"PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation appears to be getting in on the urban gardening movement.
Michael DiBeradinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources, says turning public property into land for parks and recreation protects urban gardens by making it difficult for those gardens to get sold after neighbors have invested in them. But he says you can’t just sprinkle a few seeds on a plot and expect that the city will protect the land.
“Generally, they have to have a few years under their belt,” DiBeradinis says. “They have to show a certain level of success, a certain level of organization, a certain level of commitment and local resource .”
One of those such gardens was the former Marathon Farm in Brewerytown.
“Ninety-percent of the garden was in public property,” DiBeradinis says, “so that moved from public property to our department as a way of protecting it in the long-term .”
DiBeradinis says neighbors stepped up to tend to the farm once it was abandoned by the financially strapped Marathon Grill in 2013.
“(We grow) tomatoes, cabbage, collard greens, okra, skunions, onions,” says Bernice. “We have all this stuff out here.”"