Growing Everything but Gardeners
“In an ideal situation, we would have gardens with everyone in the community participating,” Ms. McPherson said. “But in fact, a few die-hard people end up carrying the flag.”
You’re not the first one to walk by a vacant, overgrown lot and think to yourself, “Why haven’t they turned this into a community garden?!” But while the urban gardening movement may be getting truckloads of press as of late, there’s a kink in the green push that isn’t being addressed: a lack of actual gardeners.
I’m not talking about NYBG-certified landscape architects or experienced upstate farmers. Just everyday New Yorkers who are willing to get their hands dirty in cleaning up, planting, and caring for the many spaces in the city that could be supplying food and community to neighborhoods that need it. Or, for that matter, the plots that are already being gardened. This is an interesting read for those who have the aspirations, but maybe not the staying power (yet), to add a true mandate to the gardening movement.
If you’re a Bronxite who wants to make a difference, you can check out our Bronx Green-Up initiative, working to help local New Yorkers with technical assistance, horticultural advice, and the gardening training needed to keep that revitalized plot from sinking back into a sea of weeds. —MN
(Photo credit: Robert Wright)