Illegal Urban Vegetable Gardener Gets Away With It

The city needn’t be a blighted blacktop jungle where the only thing that grows is broken dreams. Under the cover of night, Todd Bieber planted an urban vegetable garden in Brooklyn in an abandoned patch of ground next to a parking lot. The harvest he reaped was more than just the tomatos and squash: anonymous passers by added water to it on a regular basis, and neighborhood folks spontaneously donated seeds and tomato stands. Here’s his story of how his garden grew, flourished, became salsa that he donated to the Armenian church that owned the patch, and then compost.

Urban gardening is a super-cool way to make use of space that’s just going to waste, but there is a lot of really nasty stuff in the soil you need to watch out for. Lead, arsenic, PHPs, the soil can be drenched in them, and you wouldn’t want to eat anything that grew there. Before starting a garden like this, you should send the soil to get tested. You can also put down landscape fabric and add some nice fresh soil from the store on top to steer clear of the city dirt toxins too.

Vigilante Gardner Part 2: A Thief, A Dirty Old Man, and GOD. [YouTube/toddbieber via BoingBoing]