Turn the corner in Manhattan and you may discover a green oasis rising
from the rubble of a vacant lot. Amid the bean vines and tomato plants
stand sculptures, shrines, and toolsheds, all on land the gardeners claimed
after buildings had been demolished. New York City is dotted with 700
community gardens. About 150 of these will eventually give way to housing,
but the rest will stay.
And it’s not just New York. The American Community Gardening
Association counts seventy major cities with community
gardens. In Seattle, more
than nineteen hundred families raise food in these
neighborhood spaces. In Philadelphia, gardeners save an estimated $700
each year on food
bills. In Boston, the Food Project produces over 120,000
pounds of vegetables
on twenty-one acres; most of it goes to people in need.
Just as importantly, these gardens turn strangers into neighbors.
the whole chapter