Public Lab Research note

May 11 data collection workshop

by liz | March 25, 2013 22:07 25 Mar 22:07 | #6523 | #6523

NYC: May 11, 2013 Dear urban farmers and gardeners: this workshop is the kickoff to Five Borough Farm Phase II, a project of the Design Trust for Public Space. Phil Silva and I will be facilitating -- here's how it works (modeled on Open Space Technology, where the only rule is "Prepare to be surprised!):

The Workshop will focus on your particular interest in measuring the good things happening at your garden. Here’s how it works:

To prepare for the Workshop, read the attached list of questions we typically ask ourselves about the good things that happen in community gardens and urban farms. Share the list with other members of your garden and, working together, select one thing you would like to develop the tools and methods to better measure this season.

During the Workshop, gardeners and farmers from across the city will briefly tell each other about the things they chose to measure in their gardens. Based on what we learn about the interests in the room, we’ll organize into smaller groups and, working together, develop the tools and methods for measuring the things you care about.

By the end of the Workshop, we will have reported back to the whole group with our findings, ideas, and strategies for moving forward. This final group check-in will give you a chance to learn about methods for measuring some of the other great things happening at your garden that you may find useful.

Throughout the summer, we will work with you to develop and fine-tune the tools and methods that come out of our “Making the Measure” Workshop.

Some Questions We Ask About The Good Things Happening In Our Gardens

  • How many pounds of food does our garden grow?
  • How many volunteer hours do people contribute to our garden?
  • How many young people participate in our garden? How old are they?
  • How much compost does our garden produce?
  • How much food waste does our garden prevent from going to the landfill?
  • How many people learn new job skills at our farm?
  • How much food are selling at our Farmer’s Market?
  • How many people are employed by our farm?
  • How many square feet of permeable surface are in the garden?

To register for participating in this workshop and the summer of data collection, please express interest in an email to Caroline Bauer at the Design Trust (cbauer [at]


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