How to put vacant lots or vandalized parks to cooperative, soul-satisfying, neighborhood-enhancing use. Nalmark and her Boston-area colleagues (each of whom contributes one or more specialized chapters) touch lightly but resolutely on the economic, social, and environmental benefits; offer foresighted advice on organizing (How will plots be assigned? How large should they be?); pinpoint potential resources, private and governmental--with strategies for securing aid. On site selection and development, they're alert to urban conditions (though two chapters differ on the requisite distance from a busy street to avoid airborne lead pollution). The information on actual planting and maintenance is a sensible blend of the absolutely basic (many urban gardeners, after all, are novices) and of considerations special to community gardens. For one thing, ""you will probably have neighboring gardens on at least two sides. You need to consider the height of the plants you grow so that you are not shading the plot to your north."" For another, you need to consider vandalism--by choosing less-tempting items, and also (a special section) adopting overall strategies to discourage theft. Some compatible projects are suggested too (a community canning center, a food coop garden, establishing a ""permaculture"" system); but there's a distinct attempt to avoid a do-gooder, eco-freak, or counterculture image. And the practical wisdom about community gardening specifically is not to be found in general gardening or general community-improvement books.