What Are Community Gardens: Features and Benefits

community gardens

This community gardens or social consists of a set of urban plots for horticultural plants and is based on organic farming. Their work is largely due to operating agreements established by local communities with one or more individuals. This garden is characterized by common areas so that all project participants have access to a series of community infrastructures (services, roads, etc.) that facilitate agricultural work.

In this article we are going to tell you what community gardens are, their characteristics and their benefits for society.

What are community gardens and their functions

What is a community garden?

Up to 5 main functions performed by the social garden can be distinguished:

  • Urban planning: Convert degraded or abandoned spaces into useful places and improve urban landscapes by adding more green space per block or area.
  • Environment: They act as filters to prevent pollution, act as lungs and improve air quality with pure oxygen.
  • Treatment: Outdoor cultivation offers many benefits related to personal health and well-being, as it helps eliminate stress and involves moderate physical activity.
  • Socialization: Community gardens are a great opportunity for joint activities, whether for family, therapeutic, educational reasons or simply as a hobby.
  • Culture: Through agricultural work, the traditions associated with rural and local knowledge are maintained and renewed through the learning and action of new actors.

Classification of community gardens

social gardens

This classification can have more examples, a maximum of common objectives (scientific, commercial, etc.) that can be marked in each project, and the denomination of each orchard will vary according to the geographical area. The most common orchards are:

  • Self-supplied garden: As the name suggests, the main function is to provide food for the growers, so that it can be self-sufficient.
  • Educational gardens: With didactic functions, it can be used for school study, academia or with the elderly. They are located inside the center and on the outer plot.
  • therapeutic gardens: They are used to help people with some degree of incapacity or handicap, psychological problems, drug addiction, etc. They depend on social assistance programs.
  • Leisure gardens: Playful in nature, they therefore represent a hobby of the participants, who take care of agricultural tasks in their free time, usually during holidays.

Faced with the stress of daily life and work, the social garden becomes a space where we can share with others the resources that the earth offers us.

Sow ways of inhabiting the city

A socially just and sustainable future implies an urgent eco-urban renewal, in which urban agriculture must play a strategic role. The relationship between human settlements and surrounding agricultural land is one of the main factors that define human society. Historically, cities referred to agriculture until industrialization accelerated and access to abundant and cheap energy allowed further urbanization, long-distance transport and the expansion of markets. global.

The rise of industrial towns fostered a fictional independence from locally produced food supplies and seasonal supplies, contributing to the gradual degradation and alienation of agricultural spaces. Mirages, economic and energy crises and freight overcapacity of the planet are beginning to be questioned. A socially just and sustainable future implies an urgent eco-urban renewal, in which urban agriculture must play a strategic role.

Advantages

culture in society

In recent years, urban community gardens have experienced a real revolution in cities around the world for different reasons, although they show a greater awareness of the need to continue to be sustainable and to understand the origin and quality of the food we eat. This trend has resulted in 15% of the world’s food today comes from crops grown in urban areaswhether in gardens, rooftops, large squares in open spaces or vacant lots.

In fact, these initiatives make a positive contribution to society, especially the so-called community urban gardens. From promoting healthier, more conscious communities to reducing what is known as the heat island effect, here we highlight 10 benefits of urban community gardens:

  • Facilitates access to fresh, quality foodsuch as fruits and vegetables, to improve quality of life and health.
  • Promotes a better social environment in the neighborhood by allowing Let the neighbors interact and get to know each other. Encourage the development of community identity.
  • They allow the integration of groups such as the elderly or immigrants who find here a recreational activity that keeps them active and allows them to socialize with other age or cultural groups.
  • Promotes better mental health helping to combat stress.
  • They serve as educational centers, especially for children, about responsibility, sustainability, respect for the environment, and valuing the effort to grow their own food.
  • Community gardens also contribute to reducing the impact of what is called a “heat island”. The thermal inertia of the water present in the plants and the field itself allows the orchard to absorb heat, thus reducing temperature fluctuations.
  • They become urban refuges for other animals, like pollinators.
  • It can reduce food bills and serve as a food support system for low-income families.
  • This strengthens a community’s sense of place and helps the community reclaim, reassess, and properly utilize vacant land that would otherwise end up littered.
  • Help reduce organic waste in your community by using it as compost.

Local authorities promoting community gardens organize themselves to regenerate degraded urban spaces on a small scale, by integrating modest redevelopment of sites, emphasize the use value of urban spaces and relational restoration aimed at restoring the quality of spaces by strengthening social relations (development of events such as popular festivals, restaurants or cultural initiatives).

These micro-urban practices express disagreements on the dominant model of the city and the way of life it engenders. Community gardens express multiple sensitivities, needs and requirements at the local level (environmental, neighborhood, political, relational, etc.) while initiating a process of self-management at the neighborhood levelemphasizing direct participation, the occupation of space, the renewal of identity and community collective co-responsibility in the various matters that concern them.

I hope with this information you can learn more about community gardens and their characteristics.

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