordered by the park’s construction, the John Street Pasture offers views of the Manhattan skyline from a site formerly owned by Con Edison.

“The pasture really symbolizes the reclamation of this site for public access to the waterfront,” said Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park. “This is the first time people can walk on this site and enjoy the views of the Manhattan skyline in a location that, frankly, no one had access to before.”

john street pasture brooklyn DUMBO
The John Street Pasture will be open through mid-summer in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
Credit: Bess Adler/Metro

Reynosa has looked out at asphalt and weeds on the site from her DUMBO loft since moving in 20 years ago. Last fall, Reynosa proposed a pop-up art installation to the site’s developer, Alloy, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park.  

The resulting pasture is a collaboration with Alloy, the park, farmers at the Brooklyn Grange and DUMBO gallery Smack Mellon.

The gallery will facilitate public access to the pasture during FOODshed: Agriculture and Art in Action, an exhibition of New York artists who work with food and agriculture.

Smack Mellon’s executive director Kathleen Gilrain explained that the exhibition pieces, including the pasture, promote sustainable agriculture.

For the pasture, the difference between the lush green pasture and the surrounding park construction adds another element.

“It’s a stark contrast,” Gilrain said.

john street pasture brooklyn DUMBO
Artist and farmer Andrea Reynosa touches clover in the John Street Pasture.
Credit: Bess Adler/Metro

Donated by Brooklyn Bridge Park, the soil will be improved by the crimson clover, sometimes used as an agricultural cover crop when a field is unplanted.

“It’s more of a traditional way to improve the soil,” Reynosa said.

Mid-summer — exactly when depends on the weather — the pasture will be dismantled. The collaborators are exploring natural options to remove the clover and reuse the enriched soil for the park’s construction.

Reynosa is hoping to employ pygmy goats to graze down the clovers.

“The park will be built quickly after that,” she said.

Luxury apartments will also be built. The development, Myer said, will help the park’s financial footing and future maintenance.

1 john street pasture alloy Monadnock DUMBO brooklyn
A luxury residential building, along with a new part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, will be built on the site of the temporary John Street Pasture.
Credit: Alloy/Monadnock

Though the 12-story building will soon grow from the site of her pasture, Reynosa said the park will be a boon to New Yorkers.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” she said.

Visit the John Street Pasture

Starting Saturday, the John Street Pasture is open until mid-summer at 1 John St. in Brooklyn, from 12 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


Brooklyn lawmakers: Let riders know sooner about bedbugs…

Two Brooklyn lawmakers are calling for more transparency when it comes to bedbugs and mass transit. Council Member Mark Treyger and Assembly Member Bill Colton…


Jasper Johns aide admits stealing, selling artwork for…

A former assistant to renowned American contemporary artist Jasper Johns pleaded guilty on Wednesday to selling nearly two dozen of his works without Johns' knowledge.


Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…


Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got married

The couple tied the knot in Chateau Miraval, France.


'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…


Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.


Fantasy football: What to take away from preseason

The third set of exhibition games, which went down last weekend, is the dress rehearsal week.


Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.


Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.


Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…