and moving. We didn't just move to another city or state, we moved to another country.
Yes, this little southern girl left a city in the US and moved to a very small town in Canada.
It was a beautiful little town with a carillon tower that chimed carols at Christmas, a river that ran through parkland in the center of town, and a wonderful sense of community. As part of that community, my father as president of a company that was located in town, started a community garden for all of the employees. Southern Ontario is the garden spot of Canada, and the garden was to provide plenty of vegetables for anyone who wanted or needed them. We had to pick our dinner, but I didn't mind, because we always had the best vegetables.
I know that many inner cities now have programs that have started community gardens, but I have wondered lately why there aren't more in these difficult economic times. Maybe, I am out of touch and there are more than I know about.
So,I googled community gardens and found that there is an American Community Garden Association, which you can find here. According to the ACGA the benefits of a community garden are:
- Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
- Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
- Stimulates Social Interaction
- Encourages Self-Reliance
- Beautifies Neighborhoods
- Produces Nutritious Food
- Reduces Family Food Budgets
- Conserves Resources
- Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
- Reduces Crime
- Preserves Green Space
- Creates income opportunities and economic development
- Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots
- Provides opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections
I'm not sure if my father had all of these things in mind or not, I do know that he had been raised on a farm, fought in World War II where he was a prisoner of war, and lived during a time when people had victory gardens. I know he wanted to share some of his good fortune.
Maybe it's time to bring back that good old fashioned sense of community. Maybe it's time to bring back victory gardens. I know that no one in this country should go hungry and I love the thought of getting to know my neighbors better. So, as I think about planning my own little crop of vegetables that I will be planting this spring, I am thinking that I would like to find out more about community gardens in my city.
What are your thoughts on this?