Marble Hill Houses’ Marble Hill Garden Project teamed up to bring the garden to residents in November 2015. They recruited gardeners like Perez by knocking on doors in all 11 buildings in the public housing development. The partnership aims to teach volunteers how to nurture and harvest fresh vegetables and herbs.
So far, the group has gathered 22 volunteers. Before going ahead and planting various foods, representatives from Outer Seed Shadow interviewed each volunteer to talk about their cultural identity on camera. Many of them were born in mainland United States as well as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and each talked about why they chose a specific vegetable to grow in the garden. Some just liked a specific vegetable, like Brussels sprouts, while others found it relevant to their culture.
“They are just passionate and want to grow their own food,” Juanli Carrión, an artist who founded Outer Seed Shadow, said of the volunteers. “They want to learn.”