Guerrillas Gone

Photo by Bradley Maule PhillySkyline.com/MauleofAmerica.com

The Food Trust reports 150,000 shoppers at its 26 farmers markets; Farm to City operates 15 more.

With Mill Creek Farm, Greensgrow, and Weavers Way as mainstays, urban farming is growing. But half of all community–or guerilla–gardens are gone.

Deindustrialization created the climate for community vegetable and ornamental gardens, which took off in Philly in the 1970s. By 1994, there were 501 community vegetable gardens. In 2008, there were 226, according to an excellent study by Penn’s Dominic Vitiello and Michael Nairn. Why–and what does this mean for the reuse of vacant land, poverty, and food insecurity? More tomorrow, in Possible City.

About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.



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