Plant a Seed, Grow a Community!

Urban Garden

Maybe it’s my Midwest upbringing, but to me the word farming instantly conjures the visual of a man at the helm of a John Deere tractor plowing acres and acres of corn with not a soul in sight. Neighbors were those who owned the farms adjacent to yours, only to be seen at the helm of their own John Deere or at the local feed store. Luckily, today farming has evolved into suburbs and big cities alike, and now everyone can experience the wonder of growing their own produce, having their own chickens and weeding their own fields. With its popularity in closer-knit settings farming and gardening has become a movement binding communities together, not keeping them apart.

Community gardens are good for everyone

Everything about farming and gardening can be communal, and beneficial, no matter where you live. There is a broad definition to the phrase “Community Garden,” it can be in urban, suburban, or rural places. It can grow flowers, vegetables or (get this) community! It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots. It can be at a school, hospital, or in a neighborhood. It can also be a series of plots where the produce is grown for a market.

The benefits to having a community garden are many: Communal farms and gardens improve quality of life, stimulate social interaction, and beautify neighborhoods, not to mention they produce nutritious food! And these are just a handful of the positive benefits they can bring to a neighborhood near you.

City dwellers apply within!

Grab your rooftop ready seeds and get digging! Illinois researcher Mary Honeyman discovered that people in urban environments with vegetation recover more quickly from stress than people living in an urban space without vegetation. And when you are planting, gardening, and greening in your neighborhood you are working towards a more positive, beautiful, healthful area for you and your neighbors.

Whether you are a suburban farmer with a decent sized yard or a high-rise city dweller with only a window box at your disposal, embrace the farmer or gardener within and the community throughout!

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