The real rub? It sold for just $23,000, something the gardeners might have pooled their own resources to buy. Heck, at that price a single gardener might have been able to gift it to the neighborhood for a good long stretch. They say the market may not rebound for 10 years or more. That's a whole lot of eggplant and zucchini.
It's tough not to see the crooked little sign, tucked next to the garden's well-used rain barrel, as a prescient tombstone. It points to one of the real paradoxes of urban agriculture: It's tough to make the most sustainable ideas sustain in the most important way -- in perpetuity.
Someday soon there will be a building on this space. Its foundation will rest in nutrient-rich soil, unharvested seeds, and a city lot that once fed its people -- and I'm talking about dozens of people who came together to turn it green. The hope is that some of those gardeners stick around for a while, preserving the memory of their shared enterprise, even as new folks dig for their keys, open their front door, then shut it again to settle in for the evening.