Councilmembers Kim Acosta and Raven Blake recently spoke on a panel at the Council-sponsored Yale Food Systems Symposium on the nuances and power dynamics of urban agriculture in New Haven.
“Community gardening connects the people in the community together. It builds trust,” said Acosta.
Part of that trust is having gardeners who reflect the community. Blake said that when Love Fed was developing its garden at the Goffe Street Armory, “it made a difference to have black and brown organizers” doing the work. She saw that neighborhood residents were more likely to approach the space and consider on first glance that it might belong to them too.
She also honed in on urban agriculture as a path to job creation, where more people with an understanding of the land are being hired to do that work.
“More and more organizations are calling for people who have that knowledge to run these initiatives,” she said. “Folks can get a certification and use it to get space in their community or city to grow food and educate and train other people.”
Read more in the New Haven Arts Paper.