Community gardens are restorative landscapes in many ways. They enable people to become better connected with their land, their food, and the people around them, which in turn fosters community, encourages good nutrition, and increases stewardship of the land.
Good books and articles:
Coble, Sarah FK (2005). “Apples from Asphalt.” Dwell, Vol. 5, No. 3, Jan/Feb, pp. 98-100 (Article about City Farm’s Mobile City Farmstead).
Shearin, Rhonda (2003). “You Bette! From Bathhouse to Boathouse, Midler is Part of the Solution.” Landscape Architecture, Vol. 93, No. 11, November, pp. 15-16.
Starescheski, Amy. “New York Community Gardens.” Land Forum, Vol. 04, pp. 90-93 (Article about NYC community gardens when Guiliani tried to get rid of them; nice photos).
Green, Lee (2000). “Learning by Doing.” Spirit, (Southwest Airlines Magazine), pp. 30-34 (Article on “Food From the Hood,” a student-owned garden and salad dressing business in South Central Los Angeles).
Helphand, Kenneth (2006). Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime. San Antonio: Trinity University Press.
Defiant Gardens are, in the words of the author, “…gardens created in extreme or difficult environmental, social, political, economic, or cultural conditions. These gardens represent adaptation to challenging circumstances, but they can also be viewed from other dimensions as sites of assertion and affirmation.” Helphand’s book focuses on “Trench Gardens” on the Western Front in WWI, “Ghetto Gardens” in Nazi Europe, “Barbed-Wire Gardens” created by allied prisoners of war and civilian internees in Europe and Asia in the World Wars, gardens in Japanese internment camps in the United States during WWII, and gardens following WWII.
Helphand’s website, also called Defiant Gardens, includes information from the book, and also brings these gardens into the present, encompassing prison gardens, community gardens, and gardens in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and even Guantanamo.
Note: At the time of this entry, the website seems to be down. We hope it’s a temporary glitch. The url is defiantgardens.com.
Listen to an NPR story about the book.
Read a Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog post about Defiant Gardens and veterans’ gardens.
Hynes, H. Patricia (1996). A Patch of Eden: America’s Inner-City Gardens. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company.
Linn, Karl (2007). Building Commons and Community. Oakland, CA: New Village Press.
Visit the New Village Press website to order the book and to see other related books.
Stone, Edie (2009). “The Benefits of Community-Managed Open Space: Community Gardening in New York City.” In Lindsay Campbell and Anne Wiesen’s Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-Being through Urban Landscapes, pp. 132-137. Published by the USDA Forest Service; link to their website to download or order a free copy of this book.
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