Chinatown Community Garden, 1974-1985

Collection Metadata


Philadelphia Green (Program)
Urban gardens -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History
Community gardens -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History
Chinatown Community Garden (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
Yep, Cecilia Moy
Chinatown (Philadelphia, Pa.)


"In 1976, Chinese gardeners introduced an array of brand new vegetables to Philadelphia in their community garden at 10th and Vine. They imported seeds from China or got them from the vegetables in their grocery stores. They used shrimp shells and egg shells for fertilizer. To Harvest Shows and community parties they brought sprouts and melons and beans such as we had never seen. Their Chinese cucumber (sing quar) is sometimes a foot long, and curls up like a snake. Their winter melon, a chalky green squash, grows so big (up to 100 pounds) that it is sold in slices in the markets. They gave us seeds and taught us to stir-fry and steam. The garden flourished for a few seasons, before it was lost, along with its magnificent dragon mural, to the Vine Street Expressway. The crucial loss, according to Chinatown's Cecilia Yep, is the social life, especially for the old people, who delighted in "sharing the old ways" as they gardened with three generations. "Friendships grew with the vegetables." -- Natalie Kempner. "Community Gardening: A Patchwork of Roots." The 1988 Philadelphia Flower Show

The PCDC Community Garden, located at 10th and Vine Streets, no longer exists.

This collection is comprised on materials held by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's McLean Library.


Philadelphia (Pa.)