Youth Art Gallery, Terminal A-East Baggage Claim

October 8, 2014 - May 13, 2015

Nicknamed the “Rebel Gardeners,” they are teenagers who graduated from Pepper Middle School in Southwest Philadelphia. During summer 2012, they gardened at a nearby plot in the Eastwick Community Garden owned by Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

For 6 weeks, the Rebel Gardeners cultivated their garden growing mustard greens, collard greens, cucumbers, eggplant, basil, tomatoes, rainbow chard, sugar snap peas, mulberries, grapes, apples, and watermelon. They also learned about their fellow gardeners. The students conducted interviews to find out where the gardeners were from, how they became interested in gardening, how long they had been gardening, why they continue to garden, and what they did with their produce.

The purpose of this project was not only to gain the experience of gardening but to facilitate an inter-generational transfer of hands-on knowledge outside of the traditional classroom. The students found that the more experienced community gardeners were eager to answer questions, share their stories and even their favorite recipes.

Gardeners at the Eastwick Community Garden have grown thousands of pounds of fresh produce in dozens of the garden’s plots. Now residents of Southwest Philadelphia, the gardeners were originally from states in the South and countries all over the world including Italy, China, Germany, Laos, the Philippines, and Albania.

The Rebel Gardeners documented their experience by taking photographs, shooting video, writing a book, and creating an extensive website.

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