A community garden is just what it sounds like: a planting space that many people share. Everyone helps maintain it, and everyone reaps the rewards. Plots may be available to rent for a season or a year. Each gardener prepares, plants and harvests their assigned plot on their own schedule. Gardeners share tools and other garden equipment. The community garden coordinator and master gardeners can offer expertise.
There are lots of reasons to cultivate a community garden. Many families living in the city grow their own fruits and vegetables to save money on their food bills. Others like the freshness and flavor of homegrown produce, or grow traditional foods from diverse cultures not readily available in supermarkets.
Kids benefit from community gardens too, learning about plants, insects and weather. It gives them a chance to interact with elders, fostering respect, improving interpersonal skills and building a spirit of cooperation and responsibility.
The benefits of community gardens go far beyond the fruits and vegetables growing in them; they promote healthier communities. They bring neighbors together, add beauty to vacant or abandoned public spaces, and have been proven to reduce neighborhood crime. Best of all, they're fun!
Ready to cultivate your gardening skills? Contact your local extension office and ask about participating in a community garden near you.
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