November was a trying month for the residents of Thousand Oaks. In reflection of the tragedies that we experienced as a community, it made me count my blessings and cherish my family and community. The garden is a big part of my community and I’m sure other members.
I wanted to take some time to share the benefits of community gardening and let you all know that I am proud to be a member of such a wonderful community.
Benefits of Community Gardening
In its pure form a community garden strengthens communities by giving them recreational space or healthy food. Having healthy organic food options for yourself, friends and family is benefiting your health and longevity. Studies have shown the numerous benefits of eating more whole organic fruits and vegetables. The health benefits are numerous. Another benefit to your health is the added exercise in gardening. It has been shown that gardening household eat up to 17% more fruits and vegetables vs non gardening households. Also, it may not seem like you are working out, but walking, weeding, stretching, bending over and wheelbarrow work all count for physical activity.
They are good for the environment because they’re not polluting like some larger agricultural operations. Gardens add oxygen to the air to help reduce air pollution. By localizing produce, urban farms cut down on the significant amount of fossil fuel consumption necessary to transport, package, and sell food. The average meal has traveled 4,500 miles just to get to your table. Urban agriculture helps consumers reduce their footprint by providing them the opportunity to consume food that was grown within their community.
Agriculture in cities provides something obvious — more green space. This contributes to the vitality of a city in a variety of ways. The greenery adds an aesthetic to the neighborhood, reduces runoff from precipitation, and provides restful spaces for the community.
They are good for the economy because they stabilize communities and increase property values. Often community gardens have been started in abandoned areas that have been neglected and having a home next to a beautiful garden is more appealing than next to a vacant lot filled with rubbish.
Sharing a community garden gives people a chance to connect with their neighbors. Gardeners also feel more personally invested in the places where they live, gaining sense of ownership and community spirit.
With all these benefits, it’s no wonder we have such a beautiful garden full of wonderful gardeners. So, next time you are at the garden take a moment to cherish our community we have, smile, share or help your garden neighbor.
This is why we are Las Flores Community Garden Strong.