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Re: dust to dust and the between times

  • Subject: Re: [cg] dust to dust and the between times
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2003 17:13:18 EST

RE: >> say,
 i'm just sharing.  i've got two projects this spring - don't know about the
 rest of the continent, but in Atlanta, it's spring - that are compelling
 enough to make me want to type about them.  both of these are community
 gardens that were sort of high-end for our city, they each were spacious and
 had tool sheds and fences and plumbing.  and they both dropped dead about
 four years ago.  but now both of them have new chance at life, new people
 with new desire and enthusiasm.  
 anyway, i just thought it was interesting that the swirling masses of people
 living their lives around these old ruins would suddenly and simultaneously
 alight upon them.<<

"If you build it, they will come!"  Wasn't that what the voice said in that 
Kevin Costner baseball weepie, "Field of Dreams?"

We're having hard times here in America; some places never had easy times.  
While doing research for a talk I'm giving at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden 
later this month, I came across this factoid about NYC gardens that may be 
apropos to your  experience, 

From a piece called a "A Brief History of Grass Roots Greening in NYC," by 
Sarah Ferguson, a Lower East Side based journalist who has written rather 
extensively about community gardens in the Village Voice and other 

"Community gardening in New York has always followed the boom and bust cycles 
of the economy, with gardens sprouting up during periods of stress and 
falling land values, then withering away when demands on the land became 
overwhelming. During the Depression, the City's welfare department and the 
federal Works Project Administration sponsored nearly 5,000 "relief" gardens 
on vacant city lots for unemployed people. But the project was canceled in 
1937, when the USDA initiated its food stamp program for farm-surplus 
products. Though many immigrant families continued tending backyard plots, 
the gardening cause remained dormant until WWII, when the city announced that 
all available, city-owned land would be cultivated for Victory Gardens. 
Despite their success, these plots were abandoned at the close of the war, 
when the end of food rationing and a burgeoning frozen-food industry 
squelched the initiative of urban farmers."

I imagine other cities had similar experiences.  It looks like hard times are 
boom times for community gardens.  Make hay while the sun shines. 

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman


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