The Women’s Times Presents… City Farmers

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - Local filmmaker Meryl Joseph’s documentary about community gardens will be screened this month as part of a series called The Women’s Times Presents…. The first showing will be held July 16 at 8 p.m. at Alchemy Initiative, located in the old Notre Dame Church at 40 Melville Street in Pittsfield.

The second screening, at Time and Space Limited in Hudson, N.Y., will take place on July 22 at 7:30 p.m. Both screenings will be followed by a talk with the filmmaker.
 
In City Farmers, Berkshire-based filmmaker Meryl Joseph interviews the gardeners who cultivated some of the 1,000-plus urban farm plots created in the 1980s and ’90s in New York City. These are poignant firsthand accounts of the many reasons those who live in a world of pavement in the nation’s largest urban center have turned back to the soil, on abandoned city lots, parks, on balconies and rooftops. More than a decade after it was made, Joseph’s film offers a look at the lush urban community gardens grown in those settings (many have since been demolished) and the moving stories behind them. Re-issued on DVD in 2005, the film was selected in January 2009 to be part of the Tribeca Film Institute’s ReFrame collection.
 
Joseph’s film has new resonance as community gardens sprout up across the country—prompted by tough economic times, a growing interest in local food, and excitement about Michelle Obama’s installation of a White House garden. The July issue of The Women’s Times features a series of articles on community gardens, including interviews with women involved in the Pittsfield Farm Project, Project Sprout at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, and the Chatham Community Garden in Chatham, N.Y., and a feature by Northern Berkshire artist and garden activist Sharon Wyrrick.
 
The July 16 event at Alchemy Initiative follows downtown Pittsfield’s popular 3rd Thursday. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door, which will benefit Alchemy Initiative’s Urban Farm Project. Refreshments will be served. Alchemy Initiative is an urban farming community project in Pittsfield that combines art, music and education with sustainable living. Learn more at http://alchemyinitiative.org.

The July 22 event at TSL takes place at 7:30 p.m. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door, which will benefit TSL’s garden projects. Refreshments will be served.
 
Now in its 19th year in Hudson, TSL has established itself as a beacon and leader in the neighborhood, county, and state, shaping the lives of community members through innovative and exciting cultural projects of quality and substance. Its mission is to educate, enliven, and expand the artistic quality of life in the community it serves. Learn more about TSL at www.timeandspace.org.

The Women's Times is an award-winning monthly publication serving the Berkshire and Pioneer Valley regions. For more information, please call 413-528-5303
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