Community Gardens Grow Community
Gardening is a great hobby that’s fun for everyone! It’s a form of exercise, a learning opportunity, and a great way for you to access fresh produce. While gardening alone can be very rewarding, community gardens bring people together and add beauty to any area. Community gardens not only allow for a place to learn with others; they also help you form new connections and get to know everyone better–all while providing fresh produce to you and your neighbors.
Gardening and Your Diet
Gardening is an excellent way to improve your diet. It allows for an abundance of a fresh, and usually cheaper, source of produce right at your fingertips. Taking ownership of your garden can help you feel more connected to your food. You will have a new appreciation for food after knowing how much time and effort you spent growing and taking care of your plants. Many times, an abundance of produce is produced by just one or two plants, so you may feel more excited to eat fantastic-tasting produce grown right away instead of letting it spoil.
Gardens Provide Fresh Food
Getting an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables is incredibly important for everyone’s diet, but many times, they are not accessible to everyone. A Community garden helps increase access to whole, fresh foods for your area. It is a resource that the community builds and is able to use while building a atmosphere of connectivity and improved teamwork.
Physical Activity for Everyone
Gardening can be a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. You can also use gardening as a form of exercise–no matter your ability level. Garden tasks like carrying heavy bags of dirt or turning big piles of compost are more vigorous forms of exercise, but gardening doesn’t mean you have to be able to lift 50 lbs or more. Going out and pulling weeds or walking around and harvesting are also good physical activity.
People with physical limitations that make it hard to bend or squat may find container gardening a better option. You can buy tall containers and tend to them at a standing or sitting level. Watering plants can also be a great option for those who wish to avoid strenuous activity.
Learning at the Garden
Community gardens are a great place to learn, no matter your age. Children find joy in learning about the good and bad bugs and, of course, worms. Older children and adults of all ages can learn about how to identify plants and how to harvest. People interested in construction can look into different ways to build a raised garden bed because there are many types of raised beds to choose from. Traditional composting and worm composting can be fun for people who enjoy getting their hands dirty.
Community gardens are full of rich learning opportunities for all ages, and it’s never too late to start learning something new!
How Can a Community Garden Benefit You?
You aren’t required to garden in order to benefit from a community garden. Community gardens are an amazing way to bring color and beauty to your neighborhood. They bring the area together and allow for a cooperative environment built around sharing and communication derived from a shared passion. Studies have shown that just being around greenery may link to an improved mood and lower cravings for unhealthy food.
Even if you aren’t an active participant, some community gardens have compost piles that will accept food scraps and lawn clippings, which means you have to deal with less trash. Overall, community gardens spark joy and are an excellent addition to any community.
More Information about TAFB
There are many ways to get involved at TAFB. Consider volunteering during a TAFB Learning Garden workday. Tarrant Area Food Bank holds these workdays the first Friday of every month. You can also join us for a Kitchen Garden workday, held every other Friday.
Another opportunity related to our community garden is TAFB’s Kitchen Garden Cooking School. Classes are held one a month, each one featuring a new ingredient.
By Lisa Walters
Intern, Tarrant Area Food Bank