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Seeds to Soil status presentation



Published in Self Improvement , Technology
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  • Used to have specialty shops – bakery, meat market (have that now) – but 60s people started to leave areabounded by Fifth Avenue on the east; Central Park on the south; Morningside Park, Saint Nicholas and Edgecombe Avenues on the west and the Harlem River on the north
  • So safe from being bought and made into commercial/residential space
  • (between 110-120 St. / Morningside Park & Lenox)I know these people are out there bc I did research/interviews
  • By origin, these people have a rich store of agricultural knowledge - Senegal, Caribbean, ColoradoImportant to instill early habits and experience in gardening so kids grow up to value and enjoy fresh foods
  • “[Gardening allowed us to] forge meaningful bonds with one another, and express ourselves more fully in our present community and beyond.”
  • Marlene takes home a plant tagged “Miles05” and goes onto tracking site to start posting updates on her seed
  • Introduce children to gardening and develop passion for gardening early, give them an experience to take with them for the rest of their lives and how it will affect the rest of their lives  Geddes gardened back in TrinidadStone soup
  • By providing all the suppliesBuild community – coming together and making things together/for each otherAttract foot traffic and interest to community gardenLifecycle of foods – become compost
  • That one half of the seed pair will and the other will not engage in site


  • 1. Seeds to Soil
    a grassroots gardening initiative
    in Central Harlem
  • 2. Central Harlem
    80% African American
    Also includes many Caribbean and Senegalese immigrants
    Undergoing revitalization after decades of high crime and drugs
    Health problems including those related to poor diets and limited access to fresh healthy affordable foods
  • 3. Carrie McCracken TRUCE Community Garden
    Located at St. Nicholas & 117-118 St.
    Public space, open to anyone
    About 30 members
    Entering its third gardening season
    Recently became official NYC Parks
  • 4. Target Audience
    Community surrounding Carrie McCracken TRUCE Community Garden in Central Harlem
    interested in improved access to healthy, fresh foods
    Interested in engaging with other community members
    Interested in gardening or learning to garden
  • 5. User Research
    Surveyed community members and stakeholders (partner organizations)
    Interviewed key stakeholders including garden members
    Interviewed neighbors including those unfamiliar with garden
  • 6. Research Findings
    Some community members
    didn’t realize there was a garden
    are interested in gardening, but they don’t have the space or resources
    Many community members
    have cultural roots strongly rooted in outdoors and being in touch with the land
    wish they had better access to fresh foods, particularly affordable ones
    wanted to engage more with fellow community members
    use email and internet
    Garden members
    many of them grew up gardening
    enjoy being connected with nature
    view the garden as common ground regardless of race and socio-economic backgrounds
  • 7. Closing the Food Gap by Mark Winne
    “ has been proven worthwhile for communities to make a public commitment to providing land, horticultural training, soil and compost, and other means of support to enable people who want to garden to do so...
    Doing so affords them the opportunity to come together in community to grow”
  • 8. Geddes
    McCracken Garden member
    Avid gardener from Trinidad
    Active in community
    Knowledgeable and willing to help others in community learn to garden
  • 9. Marlene
    Central Harlem resident
    Lives with a few blocks but didn’t know about this garden
    Loves to eat vegetables but things they are expensive and not necessarily fresh at the store
    Wants to grow her own vegetables butbeen able to start
  • 10. Planting
    People from same community
    Seeds to Soil
    Planting Event
    Seeds to Soil
    McCracken Garden
  • 11. Posting
  • 12. Precedents
    Leah Gauthier’s Sow-In
    Where’s George
  • 13. Goals
    Provide equal access to fresh affordable food to community members
    Grow awareness for and access to affordable and healthy foods in Central Harlem
    Foster greater social connectedness in this community
  • 14. Intervention Design
    Provide access with seed planting event
    Group reinforces commitment and accountability
    No barriers to entry for garden
    Gardening guidance
    Simple tracking system which supports community dialogue
    Subject around which community can come together
    Follow up events
  • 15. Intervention Concerns
    Hope it doesn’t rain!
    People will not engage with tracking site
    Reaching beyond current garden members