A poster about our 2010 results

As part of the Festival of Ideas for the New City on Saturday, we designed a poster to display with Green My Bodega and Foodshed Market at a booth called Mapping Present and Imagined Food Systems. It was a fun opportunity to reflect on the 2010 season and to try to summarize the project for an uninitiated audience, but we thought you might enjoy it, too.

In the poster we compare the amount of land taken up by both (1) all of New York City’s community gardens and (2) the amount of food-producing land that we mapped last year with Central Park. The rectangular, well-known park is a useful reference and it helps make clear how little land these food-producing beds take up. In an excerpt from the poster below we imagine these 1.7 acres of beds as the tiny brown box in the southeast corner of the park:

From there, we try to depict those 1200 beds of varying sizes and shapes squeezed together into a dense, square 1.7-acre farm (below), and we highlight the variety and quantity of plants found in a few of these beds. This small chunk of land is where the plants were grown that produced the results that we published in April: at least 88,000 pounds worth of food worth well over $200,000 came from 67 community gardens in the summer and fall of 2010.

Considering that individual gardeners often have one raised bed, these 1200 beds were likely tended by around 1000 gardeners. Imagining 1000 people farming such a small space is amusing to us (well, at least it’s not as crowded the 6 in the morning), but more than that we think it highlights the power of decentralization in the city and the amazing work community gardeners have been doing for decades.

Download the full poster in pdf or png and let us know what you think!

Community gardeners: help us make the collective farm bigger in 2011 by signing up to do Crop Count or Harvest Count!

One response to “A poster about our 2010 results

  1. The need for community gardens growing food is so vital esp. for neighborhoods w little access to affordable ,nourishing, fresh(v.local) produce for the obvious health reasons,and the equally important need for hands on education in science, understanding the connection between nutrients and health, community relationship+marketable skill building. But wait, don’t all neighborhoods need these things. I’m in midtown +can’t afford apples+pears at $1 ea,tomatoes for $3 each,peppers that are $5/lb, which are not organic or local, and the map you did of Com gardens show only one in manhattan south of 125 St. on 55th and 10th ave I think, and a couple on theLES none of which grow food. There is the new urban farm in Battery Park, but don’t know if ‘outsiders’ are welcome. If this is due to lack of space, i say every roof top of every school ,post office and govt office bldg.shud be cultivated asap. Tho we have ‘access’ to grocery stores, the cost, quality and health value is so prohibitve, we are now at a significant disadvantage(in this regard.) What can be done to advocate for the undernourished, pesticide riddled newYorkers in most of Manhattan? is there a class on how to get one? Thanks so much, susanna

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *