Advertisement

Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 399–412 | Cite as

Culturing community development, neighborhood open space, and civic agriculture: The case of Latino community gardens in New York City

  • Laura Saldivar-tanaka
  • Marianne E. KrasnyEmail author
In the Field

Abstract

To determine the role Latino community gardens play in community development, open space, and civic agriculture, we conducted interviews with 32 community gardeners from 20 gardens, and with staff from 11 community gardening support non-profit organizations and government agencies. We also conducted observations in the gardens, and reviewed documents written by the gardeners and staff from 13 support organizations and agencies. In addition to being sites for production of conventional and ethnic vegetables and herbs, the gardens host numerous social, educational, and cultural events, including neighborhood and church gatherings, holiday parties, children’s activities, school tours, concerts, health fairs, and voter registration drives. In some cases, the gardens also serve to promote community activism. The primary concern of gardeners is to secure land tenure in the face of pressures to develop the garden sites for housing. The support organizations and agencies provide help with land tenure, as well as with advocacy, organization, and horticultural practices. Although the role of the Latino gardens in community development appears to be more important than their role in open space or agricultural production, the gardens can also be viewed as unique “participatory landscapes” that combine aspects of all three movements, as well as provide a connection between immigrants and their cultural heritage.

Keywords

Civic agriculture Community development Community gardens Latino gardens Open space Urban agriculture 

Abbrevations

GIS

Geographic Information Systems

NYC

New York City

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Armstrong, D. 2000‘‘A survey of community gardens in upstate New York: Implications for health promotion and community development.”Health and Place6319327Google Scholar
  2. Bicho, A.N. 1996‘‘The simple power of multicultural community gardening.”Community Greening Review5211Google Scholar
  3. Blair, D., Giesecke, C. C., Sherman, S. 1991‘‘A dietary, social and economic evaluation of the Philadelphia Urban Gardening Project.”The Journal of Nutrition Education23161167Google Scholar
  4. Chambers, R. 1994‘‘The origins and practice of Participatory Rural Appraisal.”World Development22953969Google Scholar
  5. Chavis M.E. (1997). ‘‘Strong Roots”. Sierra May/June: 48--51, 78Google Scholar
  6. Christenson, J. A.Robinson, J. W.,Jr. eds. 1980Community Development in AmericaIowa State University PressAmes317Google Scholar
  7. Council on the Environment of NYC (1994). Annual Report. NYC, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Council on the Environment of NYC (2001). ‘‘NYC community garden mapping project.” NYC: Open Space Greening Program. Retrieved from http://www.cenyc.org/maps/index.html on June 22, 2004.Google Scholar
  9. Feenstra, W. G. 1997‘‘Local food systems and sustainable communities,”American Journal of Alternative Agriculture122836Google Scholar
  10. Feenstra, W. G., McGrew, S., Campbell, D. 1999Entrepreneurial Community Gardens: Growing Food, Skills, Jobs and CommunitiesUniversity of CA Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Communication ServicesOakland, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  11. Feuer, E. (1998). ‘‘Casitas: Gardens of reclamation.” Retrieved from http://www.cityfarmer.org/casitas.html on June 22, 2004.Google Scholar
  12. Fisher, K., A. Carrion, and G. Miller (2000). ‘‘Proposed legislation on community gardens.” Community Garden Legislation City Council of New York Int. No. 742. April. Retrieved from http://www.treebranch.com/savegardens/ on June 22, 2004.Google Scholar
  13. Fitzgerald, K. 1996Growing Together: Community Gardening and Food SecuritySustainable Food CenterAustin, TexasGoogle Scholar
  14. Fox, T., Koeppel, I., Kellam, S. 1985Struggle for Space: The Greening of New York City, 1970–1984Neighborhood Open Space CoalitionNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Francis, M., Cashdan, L., Paxson, L. 1984Community Open Spaces: Greening Neighborhoods through Community Action and Land ConservationIsland PressWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  16. Freudenberger, K. S. 1999Rapid Rural Appraisal and Participatory Rural Appraisal: A Manual for CRS Field Workers and PartnersCatholic Relief ServicesBaltimore, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  17. Gaventa, J. 1991‘‘Toward a knowledge democracy: Viewpoints on participatory research in North America.”Fals-Borda, O.Rahman, M. A. eds. Action and Knowledge: Breaking the Monopoly with Participatory Action-ResearchApex PressNew York121131Google Scholar
  18. Hanna, A. K., Oh, P. 2000‘‘Rethinking urban poverty: A look at community garden.”Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society20207216Google Scholar
  19. Harnik, P. 2000Inside City ParksUrban Land Institute and Trust for Public LandWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  20. Honigman, A. 2003‘‘The citizen gardener: Politics 101 for folks who would rather be turning compost.”Community Greening Review122426Google Scholar
  21. Huff, B. A. 1990Greening the City Streets: The Story of Community GardensClarionNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Hynes, H. P. 1996A Patch of Eden, America’s Inner-city GardenersChelsea GreenWhite River Junction, VermontGoogle Scholar
  23. Irvine, S., Johnson, L., Peters, K. 1999‘‘Community gardens and sustainable land use planning: A case-study of the Alex Wilson Community Garden.”Local Environment43346Google Scholar
  24. Kaplan, R. 1973‘‘Some psychological benefits of gardening.”Environment and Behavior5145162Google Scholar
  25. Light, A. 2000‘‘Elegy for a garden: Thoughts on an urban environmental ethic.”Philosophical Writings144147Google Scholar
  26. **Lyson, T. A. (2000). ‘‘Moving toward civic agriculture.” Choices (third quarter): 42–45Google Scholar
  27. Lyson, T. A., Raymer, A. L. 2000‘‘Stalking the wily multinational: Power and control in the US food system.”Agriculture and Human Values17199208Google Scholar
  28. Malakoff, D. 1995‘‘What good is community greening?”Community Greening Review5411Google Scholar
  29. Mantell, A., Stephen, M., Harper, F., Propst, L. 1990Creating Successful Communities. A Guide to Growth Management StrategiesIsland PressWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  30. McPherson, E. G., D. J. Nowak, and R. A. Rowntree (1994). ‘‘Chicago’s urban forest ecosystem: Results of the Chicago urban forest climate project.” USDA. General Technical Report NE-186.Google Scholar
  31. Murphy, C. 1999Cultivating Havana: Urban Agriculture and Food Security in the Years of CrisisFood FirstOakland CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  32. Neighborhood Open Space Coalition (2002). New York City Community Gardens Neighborhood Directory. NYC, New York.Google Scholar
  33. Nemore, C. (1998). ‘‘’Rooted in community: community gardens in New York City.” Urban Agriculture Notes. Retrieved from http://www.cityfarmer.org/NYkcomgardens. html on June 22, 2004.Google Scholar
  34. New York City Department of City Planning (2000). Community District Profiles. Retrieved from http://www.ci.nyc.ny. us/html/dcp/html/cdstart.html on June 22, 2004.Google Scholar
  35. Nugent, R. A. (1997). ‘‘The significance of urban agriculture,” Urban Agriculture Notes, City Farmer, Canada. Retrieved from http://www.cityfarmer.org/racheldraft.html on June 22, 2004.Google Scholar
  36. Ohio State University Extension (2000). ‘‘Seeds of hope <>...<> Harvest of pride! A resource for community vegetable gardeners.” Cleveland Hts, OH: Urban Gardening Program in Cuyahoga County. Retrieved from http://www.brightdsl.net/~cuyahoga/ on June 22, 2004.Google Scholar
  37. Patel, I. C. (1991). ‘‘Gardening’s socioeconomic impacts.” Journal of Extension 29(4). Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/1991winter/a1.html on June 22, 2004.Google Scholar
  38. Rees, E. W. (1997). ‘‘Why urban agriculture?” Urban Agriculture Notes. Vancouver, BC: City Farmer. Retrieved from http://www.cityfarmer.org/rees/html on June 24, 2004.Google Scholar
  39. Saldivar-Tanaka, L. (2001). Culturing Neighborhood Open Space, Civic Agriculture, and Community Development: The Case of Latino Community Gardens in New York City. Master of Science thesis, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University.Google Scholar
  40. Schmelzkopf, K. 1995‘‘Urban community gardens as contested spaces.”Geographical Review85364381Google Scholar
  41. Slack, G. 1995‘‘Emerald cities.”Land and People71722Google Scholar
  42. Smit, J., Ratta, A., Nasr, J. 1996Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs, and Sustainable CitiesUnited Nations Development ProgramNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  43. Steinhauer, J. (2002). ‘‘Ending a long battle, New York lets housing and gardens grow.” New York Times Metropolitan Desk, September 19, 2002, section A, p. 1, column 1.Google Scholar
  44. Sustainable Food Center (1996). Growing Together: Community Gardening and Food Security. Austin, Texas.Google Scholar
  45. Warner, S. B., Hansi, D. 1987To Dwell is to Garden: A History of Boston’s Community GardensNortheastern University PressBostonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mexico
  2. 2.Department of Natural ResourcesCornell University IthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations