Launched in 2021, the Bronx Foodways Oral Histories Project exists to preserve the food histories and life experiences of long-time community gardeners and urban farmers across the borough.
This oral history collection is invaluable. It provides intimate first-hand portraits of the growers, volunteers, and activists—keeping their personal journeys alive for future generations, and underscoring the importance of neighborhood gardens as centers for food, heritage, community, and social justice.
Below, you can explore interviews with Bronx community gardeners and urban farmers from the first two years of this momentous project.
The Bronx Foodways Oral Histories Project is made possible with support from the Mellon Foundation.
The Mural Project
Each year The New York Botanical Garden commissions two public murals celebrating Bronx gardeners and farmers from the Oral Histories project. Bronx artist André Trenier is creating the initial works in 2022.
History of the Bronx Community Gardens
Formed in 1988, the Botanical Garden created the Bronx Green-Up program to support the volunteer efforts of residents that were beginning to clean up and beautify vacant lots in the Bronx.
Bronx Green-Up, the community gardening outreach program of The New York Botanical Garden, provides horticultural education, training, and technical assistance to Bronx residents, community gardeners, urban farmers, local schools, and community organizations. The program is the visible presence of the Botanical Garden beyond the Garden’s gates, inspiring NYC residents to get involved in improving their communities through greening projects.
Learn more about the history of Bronx Community Gardens.
Morris Campus Farm Student Interviews
In the summer of 2022, Bronx Green-Up Apprentice Liana Castillo interviewed students at Morris Campus Farm about their experiences on this unique urban educational farm on their high school campus in Morrisania, Bronx.
Friends of Brook Park Community Garden Interviews
On September 24, 2022, NYBG captured these interviews from community gardeners attending the NYC Parks Green Thumb Harvest Fair at the Friends of Brook Park Community Garden.