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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Community Gardens

When I was nine years old, my father received a big promotion. It meant leaving our little house in Kentucky




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?

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14 comments:

  1. Our community is getting more involved with community gardens. A couple of the schools started gardens last spring for the school and then for food pantries during the summer. I believe it will be expanded this year. It's a good cause.

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  2. T think growing veggies locally is a great idea. I see a few community gardens here and there but not as many as there should be. Good post.

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  3. I enjoyed this post very much. I didn't know about the victory gardens. I think a community garden just makes good sense, the possibilities are endless.
    Lisa

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  4. I love having my own garden. Years ago, I did some gardening on a small plot of land that a convent allowed people to plant on. Every person was given their own little space, but it was fun gardening with other people side by side.

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  5. We have one in our neighborhood. It's between the fire station and the Episcopal cemetery on 3rd Street. It's pretty awesome (mlkna.org).

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  6. Our town has a large acreage that it rents out in small garden plots to residents...and our yard has become so shady that I can no longer grow a garden. Think I'll check into it this year! Thanks for stopping by and following...I am a new follower, too!

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  7. I'm a big advocate of community gardens. Several neighborhoods in our city now have community gardens. When my children were in grade school, the teachers and students started one on their school grounds. It remains today. My daughter participates in one in her town in Kansas. Me? I have a container garden in my backyard every summer. Thanks for visiting and following. I'm following back.

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  8. Ahh Victory Gardens. Back in those days a back yard garden was much more common. I agree that more people should grow some of their own produce. It is so much cheaper, and tastes so much better!

    For people who cannot do it on their own, the community garden is a wonderful way to reap the benefits! Community Farmers Markets are another great way to support your town.

    ~JiMele from Chili & Cornbread

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  9. Thanks for stopping by and for becoming a follower. I so appreciate it!

    On the subject of community gardens, sounds like a wonderful idea. I've never known of one. Growing up my Mom always had a big garden. She would lay off the rows by hand, with her hoe. Sometimes they would be crooked, but they still worked just fine. We always had a freezer full of vegetables for the winter. She cooked everything ready for the table before she froze it. It was WONDERFUL!

    Have a great weekend!
    Kathy

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  10. I totally agree with you about the community gardens. Just discovered your blog and am looking forward to learning more about life in Canada and Kentucky! I love Robert Frost too. Would love you to stop and visit me sometime!

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  11. I love community gardens, we had the tiniest one at our condo. It started off great, and then the garden commanders took over. Complaining about those that didn't weed enough, water enough, or clean up fast enough.

    I could never understand why everyone couldn't just get along, and have fun gardening. There is a very successful one in Crescent Beach, and the waiting list is over 2 years...so they do work.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  12. We have a plot in a community garden but each of us tends and eats our own so it isn't really communal. I think they're wonderful and such a great resource not only for nourishment but to teach about food and the effort involved in everything that we eat. Yay for community gardens!

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  13. I love the idea of a community garden...what a great way to bring everyone together!

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  14. Thanks for stopping by Tales of the T's! I just stopped by and became your newest follower :)

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