RE: Re: Women's roles in Community Gardens
- Subject: RE: [cg] Re: Women's roles in Community Gardens
- From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
- Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 17:50:05 -0400
" I am currently working on a research project examining the roles and
presence of women in community gardening projects/organizations as well
as in community supported agriculture."
Traditionally, the fabric that holds our American society together for
activities that are not centered around corporate moneymaking or organized
violence ( in most human societies for that matter) has always been largely
comprised of women and their good friends. De Toqueville had something to
say about that - but the quote seems to be residing in the part of my brain
where college calculus once briefly resided.....
Nationally, the ACGA board, volunteers and staff are pretty representative
of the movement as a whole: http://www.communitygarden.org/about/board.html
A look at their biographies will give you a sense of what hats men and women
wear respectively in this and other organizations they are involved in. The
current president of the ACGA is Ellen Kirby.
Immediately coming to mind in the community gardening and food security
area, while not currently on the ACGA board are Gwenne Hays-Stewart of
Gateway Greening in St. Louis - http://stlouis.missouri.org/gatewaygreening/
Hope Coulter of the Arkansas Hunger Coalition, based in Little Rock,Ark.
Most good food co-ops in my experience have smart, well organized women
volunteering in them or running them. Brooklyn's Park Slope Food Co-Op is
one of the best and highly representative in this regard:
The NYC Greenmarket program - http://www.cenyc.org/HTMLGM/maingm.htm ( a
collection of NYC run farmers markets) is largely managed by men, but has
many outdoor locations run by female market managers.
My empirical observation re NYC community gardens is that women have been
always central to the organization, planning and most importantly,
sustanance of community gardens.
Mallory Abramson, as all CCG oldtimers will attest, was central to the
running of and organizing of the Clinton Community Garden until her death in
the early nineties. The Fundraising worm on the East wall of the Clinton
Community Garden ( similar to a fundraising thermometer, but considerably
less toxic) is her work. The lady was an indefatigable community gardener,
organizer and a real pistol. It was she who got John Carney, the fellow whom
we named our volunteer award after, involved in the CCG. We have an annual
event, the August "Mallory Abrahmson Potluck Social" named in her honor. It
is rumored that her son sprinked some of her ashes in the garden after her
memorial service. The layout and continued success of the CCG is largely due
to her hard work and good example.
Of the founding generation of the Clinton Community garden still with us are
a number of ladies "of a certain age": Ms. Pat Berger and 1999 John Carney
Award Winner, Fran Ellison who keep us on the straight and narrow. 1998 John
Carney award winner, Maggie Cahill has moved away to be with her children.
Baby boomer and former NASA weather scientist, Professor Jennifer Phillips,
was our 2001 John Carney Award Winner.
A search of the website will give you an idea of the sex split on our
steering committee ( headed by 2002 Steering Committee Chairperson, Annie
Chadwick) as well as our list of garden volunteers.
A large number of our male volunteers and/or back garden plot holders are
either married to or "keeping company with" female volunteers -
This being NYC, the CCG is international and multi-racial. (our garden
rules are in English, Spanish and Arabic. We used to have Russian, but they
learned English fast.)
We have a large number of gay/lesbian keyholders and volunteers - a pillar
of our garden community. During the worst of the NYC AIDS crisis, the front
garden was the site for many memorial services, one of many ways ( along
with weddings, memorial services, concerts and providing a place where
mothers can breast feed their babies and guide them through their first
steps on our lawn) that we have served our community for over 24 years.
Hope this has helped you with your inquiry,
From: Alliums [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, April 22, 2002 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: [cg] Re: Women's roles in Community Gardens
> I am currently working on a research project examining the roles and
> presence of women in community gardening projects/organizations as well
> as in community supported agriculture.
My impression is that Adam notwithstanding, community gardening was a
heavily female dominated field. My stats for this year's community garden
are as follows -- I hadn't tallied gender before Kellie's questions, but
here it is for adults and my best guess for the kids.
2002 Stats for St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden
as of April 11, 2002
33 gardeners on 13 plots with 6 weekly perennial volunteers for 39 actively
Youth: 8 children under the age of 5 (Jeremiah Box, our youngest, was born
last week!), 3 children 10 or younger and 6 teenagers
Adults: Approximately 6 in their 20s, 8 in their 30s, 6 in their 40s, and 1
in their 50s and 1 senior citizen
Ethnicity: Approximately 46% Eastern European-American, 34% Mixed
European-American, 15% African-American, and 5% Irish-American
Gender: Adult men: 9 Adult women: 15 Boys: at least 6 Girls: at least 5
This figures do not include Spring and Fall Work Day participants where we
usually at least double (and at the 2001 Fall Work Day, quadrupled!) our
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's
services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find
out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org
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To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org
To post an e-mail to the list: email@example.com
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