The Bronx's Urban Farm is a Community Effort

finca allotment

Images from La Finca del Sur

Deep in the South Bronx in New York, sandwiched between railroad tracks and an expressway, is a community garden that is raising pride as well as vegetables.

Called La Finca Del Sur/South Bronx, it's an "urban farmer cooperative run by women of color in the Bronx community." These volunteers and community groups are turning three acres of scruffy marginal land into an urban farm complete with farmers' market, children's programmes and performance space.


Image from La Finca del Sur

The name "farm of the south" was chosen "as a tribute to the southern regions of the world, fertile lands of productivity and endurance, and to the people of the South Bronx , many who migrated from the southern states to find their own place to grow. It is in Spanish to additionally honor the many Latino groups who have helped to shape the culture of this area.''

Their goal is to "provide affordable farm-fresh organic food; encourage economic empowerment; promote health awareness; teach environmental education and to stand for social equity. We accept everyone in solidarity with our vision regardless of race, gender, age, and ability. We encourage and celebrate the South Bronx's multicultural folklore, arts and traditions La Finca Del Sur translates literally as 'Farm of The South'."

This part of the Bronx has little green space and many ethnic groups so the fruits and vegetables grown on the land are varied and reflect the many groups. The garden features a range of flowers and produce - including mint, Russian sage, English thyme, red lettuce, green peppers, oregano, two types of tomatoes, eggplant and pigeon peas, as well as flowering echinacea, phlox, marigolds and purple coneflowers.

The creation was a collaboration that included a host of local organisations: the Bronx Botanical Garden, For A Better Bronx (FABB) and Greenthumb NYC, part of the city's Parks Department.

It has been a learning and spiritual journey for the women and children and families involved in its growth. As they write in their blog: "So WE invite you We are La Finca Del Sur...Come visit our LOVE Feel WELCOME with us Let us share this LOVE with you." : La Finca del Sur

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