Community gardens provide numerous benefits; to society, to the environment and to people’s health and wellbeing. For me, being part of a community garden is predominantly about meeting new people, generating a connection to the natural environment and learning new skills which will be vital in an era dominated by climate change and issues of food security.
Since joining the Kerr Sustainability Centre’s Community Garden in Thurgoona NSW shortly before Christmas, I have harvested an abundance of corn, zucchinis, eggplants, herbs and chillies. This is quite an achievement for someone with no previous gardening experience and goes to show that virtually anybody can be responsible for at least some of the food they produce and consume.
Although it is quite possible for people to establish incredible and nutritious gardens in their own back yards, I believe that belonging to a community garden provides additional benefits which extend beyond the realm of food production. Essentially, community gardens foster a sense of environmental stewardship and bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds with a shared interest in gardening and sustainability.
In my experience, the tips I have received from fellow more experienced gardeners have been invaluable and it is great to learn more about the enormous variety of vegetables that are being grown in neighbouring plots. Community gardens also allow people who do not have access to land of their own the chance to grow produce and contribute to sustainability efforts in their region. Additionally, community gardens assist the absorption of Co2 and encourage populations to engage in sustainable practices in their daily lives. Furthermore, being part of a community garden helps to make individuals more resilient to food shocks and teaches them valuable life skills.
Fundamentally, gardening is something that can be done by people of any age, race or socioeconomic group. It provides a method of reducing humanities overall impact on the earth and is an incredibly healthy and rewarding activity. I would recommend everyone to look up their nearest community garden and get involved. If you’re local area does not have a community garden, it is also possible to contact your local council about starting one up.
Link to Kerr Sustainability Centre Website: http://kerrsustainabilitycentre.weebly.com/