An artsy urban farm



P.S. 1 in Long Island City is an outgrowth of Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art. There’s generally something cool going on there, though I have not visited in a while. This summer I’m intrigued by one of their latest projects, Public Farm 1, which has veggies growing in cardboard tubes (the farm part) as well as a farmer’s market, 080622185wading pool, music series, avant garde playground, and more, all in the art center’s courtyard.

Designed by architects WORK Architecture, the project is described as a combination of a flying carpet and a farmer’s market, which (I guess) refers to the way the structure provides a cantilevered green overlay to the industrial concrete that dominates here. 080622003It is an interesting take on the whole urban farm concept, one that emphasizes its industrial surroundings. This is temporary and will be disassembled and recycled at some point.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Very cool! The cardboard tubes look like the forms used for concrete. What a great idea! I’ve used glazed chimney tiles to create vertical planters for years, but the possibilities with these are endless. Easy to paint—easy to move– turn them on their sides and drill more holes for a funky long planter. I see a visit to a big box home improvement store in the future. I priced them 12 inch diameter and 4 ft long is about $25.

  2. Pretty cool idea and a nice green touch to the concrete jungle. I like the idea of the clay tubes better than cardboard as it is more practical. But it is still a cool idea for an art piece. Are cardboard tubes OMRI approved? I kid.

  3. That’s a very cool garden project. I like the idea of using the sauna tubes as well…and not too pricey! You could make some visually pleasing stacks with them, too.

  4. Well f .. finally.
    A temporary art exhibit with a modicum of creativity that uses edible plants.

    This beats Fritz Haegs unimaginative, dead fart, edible ‘performance art’ gardens by a long shot.

    There’s no thinly veiled illusion or masquerade that this installation is a tangible/ appropriately planted front yard vegetable garden.

    It’s obvious art. Art that provokes thought.

  5. We LOVE the idea of the cardboard tubes used as planters. What a great recycling for those big ol monstrosities! Now we’re thinking about the possibilities for next spring… hhhmmmm…

  6. I don’t think any of the materials in PF1 are recycled…just reused and will compost at the end of the season. IMHO, PF1 is a provocative large-scale utopia, and Haeg’s Edible Estates is a much more populist project. More veg for thought: check out Green Zone–an edible garden, planted in the detritus of wartime consumption (used tires, shopping bags, discarded shoes). Dig the rant!

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