City Heights is becoming a model for how land in dense urban neighborhoods can be put to productive use. Corn stalks, melon vines and nopal cactus flourish there.
With the help of local advocates, some of that produce is beginning to trickle into local restaurants, helping refugees tap into the growing farm-to-table movement to supplement their incomes. But mostly, the fruits and vegetables harvested in the neighborhood are still feeding the families that grow them, or the neighbors they sell to directly — many of them refugees.
The New York Times recently visited the City Heights Farmers Market and nearby New Roots Community Farm to highlight the neighborhood’s place on the forefront of a growing trend in poor urban communities: subsistence agriculture. The Times said: