October 8, 2014 - May 13, 2015
(open to the public)
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).
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.
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.
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.