Seeding Change
Food & Wine|February 2019
Seeding Change

Karen Washington on why community gardens matter.

Julia Turshen

KAREN WASHINGTON GETS HER HANDS IN THE DIRT more than most born-and-bred New Yorkers. She has spent the past three decades working in urban gardens and teaching others to do the same in order to create access to fresh food. She is the cofounder of Black Urban Growers, was named one of the 100 most influential African-Americans in the country by Ebony, and was the recipient of a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award. We spoke the morning after the block party celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Garden of Happiness, the community garden she helped start in the vacant lot across from her home.

JT: You were a physical therapist before you were a community gardener. How did you begin to amplify your therapy work with community gardening?


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February 2019