Community gardens have been functioning all over the world for years. In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 10,000 community gardens operating today. Community gardens give urbanites that don’t have room at home an opportunity to grow their own food or engage in the rewarding experience of gardening.
The basic philosophy of a community garden is that residents share the responsibility of the management and maintenance of the garden. Community gardens also serve as centers of recreation and education, providing a living classroom for schoolchildren. Fruits and vegetables supplied by community gardens also make for healthier neighborhoods.
In large cities where people typically don’t have contact with their neighbors, these gardens give people a chance to work together and chat about the goings-on in their area. Imagine the stress relief you can experience by getting your hands dirty and spending a few hours in your local community garden.
To find out more information about community gardens in your region, the American Community Gardening Association manages an excellent website. Another superb resource for starting up your own community garden is the Handbook of Community Gardening by Boston Urban Gardeners (ISBN 0-684-17466-9).
Want to learn more about Community Gardening?
Toronto.ca has an article about community gardens in the Toronto area. It explains the benefits and objectives of community gardens. You can also check out their FAQ list to find out how to start your own community garden. While the list is specific to the Toronto area, the general steps for setting up a community garden will be similar in most North American locales.
Healthy Alberta.com examines the physical, social and mental benefits of community gardens. The gardens help to bring together members of the neighborhood and get people working together for a common goal.
EcoSource mentions the benefit of being able to grow ethnic foods that are rare to Canada. Some of these vegetables and herbs are very expensive to transport and hard to find, making a local community garden the ideal place to provide a source of these foods.
Wild about gardening has a step by step guide to organizing a community gardening project. It shows you how to choose your project, how to seek advice, establishing your network and develop a community action plan.