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Why We Should Build More Community Gardens

We’ve heard of community pantries, but how about community gardens?

We’ve heard of community pantries, but how about community gardens?

We’ve heard of community pantries, but how about community gardens?

The continuous lockdowns opened our eyes to the many problems society is facing. One of these is food insecurity.

This problem affected many people especially those who live in urban areas. Strict lockdowns and checkpoints caused delays in the transport of essential goods.

Moreover, these measures have affected prices as well, adding worry to those who have little to no income.

This issue sparked interest in urban gardening for several people including me.

For some, they even started converting idle lots in their city neighborhood into a community garden.

What are community gardens and why can they become a weapon against food insecurity?

Community gardens are plots of land used by individuals or groups for the benefit of the people caring for the garden. Usually located in a neighborhood, they provide space for neighbors to grow fresh and healthy food close to home.

Community gardens can be beneficial in many ways including:

They increase a sense of community.

My parents were s when I went home one day with a sack of soil, pots, and seeds. Since then, gardening became a way for us to bond.

I believe that we can upscale what gardening did for me and my parents to a community level.

We live in a time where neighbors sometimes feel like strangers to us. We tend to like living in our own worlds and focus on what’s good for ourselves.

And then the pandemic happened.

Now, we see the value of being around people. We saw that isolation is not good for us.

Community gardens are a great way to reconnect with people. This sense of connection and unity can help us as we go through these difficult times.

They provide an opportunity for learning.

Community gardens are places where we can learn from others. Participating in one can give us a chance to meet a more experienced gardener. We can even share tips and experiences to one another.

Before, all I know is that plants needed just water and sunlight to survive.

When I started gardening, it opened me up to a whole new world of knowledge. I learned that different crops needed different amounts of light, water, and nutrients. I found out how to compost in multiple ways. I learned how important soil health is.

Through community gardens, we don’t just learn about plants. We can also learn how to get along with others, how to slow down, and even how to appreciate life.

Community gardens help in restoring and building health holistically.

Based on a study, community gardens may improve health and well-being. These places present opportunities for physical activity and exposure to sunlight. They can also improve nutrition since they make healthy food more accessible.

In addition, we reduce our risk of exposure to pesticides and synthetic fertilizers when we harvest crops from community gardens.

They help reduce food miles.

Food miles measure how far food travels from the place of creation to consumers. This also provides a measure of the carbon footprint of food.

With community gardens, produce is easily accessible; food doesn’t have to travel kilometers away to get to our table.

This is good news not only for us but also for the environment.

It’s because reduced food miles mean reduced food loss and carbon footprint from transportation and storage. Plus, we get to avoid buying products wrapped in plastic like those in the supermarket. How cool is that?

They improve food security.

When I was a kid, my parents would always remind me and my brothers to study well. If we don’t, they’d rather send us to the province to just plant sweet potato. This made me see rural life as “the poor life.”

As an adult, I see rural life from a whole different perspective. I see those in the provinces as blessed because they have easy access to healthy produce. In the city, most people have to tire themselves out to just eat cheap, unhealthy food.

We all deserve access to nutritious food, don’t we? Community gardens can help break down the barriers of poverty, job loss, and even a pandemic when it comes to getting access to healthy food.

Do you already participate in a community garden or want to start one in your area? Share your story or thoughts in the comments below!

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