nyc taxi farmers: late summer update

taxi farmer with corn plants
photo: david saltman

When we last left our New York City taxi farmers – the car service drivers who plant “crops” in vacant patches of land around the Bronx – they were gamely waiting for their urban garden to grow, even as they waited for calls from the dispatcher.

Well, it’s been a tough harvest in the city, as it has been for farmers everywhere. Last year, as we reported, it was the torrential rains. This year, it’s been the withering heat. Our intrepid drivers lost their first planting, but they didn’t lose heart.

withering corn

photo: david saltman

Like true tillers of the soil, they planted a late round of corn and beans. The weather has been kind, and they’re quite optimistic that by Indian summer they’ll again be feasting on their communal effort, deep in the wilds of New York City.   Alas, we’ve discovered that Hurricane Irene hit the new crop pretty hard, tearing squash and grape plants out of the ground and covering it with debris; only the corn remains. One taxi farmer took a philosophical view and said simply: “It’s nature. You can’t fight her”

taxi farms and their growing crop

photo: david saltman

We hope to see the taxi farmers plant again next spring.

 —David Saltman

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2 Responses to nyc taxi farmers: late summer update

  1. Ken Rivard 08.29.2011 at 9:23am #

    Thought I read a piece in the NYTimes about the city digging this garden up. Glad to see I was wrong. Ken

  2. Sally 08.29.2011 at 10:04am #

    The intrepid David Saltman keeps an eye on the taxi farmers and the progress of their crops as he lives in the neighborhood. No police action on THEIR plots. So far, so good.

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