It usually starts in undeveloped or even neglected sites. It may be an area near a school or other local institution, a wasteland of a housing cooperative, or a city green space. Thanks to the involvement of neighbours and volunteer gardeners, these spaces are transformed into the green hearts of neighbourhoods and the centres of local activity.
The main objective behind community gardens is the division of labour and harvest among the residents. The more decisions are made together in the community, the better the residents-gardeners identify with the space and care about it. The people can design the garden together, carefully planning different zones. Often the zones are dedicated for the cultivation of edible plants like tomatoes, carrots, radishes, raspberries, strawberries, and herbs. A community garden can also have recreation or relaxation areas, with designated spaces for picnic blankets or tables and benches. These areas can boost neighbourhood integration with meetings and all kinds of ecological or gardening workshops. Often such places are also fitted with birdhouses, as well as houses for hedgehogs or insects.
This makes community gardens ideal places for wildlife. Plants store water and purify the air, as well as improve biodiversity. For residents, it’s not only an opportunity to strengthen neighbourhood ties and spend time actively but also a chance to grow their own vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
Your own plantation is a way to cut down on grocery shopping at the supermarkets. Anyone who has tried a self-cultivated tomato knows it’s worth it! Vegetables from chain stores have often travelled to us from the far ends of Europe, and their transport has contributed to unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
Urban gardening also gives you more control over ensuring that your crops are simply organic. Good practices include avoiding synthetic pesticides and mineral fertilizers. Even in a medium-sized garden, you can also significantly reduce the use of mowers and chainsaws in favour of hand tools! All of this is good for the biosphere and reduces CO2 emissions.
It may sound like hard work, but with the involvement of neighbours, all the work can be planned and divided, making urban cultivating a pure pleasure. It’s a wonderful eco idea that is sprouting up to become a permanent part of the local community.