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Pardes Yehuda: Urban Garden Sprouting in Queens

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Urban Garden Sprouting in Queens

The New York Times reports about an art exhibit gone green on Long Island:
P.S. 1, in Long Island City, Queens, has been hosting its weekly summer dance-party series, Warm Up Saturdays, for 10 years. This year, instead of the usual urban beach-themed d├ęcor, the courtyard has been transformed into an urban farm: 260 cardboard cylinders, from waist-height to towering, that sprout 51 plant varieties, like Swiss chard, dill, strawberries and tomatoes.

The project was conceived of by two architects, Amale Andrao and Dan Wood, partners at Work Architecture Company. One observer of their installation remarked, “It’s a kind of oasis,” he said, looking down from the second floor of the museum and out over the courtyard and neighborhood. “It’s surrounded by broken-down buildings and in the center there’s this green exhibit and all these young people.”
This is a great statement. What would our cities look like, if instead of rows of brick and steel, they were transformed into something living and green?

But that's not the best part... The farm is tended by people from the Green Team, a team of former inmates at Rikers Island, the high security prison in upstate New York, who have been trained in gardening by the New York Horticulture Society during their incarceration. The other best part...
"The bounty is distributed to project and museum employees, and some of the tomatoes and eggs also make it into the museum cafe’s sandwiches and salads. But visitors are also welcome to pick and graze for themselves."

The article is a good read. The art exhibit/urban garden sounds really neat. If you're in New York, hop on the train or carpool over to P.S.1 in Queens, hop in the kiddie pool, eat some fresh veggies, and take some pictures for me!

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