Project Aims To Record Wisdom Of D.C. Gardeners | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Project Aims To Record Wisdom Of D.C. Gardeners

Play associated audio
David Quick of the Neighborhood Farm Initiative at Mamie D. Lee Community Garden.
Jonathan Wilson
David Quick of the Neighborhood Farm Initiative at Mamie D. Lee Community Garden.

Let's talk about that trendiest of hipster fads: urban gardening.

But is it really just a fad? An oral history project put together by the non-profit Neighborhood Farm Initiative aims, in part, to dispel that myth, through recorded interviews with dozens of gardeners, young and old, from around the city.

Recently I met the man at the helm of the project, David Quick, at Mamie D. Lee community garden in Fort Totten, to talk about what he hoped to accomplish by gathering the wisdom of D.C. gardeners.

"My professional training is as a librarian and an archivist. I worked at an oral history project at the Library of Congress and just became a big fan of it," he says. "I think it's a really powerful way to preserve knowledge and stories, but also to empower people — empower people making relationships with each other."

The Neighborhood Farm Initiative received a Heritage grant from the D.C. Humanities Council to complete the project.

Quick says he was interested in finding out more about what urban agriculture was like before it became hip again in the 2000s.

"If there's one theme that came out, that shouldn't have been surprising to me, it's that gardening takes a lot of work," he says. "If you're gonna have a successful garden, it's hard work. And that is the constant and it's never going to ever change. I think some of the people who've been [gardening] for a long time, they know that and they can kind of pick out very quickly whether a new gardener is going to succeed or not."

[Music: "In the Garden of Earthly Delights" by Combustible Edison from The Impossible World]

DC Gardeners Oral History Map


View DC Gardeners Oral History Map in a larger map
WAMU 88.5

Key Civil War Generals The Subject Of New Smithsonian Exhibit

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery focuses on Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.
NPR

Is Foster Farms A Food Safety Pioneer Or A Persistent Offender?

The California chicken producer has been dogged by food safety problems at its plants for months. But Foster Farms may also now be one of the country's cleanest, safest sources of chicken products.
NPR

Congress Has The Ability To Fix Immigration Crisis, Obama Says

His remarks in Dallas followed a meeting with faith leaders and local officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, to discuss the large number of unaccompanied minors at the border.
NPR

What Burritos And Sandwiches Can Teach Us About Innovation

Is a burrito a sandwich? The answer may sound simple to you ... but the question gets at the very heart of a tension that's existed for ages.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.