Find the Fun in Community Gardens

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Lane Morris

Freshman Annie Farrell tends to the Coral Gables’ garden.

Lane Morris, Staff Writer

Your first thoughts when you hear the word “gardening” may be “dirt” and “hard work.”  Think again.  Not only does gardening provide one with a local, fresh food source,  but the creation of a community garden can also benefit many people. Gardening helps create a place where people of all different ages, social classes, cultures, and races can come together and share a common goal.

Self Reliance: If a grocery store isn’t close by, one can have vegetables and herbs on hand for daily use.  Being able to rely on a community garden saves money and helps stretch the family budget.

Physical Health: New research from the University of Utah says that those who are part of a community garden are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who aren’t. Female and male gardeners are 46% and 62% less likely to be overweight, respectively, than others who do not participate in community gardening. Gardening in general promotes good eating habits.

“Participating in a community garden helps me watch what I eat and steer clear of unhealthy foods,” freshman Kevin Jimenez said.

Mental Health: Interacting with nature helps reduce stress.

“With all the schoolwork that we have, it’s always nice to get fresh air,” freshman Adrian Carreras said.

Environment and Education: Community gardens help beautify the environment by turning vacant lots into urban green spaces. They help people learn about good nutrition, the importance of taking care of the environment, and where their food comes from.

A great community garden is the Little Haiti Community Garden. Located at 5804 NE 2nd Ave Miami, Florida 33137,  this garden has turned a rundown lot into a flourishing space that provides fresh food to local families. Not only is it a place to grow food, but it also creates student educational opportunities and a place for people from the community to volunteer.

Community gardens can change peoples’ lives, both by supplying them with food and by giving them a reason to go outside and get fresh air. A garden is a place where people can come together and put aside their differences in pursuit of a common goal. Starting a community garden doesn’t take much. All that’s needed is land, seeds, and a good attitude. A community garden can transform a neighborhood, making it a better place to live, work, play and learn.