As I write this, the community garden plots in my area are mostly full and waiting lists are one of the only ways to get in. There are about five total gardens that are within a bikeable distance of where I live, but all of them have been filled up by other interested people. This begs a question – does the world need more community-led gardens?
First of all, let’s define a community garden. Basically, it is a place where people can rent plots to grow fruits and vegetables for harvesting. These gardens can prove to be extremely useful for those that may not have the space or don’t have a dedicated area to grow sustainably at their own home.
This leads me to my first point. When a neighborhood creates a community garden, people have the potential to reduce their carbon footprint by a massive scale. People are able to garden, grow and harvest their fruits and vegetables potentially entirely on bike.
Even bigger than this, communities can actually start to become stronger groups of people working together during the growing season, later leading to bonds throughout their journey in the garden.
Here’s how both of those things start to happen:
Many people around the world buy food and goods from grocery stores. Those stores likely sourced their goods from growers that could be on the other side of the world – therefore breaking up the community aspect.
After goods are shipped and delivered to grocers (and emit carbon), people must then use a mode of transportation to retrieve said goods for their own pantries (also likely emitting carbon). This process will repeat itself until something interrupts it. In our case, that interruption could be a community garden.
This year, my family was lucky enough to get a garden plot even after being #11 on a waiting list. The very existence of a waiting list for a garden with over 50 plots tells me that there is an incredible desire to grow vegetables sustainably and be a part of something bigger.
What can you do to create meaningful change in your community? Would you try to get a community garden built where you live?
I plan on updating how the community garden experience is going in a few months, so be sure to stay tuned to GLOBR.