As the seasons change and begin to warm, I always find myself thinking of my local community garden. As someone who lives in an apartment, I’ve always grown plants in pots. Nothing wrong with that! But sometimes, I would daydream of having my own garden. And then opportunity hit: During covid, I joined my very own community garden! I initially started going there just to compost my food scraps (since no one was taking them at the time). But then I decided to join and get my own personal plot (because why the heck not??). Today, I’m actually filling out paperwork to renew my membership and keep my plot. It feels so good getting to renew it again. But why is joining a community garden important? And should you do the same? Here’s three reasons to join a community garden ASAP.
3 Reasons to Join a Community Garden
1. You get to grow your own food
There’s nothing more zero waste than that! No unnecessary packaging, like plastic-wrapped cucumbers. It’s all package-free just like mama earth intended.
And, it doesn’t have to travel MILES or overseas to get to you, making it less carbon intensive too. No pesticides will be on it either, which means better soil health and it’s safe to eat.
On top of this, there is nothing that compares to the taste of a fresh grown vegetable or fruit. Last summer I picked off a string bean I grew myself and ate it right there. I was blown away by how delicious it was.
Not only is this food so fresh it’ll knock your tastebuds out of the park, but it also has more nutrients. Produce picked when it’s perfectly ripe always does.
Plus, there’s the satisfaction of getting to watch the plants grow. Nothing beats watching a tiny seed sprout into a huge cucumber plant. It really connects you with where your food comes from and how important good soil health is.
2. You help your immediate community
Joining a community garden means connecting with like-minded people who also enjoy gardening.
Many community gardens help create food security too. The one I’m a part of donates some plots to Project Hospitality. This fresh produce gets turned into nourishing meals for people in need.
I don’t think there’s anything more important than access to fresh produce. Food is such a powerful tool that’s often used to oppress or liberate people. For example, Black farmers were left behind from the USDA’s loan system. Not to mention, many BIPOC, low-income neighborhoods lack access to grocery stores or farmers markets that sell fresh produce. This is all done on purpose and is an example of environmental racism.
Starting or joining a community garden can truly help out neighbor and create access to fresh produce in your neighborhood. Plus, you get to meet new people and have great conversations!
3. It’s good for you + the earth
Not only is gardening great for the planet, but it’s also good for you! Spending time in nature is SO good for your physical and mental health. It connects you to something bigger than yourself, and can also help calm anxiety.
Also, there’s the obvious health benefit: You will be eating more fresh produce. After all, who doesn’t want to eat a pepper, cucumber, or tomato they helped grow? Fresh veggies are always going to be healthier for you than processed foods.
When you join a community garden, you are helping nourish your connection to the land. We are so hyper focus on technological fixes to the climate crisis – what about just restoring the earth? Giving back to the land?
For example, many community gardens will have compost piles. Spreading compost into your garden beds can help nourish the soil and help your plants flourish. Did you know that the healthier the soil, the more carbon gets sucked down from the sky? So we’re literally reversing climate change as we garden.
How does this impact our health? Well, the real question is, how doesn’t it? Less carbon in the atmosphere means less extreme weather events that destroy crops + homes, less ocean acidification (which causes coral dye off), less smog so there would be cleaner air, etc.
Carbon is not evil: It just belongs in the soil, where it belongs, and less in the atmosphere.
So, just as long as we garden without harsh chemicals and pesticides, we can:
- Help build soil health
- Create a better world
- Nurture our connection to the land
- Improve overall happiness
- Get in a workout (lots of squatting + bending with gardening!)
- Eat more plants (more fresh produce, less processed junk!)
I’d say those are all great reasons to join a community garden! Wouldn’t you agree?
I’m so excited to get my hands in the soil and start planting this season! I plan on growing tomatoes, cucumbers, string beans, herbs and so much more.
As you can see, joining a community garden truly helps nourish people + planet. Are you part of a community garden? Would you like to be? Let me know in the comments below!
For more sustainable gardening tips, here are 12 zero waste gardening hacks you need to try.
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