Community gardens have so much to offer the Communities within which they are created, taking the world by storm as they become the Golden thread joining together people to other members within their Community and to the elements of Nature that Society has grown increasingly detached from.
Community Gardens are a very well established and supported model assisting to revitalize tiny towns through to major cities right across the globe. They have a powerful side effect of injecting energy, inspiration, practical knowledge and direction into many people’s lives, uniting PEOPLE together!
I am currently personally involved with a small group of determined individuals wishing to see a Community Garden project reach fruition here in my home town of Portland, Victoria. Unlike many other towns and cities, who have been enjoying the benefits of Community Gardens for many years, we are a little behind in the development of such a rewarding community project. Nonetheless…better late than never as they say! 🙂
The positive benefits of growing a community garden project are so numerous, that it becomes a challenge to truelly define all of them…but therein comes to mind the most often understated of all benefits…the emotive, warm and fuzzy energy you get from connection with other people of like mind with a common pursuit and satisfaction of practical accomplishment- both are just such difficult elements to quantify, but they are real nonetheless.
There is definitely a human need to be nurtured within our ability to create/fulfill some of our everyday needs, rather than simply buying and consuming. It is fortunate that a community garden provides endless opportunities to not only grow and create food, but also allows us to grow on an inner plane, empowering our lives through learning, sharing and contribution. It has been said that if we are not growing, we are dying- I would like to add to that adage in saying if we are not pursuing our true potential nor feel as though we are being productive or contributing positively, we start to stagnate, feel despondent and progressively become more pessimistic about our life circumstance.
Mutual exchange, respect and openly sharing of unique skills with one another in a naturally unpretentious environment, is truelly grounding and refreshing in a world that is consistently competitive and guarded. There is no wonder that Community Gardens have been touted as positivity promoters and depression destroyers!
They are also wonderful places for families to spend quality time together…growing, learning, creating, enjoying nature and exercising…kids have a tendency to take a much greater interest in fresh, healthy food when they have actually played their part in growing it. I should know… I have raised my own children to be wonderful grazers! Tomatoes, capsicums, peas, beans, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauli, corn – all go down extremely well when plucked straight out of the garden, particularly when eaten IN the garden- not sure if it’s the incredible intensity of fresh flavours, or the buzz they get from poaching when you are not looking!! But seriously, fruit and vegies grown and picked by yourself just taste SO GOOD! 🙂
I also believe the dynamics of group achievement provides a different level of satisfaction and empowerment, than that which comes from our individual pursuits, so through the act of creating and maintaining a group managed community garden, sharing in the bounties and enjoying social harvest celebrations, we are infact also celebrating the community spirit of our connections to each other and the creative force held within mother nature.