If you don’t own a garden or have a spot to grow plants or food crops, joining, or starting, a community garden might be a good solution. There are many communal initiatives for this all around the world. Often community gardens started from neglected unused land. We think that it is important not to only consider humans when thinking of food. Make sure you invite birds and pollinators to your garden, as well. Community gardens offer so many great advantages that it’s fun to join a community garden even if you have your own.
Community gardens can be big and organized
Or they can be small enterprises, messy and and informal
They can be in unexpected places, like roof tops
A school garden is another form of a community garden
Community gardens are not just a way to get access to healthy and fresh produce. They offer many additional benefits:
- Community gardening can encourage a more active lifestyle.
- Community gardens are an inexpensive way for cities to mitigate this disparity and recapture unused land for the purpose of beautification.
- Hands-on exposure to community gardens can teach children about the sources of fresh produce, demonstrate community stewardship and introduce the importance of environmental sustainability.
- Green space adds property value to neighborhoods by beautifying spaces and creating more attractive places for people to walk and enjoy life outdoors. People are willing to pay more to live in places with these amenities. In New York, neighborhoods surrounding a community garden saw a 9.4% increase in property values within the first five years of its opening.
- Community gardens can be integrated into broader community projects such as after-school programs for children, activities for the elderly and resources for food banks and homeless shelters. They generate community pride.
- The safety and vitality of a healthy community relies heavily upon the invested pride and ownership that residents have for their neighborhood. Community gardens offer a focal point for neighborhood organizing, and can lead to community-based efforts to deal with other social concerns. They give youth a safe place to interact with peers, while involving them in positive activities.
- Communities that develop public spaces where people can become actively engaged in their community have significantly lower crime rates than neighborhoods where these amenities do not exist.
- Community gardens often share food with food banks or other organizations which provide food for those who have no time to garden and few means to purchase good fresh food.