Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Review: A Patch of Eden, America’s Inner-City Gardens, By H. Patricia Hynes

By Nina Berryman

For those of you interested in learning more about urban gardening across the nation, here is a book for you! H. Patricia Hynes takes the reader into plant filled nooks and crannies in the neighborhoods of Harlem, San Francisco, Chicago and our very own Philadelphia. She interviews gardeners and neighbors of community gardens, painting a picture of how they came to be and recording the transformation they have brought to a particular space in a city. Her stories are interlaced with history lessons about our country and its diverse neighborhoods and cultures. She concludes the book with a discussion about women’s relationship with gardens throughout the history of agriculture. This book is less about gardens and more about ordinary people who want to improve their neighborhoods. In the Philadelphia chapter, she takes snapshots of Las Parcelas, Project Rainbow, the USDA Urban gardening Program, Glenwood Green Acres, and Philadelphia Green. Never heard of some of these organizations? I suggest you pick up the book, then go out into the city and see them for yourself!

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