“All the gardens have different setups and different communities,” Brown said. “I think that really makes us unique compared to other similar gardening networks.”
By Kira Maddox
April 10, 2019
Syracuse Grows, a grassroots nonprofit founded in 2008, acts as a coalition connecting more than 20 urban community gardens in the city. The goal is to bring them together and help provide the things they need to succeed and produce food, said Syracuse Grows director Sarah Brown.
Urban gardens, also known as urban farms, are plots of land in and around a metropolitan area; they are used to produce crops or, in some cases, raise livestock. Unlike traditional rural farming, urban gardens are more closely intertwined with a city’s economy and ecosystem due to their proximity.
Urban farming was predominantly developed to combat rapidly growing urbanization, which led to problems with urban poverty and food scarcity, according to the RUFA Foundation, a global partnership on sustainable urban agriculture and food systems. Tending an urban garden also has several social impacts, Brown said.
“Community building is really the key to our organization,” she said. “A lot of times people will contact us and say they want to get involved, but they don’t have gardening experience. I always tell people that we’re really a community-building organization first and a gardening organization second.”