Why Start a Community Garden?

gardening

Photo: NB Community Harvest Gardens

 

What is a Community Garden?

A community garden is a shared space where people gather together to grow fruits, vegetables, small livestock, and/or flowers collectively.

Community gardens vary widely in their structure, purpose and format. They can consist of collective plots, individual plots, or a combination of the two. Food may be grown for the garden’s members, for a local organization such as a community kitchen or bulk buying club, or for the community at large. The most common type of community garden is one in which garden plots are rented to community members on an annual basis to plant vegetables for their own consumption.

Why Start a Community Garden?

A community garden can help improve food security for participants by increasing physical and economic access to adequate amounts of healthy food. Community gardens provide health, economic, educational, social, and environmental benefits to participants and the community at large. Community Gardens:

  • Provide fresh, healthy, low-cost food that can substitute for otherwise expensive food purchases;
  • Encourage physical activity for all age groups;
  • Create a social gathering place for the community and encourage the sharing of intergenerational knowledge;
  • Enable participants to learn basic gardening skills, from sowing seeds to harvesting, and to better understand their food system;
  • Provide a welcoming space for participants to build self-confidence, wellness, and personal skills; and
  • Help improve the local environment by preserving and growing green space and by encouraging people to act as local stewards

Source:   Community Garden Best Practices Toolkit:A Guide for Community Organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador