We have said it once, and we will say it a million more times – gardens inspire growth all around them. Sure, it toes the line of an intense cliche, but it is just the truth. If you have ever planted a garden of your own, you will know that the time and tenderness that you extend to the growth of your plants also helps you to grow.
Growing a garden grows deeper character, as well as the drive to be more thoughtful, and take care of the spaces you reside in. If you are looking for a great way to bring your neighborhood, apartment building, or colleagues together, gardening is the perfect place to start. This week, learn why starting a community garden will forever change your neighborhood for the better and how you can have a community garden without any dedicated land.
Why Choose Gardening?
Gardening is a personal and unique experience for each individual who takes up the practice. When we spend time in our gardens, we are choosing to prioritize an activity that is good for us; we are doing something that will help us to take a step back, take a deep breath, and to allow ourselves the space to be reflective. The act of putting our own energy into fostering the growth of another life source is one that gives us purpose, as well as the opportunity to practice selflessness.
Bring People Together
In your community, gardening is the perfect activity to bring the neighborhood together. Most importantly, everyone can help with a community garden. It is wonderful for children to get involved in, for those who are disabled, and for those who have a more difficult time socializing without keeping their hands busy. If there is one activity that knows how to bring people together, it is certainly gardening and talking about gardening.
What can Gardening do for my Community?
If you feel like your “community” does not necessarily need to gather, we urge you to take a step back and consider the incredible outcomes of this endeavor. Logistically, a big and bursting community gathering will mean new friendships, fresh conversations, and meaningful ties to people you may see everyday. Imagine a planned block party where everyone brings their own garden of herbs and seasonal veggies to share with others. It would feel like a neighborhood “farmers market” meets “block party” meets “master class”.
When people come together for a common cause, it creates a sense of unity and solidarity, along with friendships and relationships that could not have been formed otherwise. On top of these wonderful outcomes, gardening with others is a way for people to feel empowered in making changes within their communities.
Remember, wanting to start a community garden does not mean that you have to have a plot of land perfectly laid out for you. Indeed, you can start a community gardening effort with a few assorted containers. Even if you don’t have any earth at all to plant a garden in – plant a community container garden. It is accessible, easy to take care of in unforgiving weather conditions, and is a lovely addition to your neighborhood.
Explore Different Cultures
A neighborhood garden is also a wonderful opportunity to share your food culture with others, as well as to be exposed to cultures that you are not familiar with. Sharing food is a beautiful way to open our eyes to the traditions of the world, while learning to respect and understand the cultures of others. If you have children, consider how beneficial this type of learning and exposure will be for their young minds – and how exciting!
If you are interested in learning more of the incredible outcomes of growing a neighborhood garden in your community, take a look at this article, Strengthening Communities through Community Gardens, by Sustainable Food Center.
Start your Neighborhood’s Growth
No land required is a great way to define what the new community gardens look like for many of today’s communities. “Today many community gardens are made up of people bringing their own patio garden to a special community event.” Donna Letier Co-founder of Gardenuity. “They bring their garden of fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc to share with their neighbors at a special community event. This kind of “community garden” is less daunting for people to organize, embraces the realities of people living busy lives and still offers the sense of community.”
Gather a few neighbors together, get started on making some fliers, find a place to gather, and then post a time for everyone to bring their garden of fresh flavors together. Even if not everyone comes out right away, keep the door for participation open, and soon, you will see many bright faces joining together to keep the garden growing.
If you want some help putting your community garden together reach out to CommunityGardens at Gardenuity and we can help you put a plan together.