30 August 2008

growing to feed a community

In a city where few people have outdoor space to call their own, NYC community gardens become a gathering place, a sort of communal backyard and more. The gardens feed friendships and nourish bodies. In the Bronx, one particular garden yields collards and callaloo, an example of both urban agriculture and cultural integration (collards are traditional in Southern American cooking while callaloo is more common in West Indian and Latino cuisine). Members of this particular plot, the Tremont Community Garden, gather to garden, barbecue, and organize trips that fund the garden. They also sell any extra produce at a local farmer's market. [Source: New York Times]

[Image, Liz Christy Garden, © Donald Loggins 2007]

Often, the roots of a community garden spring from an abandoned lot. The Tremont garden and the first city garden, Liz Christy Garden on Houston and Bowery, began this way. Liz Christy, for whom the garden is named, and the Green Guerrillas started the urban gardening movement by, among other things, planting seed bombs in vacant lots. When the lot where the current garden stands presented itself in 1973, the Green Guerrillas dug in -- the NYC Community Garden was born.

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