5 Benefits of a Community Garden
It can be one of your most rewarding experiences, and there are many advantages to starting a community garden. You’ll be able to eat fresh, healthy food and reduce your carbon footprint while sharing your harvest with your family and friends.
Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables is linked to improved health. However, for lower income communities, access to nutritious food is a challenge. These problems can be solved by planting a garden.
A recent study evaluated the potential benefits of community gardening on health. A well-planned garden can reduce waste and increase food security. It can also improve nutrition and reduce environmental impacts. A community garden can also be a way to increase social inclusion at the individual and group levels.
Community gardens are an innovative urban strategy to promote health and well-being. Studies have shown that well-planned gardens can reduce food costs and increase availability of better quality foods. A community garden can also reduce the dependence on convenience and fast food.
The authors reviewed all available literature on the effects of community gardens on human health. The review was designed to answer the question: “What is the health benefit of a community garden?” This review had a wider scope than previous reviews. The authors examined a range of disciplinary approaches to measuring outcomes. Different disciplinary approaches provided inconsistent outcomes measurements, they found.
The authors reviewed 84 papers. The majority focused on a single activity, such as fruit and vegetable consumption, while other garden-based interventions targeted different groups. One-third of the studies were adult-focused, and another third addressed youth or children. The study considered all types of assessment, including self-rated evaluations by gardeners.
The authors conducted a radar chart analysis to quantify the potential benefits. They found that contact with the natural world was associated with a range of health benefits, including relaxation, increased physical activity, and improved nutrition.
The study not only examined the effects of community gardening on health but also examined the geographic distribution of the gardens. The results show that gardening is especially effective in urban areas, where food access is an issue. The study found that around a third are dependent on food stamps. Baptist Health System has set up a Grow 2 Healing garden at Homestead Hospital, south Miami-Dade County. The 10-acre hospital garden provides the ingredients for the hospital kitchen.
Reduce barriers to healthy foods
Community gardening could be a good option for you if you want to lower your food costs, increase access to fresh produce, and reduce carbon emissions. This type of activity generally has three goals: beautify the area, give local residents the opportunity to grow healthy food, and reduce barriers.
A community garden is an initiative that involves the sharing of produce or other products. It is non-profit and volunteer-run. They may involve small wildlife gardens, or larger market-garden projects.
Many cities, including Seattle, in the United States, have programs that encourage people to plant and care for gardens. These include the P-Patch program, which uses a community land trust to manage the site, and the San Francisco Community Gardens Program, which is run by the city on city-owned land.
A variety of cultures and countries have identified the benefits of community gardening. These benefits include improved physical and mental health, greater sense of community and easier access to healthy food. Other studies have found that participation in this activity increases the amount of time spent engaging in physical activities, improves cognitive skills, and enhances social relationships.
As with many activities, there is a lack of reliable, comprehensive research on the benefits of community gardening. In order to understand how this activity affects health, a number of qualitative studies have been conducted, including case studies of two neighborhood-based community gardens with youth programming.
These studies used a variety data collection methods, including participant and systematic observation as well as ethnographic interview. The authors also developed a theory of change model to show how community gardening could lead to specific outcomes.
This study shows that community gardens can increase the amount of fruits and vegetables people eat. For example, only a third of home gardeners adhered to the national recommendation that fruits and veggies be consumed five or more times per day.
Participating in a community gardening program can also help promote local economic development. The P-Patch program in Seattle, for example, distributes materials and offers education programming. It also uses community land trusts to manage the project.
Reduce emissions from fossil fuels
Creating a community garden can help reduce emissions from fossil fuels. These gardens can help create healthier food for families. Additionally, they can reduce the cost of producing healthy foods.
Individuals or groups can often start community gardens. They can be planted in areas where healthy food is hard to find. They can also receive funding and support from local governments and non-profits. They are often devoted to culturally relevant crops.
Some communities have integrated their gardens into public spaces or set up rooftop gardens. They can also provide educational programming. These programs can be hosted by experts, or in multiple languages.
Community gardens face many challenges, including funding, land, and participation. Experts recommend educational programming to maximize the garden’s yields. They can also recommend soil testing, cover cropping, and vertically-grown crops.
Transportation is the second largest source of emissions after the energy sector. To reduce emissions, one way is to develop advanced technologies to make vehicles more efficient. Another way to reduce emissions is to ship products on fuel-saving cargo ships.
In addition to the energy sector, the industrial processes and agriculture sectors contribute to GHG emissions. These sectors contribute 13% and 11% respectively to greenhouse gas emissions.
The energy sector’s largest source of emissions is burning coal and natural gas for power. These are less carbon-intensive that gasoline. Compressed natural gas can be used in place of diesel to reduce CO2 emissions. Petroleum is still the main source for electricity in the U.S. It accounts for almost three quarters of all CO2 emissions from the power sector.
In addition to the energy sector, greenhouse gases are produced during the manufacturing process. Many fertilizers used in agriculture are also made from fossil fuels. Alternative materials such as bioplastics can be used to reduce manufacturing emissions.
For example, the Boston Natural Areas Network has preserved urban green spaces and has worked towards increasing the percentage of fruits and vegetables grown in the city. Many cities, including Seattle and Shelby County have partnered with land banks to donate land to community gardens.
Share your harvest with family and friends
Whether you are looking for an alternative to fast food restaurants, or just want to be outside, a community gardening project can be a fun way of enjoying nature and sharing your harvest with friends and neighbors. It’s also an excellent way to learn new gardening skills.
To start a community garden, first ask your neighbors if they’d be interested in participating. To find out if local schools or businesses would be willing sponsors, you can also reach out to them.
Once you’ve found some people who are interested, invite them to a meeting to get the ball rolling. Tell them what the purpose of the garden is, and what benefits it will bring to the community. You may have different ideas about what the garden should do.
After the meeting has ended, you should send the notes back to the group. It’s helpful to include the names of any volunteers who plan to be involved in the project. Some of these might have a lot of experience, while others may be less seasoned.
You can donate surplus produce to a food pantry if you have it. Some food pantries are happy and able to accept fresh, clean produce.
You can also set up a produce stand for free where you can display your harvest to the public. This will provide a great opportunity for you to meet new neighbors, and build relationships with other growers.
When you’re ready to plant, make sure you check the rules and regulations in your area. Popular plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and basil are easy to grow. You can also plant less-popular vegetables along fences. To confuse vandals, you can plant purple varieties if you are worried about vandalism.
You can host a potluck, where neighbors can bring a dish made with ingredients from their garden. You can even exchange recipes. This is a great way for friends and family to get to know gardening and to build relationships.
A good year spent in the garden can provide more than enough food for you to eat. You can also donate your surplus to other families in your community.