By -Georgia Lund-
Urban gardens are popping up everywhere across the nation. Groups and individuals are purchasing vacant city lots that were deemed as undesirable and useless and transformed them into productive plots of land that can produce enough food to feed several families. Urban farming is a trend that is gaining momentum because it’s an affordable, achievable way to solve the hunger problem in many urban areas.
Community Garden Updated
Urban gardens, or urban farming as it’s also called, is the updated version of a community garden. Community gardens have been places where local folks grew a few fresh vegetables and flowers primarily as a hobby and to supplement their grocery budget. These community gardens have been so successful that the demand for garden plots exceeded the available land space. The need for more garden space and the opportunity to grow fresh food to feed the hungry gave birth to the urban garden idea.
Fresh food grown in a community garden plot is given to everyone who worked in the garden and to needy folks within the community.
If the urban farm is large and produces more fresh vegetables and fruits than the workers and those in need within the community can consume, the excess is sold the general public, nearby restaurants, and retailers. The money raised from sales is used to purchase whatever is needed to replant the urban garden.
An urban garden meets needs that soup kitchens and government assistance cannot. Not only do the residences of the community have access to fresh, healthy food, but they also have access to each other on the shared ground. To get to know each other, build friendships and to gain a sense of community.
Transforming a vacant lot that is overgrown with weeds and strewn with trash into a productive and beautiful piece of property also promotes a sense of pride within the community. An urban garden can inspire and encourage neighbors to update other areas within the neighborhood, perhaps even attracting new businesses, so that a declining neighborhood can become a thriving, up-and-coming section of town.
When an organization or individual with financial means purchases and transforms a vacant lot into a productive food plot with the help of community volunteers, students and interns, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
As the trend for urban gardens continues to grow, we can expect to see things like food deserts, childhood obesity and malnutrition, and food illiteracy become things of the past.
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