Re: history of 'organic' in community gardens
- Subject: Re: [cg] history of 'organic' in community gardens
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 09:05:13 EST
You may find that going to the ACGA website and reading through it will
answer alot of your questions: <A HREF="http://www.communitygarden.org/">
American Community Gardening Association</A> . The links to community garden
organizations throughout the US, Canada and abroad can give you an
extraordinary amount of background on community garden horticultural and
sociological organization. Contacting these folks can get you the real
skinny. While most are usually very busy, the agricultural extension agents
and program directors do respond to scholar queries. Please be sure to thank
them and acknowledge them in your paper. Also, the ACGA is interested in
collecting, in paper and digital form, all new community gardening
scholarship. Please contact Anna Maria Edmunds of the University of Michigan
for more details on this. Anna wears several hats on the ACGA board and
probably can hook you up with the scholarship she has collected. Her direct
e-mail is : firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Canadian City Farmer site is a must for any student of horticultural
practices in community gardens and urban areas: <A
You may want to also go to the archives of this listserve which are collected
at the mallorn computing site. Follow the discussion strings. There is much
about community gardening organic practice here.
My note: While many community gardeners are "children of the sixties" and
bought into organic practices as part of the zeitgeist of the time, there is
no uniformity of practice, on a national basis, of organic methods in
community gardens. In all seriousness, the professionals in COFA, NOFA and
other organic certifying organization have worked hard to create a degree of
consensus on best practices. Get any of these folks to tell you about their
conferences and the battles to achieve a degree of standardization of organic
practice would be a great piece of scholarship, in itself. (What I've heard
from people who attended these conventions and have talked out of school has
been fascinating - this would be a good book for someone to write.)
Community gardeners are volunteers and often come to this avocation with
nothing more than good intentions and a few Rodale publications in their
backpacks. Others, of course, are master gardeners with years of experience.
It really is a mixed bag. Results and practices vary from city to city and
often from one raised bed to another.
For the purposes of your study, you may want to compare community gardening
guidelines in a few cities and then visit a few gardens. While most of us
are pretty good about it, don't be suprised when some gardener tells you that
they are organic when you find a bottle of Miracle-Grow in the garden shed.
Questionnaires are good - but direct observation may give you some
Good luck with your work.
Clinton Community Garden
<A HREF="http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/">Clinton Community Garden</A>
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