Community Garden Survey Zooms In on City Bounty

February 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

Phoenix Community Garden

© Photo by Margarida Correia. Phoenix Community Garden, a 19,000-square-foot garden in Brownsville, Brooklyn, was among the 223 gardens that participated in garden survey.

Gardeners, gardeners, how do your gardens grow?

Until recently little was known of New York City’s roughly 500 community gardens beyond the fact that the majority of them – 80 percent – grew food.

Now efforts are underway to find out what and how much is growing in city garden plots.  Last year, Farming Concrete, a project to quantify the bounty of city gardens, began releasing its initial findings.  And last month, two environmental organizations, GrowNYC and Green Thumb, released a report on a joint survey of 223 community gardens conducted from August 2009 to July 2010.

The 223 gardens surveyed represented 6,300 garden members, with an average of 29.2 members per garden.  More than four out of 10 gardens reported using more than 50 percent of their gardens for growing food.

The five top veggies were tomatoes, sweet peppers, beans, eggplants and cucumbers.  The sixth, surprisingly, were jalapeños.  Collards were the most popular leafy green, followed by lettuce and kale.

The majority of the gardens surveyed had fruit trees, with apple and peach trees being the most popular.  Cherry trees came in third.

The report found that about 65% of the gardens surveyed had a compost system.  Most allowed only members and neighborhood residents to participate in the compost pile.  Only 13% opened the compost system to the public (see related post here).

The report is a treasure trove of garden information, exploring how the food is used, the presence of greenhouses, chicken coops and other structures, and partnerships with local schools and community groups.

Check it out!

Entry filed under: Community Gardens, Food Scraps, Local Food Production, Urban Agriculture. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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