Liz Christy talks about the key moment that encouraged her to found a community garden.
Audio recording (English)
“We decided to take a little corner lot on the corner of East Houston and Mott Street and try to fix it up. The reason this occurred was because my Studio, where I painted, was located in the neighborhood. And when I came home from work one day, there was the usual debris of mattresses and oil drums and oil spills. But there was a new refrigerator with a door on it, and a little boy was playing submarine, and the door was still on, the lock was still on, and he was about to go under the hatch. So I opened the door of his refrigerator, took him back to his mother, sort of yelled at her and said, ‘you should teach your child never to get in a refrigerator that has a door on it. ’And she said, ‘Why don’t you do something about it?’ She said that you, it’s your fault that a refrigerator got dumped out there. I said, ‘Well, I didn’t do it personally.’ She said, ‘yeah’, but she said, ‘you don’t have a house full of children. You’re only down here occasionally. You get rid of the refrigerator. It’s your responsibility.’ So I proposed to the Greening Committee that we clean up this little triangular strip of land next to the Texaco gas station and turn it into a garden. So we hung up a sheet, and with magic markers, we said, watch this plot of land be turned into a garden in 24 hours. And the depth of the gravel there was eight inches. And we picked up some free plants from the Wall Street plant material giveaway, sponsored at the time by the Parks Council. We built a picket fence, we brought in soil, and we planted this whole little strip garden, complete with a Japanese black pine and crab apple and broom, and wisteria vines, whitewashed walls, put up a picket fence and did it all in 24 hours.”