West Harlem, New York …. Access to healthy foods is becoming a problem in NYC for everyone. At one time, only the poor suffered from lack of access to fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. But supermarkets have been closing in New York City because of high commercial rents, labor costs and low profits. To combat this problem and prevent it from becoming the tsunami of our times, urban farms are being proposed all over the country. And in West Harlem, the matter is being studied, analyzed and rendered out through a “pop-up” installation led by Richard Gonzalez, Manuel Mansylla and Jimena Leiva-Roesch with the West Harlem Art Fund, Inc. for Park(ING) Day 2009. The team shares examples that are being reviewed all over the world and developed a schematic to show what might work in West Harlem.

According to Executive Director, Savona Bailey-McClain, installation art can help give ordinary folks the room to think through tough problems and challenges facing us today. Art is not only for aesthetic pleasure but it can be an important teaching tool. We are planning to develop several “pop-up” installations to look at hard issues in West Harlem like economic development and environment land use as well as other important matters. I wish to thank the team creating this installation for their wonderful work and great inspiration.

By expanding the concept of Park(ING) Day to Farm(ING) Day, a metered parking space will transform into an exploration and educational lab promoting urban farming practices. The Pop-Park will showcase basic do it yourself techniques on growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables within one’s own home and neighborhood. Farm(ING) Day will educate and encourage local residents to grow their own food products adding in savings to their household food consumption and can also start to revamp the local economy by selling some of the goods to the local food stores. Regional fresh foods will be available for purchase by a local food vendor on the site.

Read About it in The Columbia Spectator:

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