Collective vegetable gardens making an impact
Combining gardening, healthy food, economy, and social links – it’s possible! Collective vegetable gardens are being deployed in cities to offer city dwellers a place to garden collectively.
Gardening for healthy eating
Not everyone can own a garden, let alone have access to a healthy diet. To the detriment of households with tighter budgets, fresh and organic food is more expensive than food from the food industry. As a result, people in financial difficulty remain the most affected by cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other diet-related pathologies. The massive purchase of manufactured products, therefore, benefit companies that pollute and exploit the Earth’s resources. But changing this pattern is possible, thanks in particular to collective gardens.
The shared gardens
Vegetable gardens are plots of arable land that are rented by users. Set up in the 19th century in Germany to improve the living conditions of modest families, their mission has not changed. Thanks to them, the less affluent city dwellers can get around the unequal distribution of food resources while socializing. Renting a plot of land generally costs less than 300 Canadian dollars a year, which makes them very accessible. Several types of shared gardens exist, including those in neighborhoods, those attached to an organization, or proposed by an individual. Vegetable gardens are also dedicated to the integration of people in a situation of social or professional exclusion. On the strength of its success, the concept is being rolled out in many countries including France, with the informal network “Le Jardin Dans Tous Ses Etats”, Switzerland, Poland, Mali, Montreal’s “green lanes” program, and the United States.
These cultivable plots meet the needs of those who do not have a garden and their benefits are multiple. First of all, growing crops means knowing the origin of what we eat, and consuming quality and organic products. Taking care of one’s health in this way also saves money.
A household producing its fruit and vegetables saves 30 to 50 percent a year on its vegetable budget. The educational and social dimension appears to be another strong point of shared gardens. The participants create links between themselves, and they are then trained in horticulture and the environment. But the interest does not stop there. The gardeners can also distribute part of their harvest to associations and food banks.
Photo Credits :@cdc / Unsplash ; @ecasap / Unsplash
Sources: Jardins partagés; Partageons les jardins; Cultive ta ville
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