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Urban Farming

So I’ve been reading a fairly dry report of urban/community farming in Philadelphia

And reading to the end pays off with this gem:

Beyond these instances, no other community gardeners reported selling their harvest – with the notable exception of the neighbor children who garden at the Fair Hill Burial Ground, who set up an occasional vegetable stand at 9th and Indiana, a corner formerly notorious for its heroin market (though they were part of a youth program run by Friends of Fair Hill Burial Ground).

We met some gardeners who described bartering relationships in which they and fellow gardeners trade vegetables for other goods and services on a very informal basis. One gardener boasted he traded food for the affections of women, and we don’t think he was joking.

Earlier, however, was an isolated mention about the decline of community farming in the ’80s in the area where I’ve been looking to move, specifically because of the abundance of available plots of land:

The interaction of these two trends – the aging of gardeners and the decline of support programs – was sometimes as important as each of these factors individually. Some of this predated the funding cuts, as the spread of drug activity and related crime drove gardeners off the land in Mantua, Belmont, and other neighborhoods. Crack addicts stealing cabbages and collards discouraged gardeners, and street-level drug gangs intimidated them.


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