Aztecs Were Early Urban Gardeners

Urban gardening is spreading to Mexico City, resurrecting an ancient history of growing produce in the city.
August 28, 2008, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Under the rule of the ancient Aztecs, Mexico City was a maze of canals and floating gardens that grew corn and beans to feed the masses.

Hundreds of years later, the government of this concrete metropolis of 20 million people is promoting urban vegetable gardens as a way to ease the burden of soaring food prices faced by poor families.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard – who is behind a string of crowd-pleasers like cycle lanes, artificial beaches, and an outdoor ice rink – has sent groups of gardening experts out to build community gardens.

Over 20 urban vegetable patches have been planted since last year, some in areas formerly used to dump trash, and the city government wants to build at least 20 more.

"We see this as a pilot project that could explode across the city," said program director Pedro Ponce, an agronomist."

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Published on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 in The Christian Science Monitor
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