Urban Community Gardens
URBAN COMMUNITY GARDENS
Urban gardening can include anything from growing herbs in containers on the balcony of an apartment, to large community gardens and orchards on vacant blocks or community land.
Urban gardening provides city people a chance to reconnect with the natural world. They are green, productive spaces in what otherwise would be barren, cold scenes of concrete and buildings.
Community gardens have a number of benefits, which include:
Economic: Commercial food production is highly mechanised. Products are transported long distances to reach consumers. This means that food prices are sensitive to factors such as increasing oil prices and climate change. People on a low income can be very vulnerable to rising food costs. Urban gardening can combat this, and can be a long term solution for food security in cities, which import a huge amount of food to feed their population everyday.
Environmental: Community gardens provide habitats for urban wildlife such as birds, butterflies, lizards and frogs. Food grown in organic urban gardens has minimal transport costs and chemical use in its production. Composting waste can reduce landfill. Increasing the amount of food grown in cities can minimise other natural areas being transformed into cropland.
Educational: Community gardens provide a place for learning and experimenting over time. Many skills can be shared, including seed saving; composting; mulching; pest control; shared decision making and co-operation.
Health: Urban gardens can provide people with access to high quality, fresh and nutritious food. Gardening is a physical activity that can help you get fit in a productive and meaningful way. Community gardens make cities healthier places to live by greening and beautifying unused space.
Social: Community gardening is a social activity where people can meet each other and develop a sense of community and belonging. It also involves learning and using skills in shared decision making, problem solving and negotiation.