History of the Garden

Jeff Gerson, a VISTA volunteer, brought the  "rent-a-garden" concept to Pittsburgh inner city residents in the spring of 1978 with the goal of providing garden space for people in apartments. In the first year, by Gerson's estimate, 10 to 15 tons of food was produced. Including Homewood, there were an over 230 plots spread over 3 community gardens in 1979.

Each plot cost a hefty sum of $5 ($2 for seniors), and came with perks like 10 packets of seeds and all the cow manure they could use!

The articles listed below quote gardeners as being not at all frazzled by the proximity to tombstones, better tasting produce and the rewarding experience of enjoying an activity with their children.

Here are a couple of articles reported in 1979.

1. Cemetery Ground Dug For GardensRobeson article

Posted in The Robesonian, Lumverton, NC, Thursday, July 5, 1979, page 19

Link to article



2. Pittsburgh Residents Rent Garden Space in Cemeteries

Observer-reviewPosted in Observer Reporter, PA Tuesday June 5 1979, B-8 page 16

Link to article



If anyone has any information on garden activities in the 1980s 1990s and 2000s, please post an article on this site (or add a comment).