LaGuardia Corner Garden Interview

Marcia showing me her plot

Marcia’s plot


A 10 minute transcribe of this 20 min interview

Alicia Quinn

October 13th 2018



Interviewing Marcia at LaGuardia Place Garden


Transcription of Interview


Alicia questioned: When did you begin gardening here?

Marcia responds: 30 years ago

Alicia questioned: Wow. So, do you live in the city

Marcia responds: I do

Alicia questioned: What made you want to begin gardening

Marcia responds: I gardened all of my life

Alicia questioned: Really?

Marcia responds: My dad did so I helped him as a kid. Then I lived in very rural Vermont and gardened there. So, I missed it when I came to the city. I signed up for this garden

Alicia questioned: So as soon as you moved here you signed up

Marcia responds: Yes, and I was on a waiting list for five years

Alicia questioned: Wow. Where is your plot?

Marcia responds: Do you want to see it?

Alicia questioned: Yes, well I see you are eating so after not right now, please eat your food first I apologize.

Marcia responds: Okay yes, I’ll show you after

Alicia questioned: What do you grow in your plot

Marcia responds: Well everyone can grow whatever they want in theirs, mines perennials, annuals and vegetables.

Alicia questioned: Do you cook with all of your food that you grow

Marcia responds: Yes, I do

Alicia questioned: What specific vegetables do you grow

Marcia responds: Well my best this summer has been tomatoes, but I grow cucumber lettuce kale, herbs spinach and then marigolds lilies roses

Alicia questioned: Are those vegetables seasonal

Marcia responds: Yes, in the winter vegetables here do not grow they freeze

Alicia questioned: Yes, too cold. Is this garden open all day all year?

Marcia responds: Its closed in the winter. The gates open from 9 to dusk and there’s gardeners here who have assigned hours and I’m talking to you today because this is my garden duty. I’m here today to talk to people

Alicia questioned: Oh, nice how does that work? Do you have a sign-up sheet?

Marcia responds: Yes, you sign up, so you know when we are supposed to be here

Alicia questioned: Is everything volunteered

Marcia responds: Yes, we are all volunteers. The lands owned by the city, so they allow us to be here. Its paid by the city. We pay the city a nominal amount for the lands. We have dues for the garden

Alicia questioned: Are they annual dues

Marcia responds: Yes

Alicia questioned: Do you have events here

Marcia responds: Uhm yes there’s music events, a couple weeks ago we had a dying event where we used plants from the garden that would leave implants on fabric

Alicia questioned: Oh, wow so natural ding with the natural colors.

Marcia responds: Yeah

Alicia questioned: was that open for the public?

Marcia responds: It was and there were quite a few people. We also host a lot of school groups. Young kids elementary. Then a group of high school kids who were supported by green thumb which is a gardening company

Alicia questioned: I have seen their trucks go by

Marcia responds: Yeah so, they supported high school and some college student to come and learn about gardening.

Alicia questioned: Do they sponsor the garden

Marcia responds: Well we are a member of green thumb. They give us materials to garden with like gloves and things. This year we were able to get compost from the dep of sanitation.

Alicia questioned: Can anyone come and put compost in it

Marcia responds: Yes, until it gets too filled up so idk what’s going on right now it may be too full. Some people don’t know what composting is. They put pits of avocados in and stuff

Alicia questioned: Oh yeah you can’t put seeds in, but can you put peels and skins of things in it

Marcia responds: Yes

Alicia questioned: Can anyone take the soil it makes

Marcia responds: Well no it’s not that much and its valuable I assume if u want some and came at the right time you could get some maybe. But it takes a long time to harvest. Maybe twice a year we empty it

Alicia questioned: Who empties it

Marcia responds: We all do and in the summer kids that signed up through the green thumb helped us with it.

Alicia questioned: What else do you have here besides the compost and garden plots

Marcia responds: BEES

Alicia questioned: Bees?

Marcia responds: Uh huh. Theres two hives.

Alicia questioned: Those drawers?

Marcia responds: Yes, there are bee hives. This summer they produced 30 lbs. of honey

Alicia questioned: Wow. Who harvests the honey?

Marcia responds: Well we all do. We have a specialist that helps us and people in the community.

Alicia questioned: Did they teach you

Marcia responds: Yes yeah

Alicia questioned: My neighbor at home, I’m from Pennsylvania originally, owns a restaurant and has bee hives and uses the honey in the restaurant. It’s so nice having it fresh. Did everyone get to take the honey home?

Marcia responds: Yes, we all got little jars

Alicia questioned: Is there one person that sort of takes care of everything a swell as everyone taking care of their own plot?

Marcia responds: Well we have a board there’s the chair person, secretary, treasurer and well let’s see there must be 5 people on the board. They sprat manage the book keeping and the sign-up sheet and all. And if somethings not being done. There’re 4 meetings a year we all attend. The garden is managed I would say communally.


Organizing Data

Alicia is a Parsons student studying Integrated Design.

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