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Contribution to Book
Urban Agriculture
Green Cities (2010)
  • Evan L. Weissman, Syracuse University

Community gardens are any garden cultivated by a group of people and are the primary space of urban agriculture in the United States. Historically, community gardens emerged in response to political economic crises in U.S. cities. Today, community garden participation is augmented by an interest in organic, local, and “slow” food; an increase in environmental concern; and urban struggles for public space. Community gardens have an extensive history in the United States that is widely understood as seven separate but overlapping “movements” that emerged to try to address specific social problems: Potato Patches (1894–1917), School Gardens (1900–1920), Garden City Plots (1905–1910), Liberty Gardens (1917–1920), Relief Gardens (1930–1939), Victory Gardens (1941–1945), and Community Gardens (1970–present). The first organized community garden program emerged in Detroit in 1893 as a response to urban hunger, when the City of Detroit supported food production through land provisioning. Detroit's Potato Patches promoted self-sufficiency and provided food ...

Publication Date
Nevin Cohan
SAGE Publishing
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Citation Information
Evan L. Weissman. "Urban Agriculture" Thousand Oaks, CAGreen Cities (2010)
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