“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.”
– Joel Salatin
There is a growing trend of people seeking to connect with nature and create more sustainable local food systems. Part of the urban agricultural revolution is the development and spread of community gardens, which are popping up in cities, on university campuses and schools as well as at corporate offices and industrial estates. A community garden is typically a piece of land collectively gardened by a group of people in a local community. Gardens vary from region to region but generally provide fresh produce and plants as well as fostering community and connection between local residents. It is in that spirit that Promenade@5 will feature the GREEN GRID, a community garden located near the community entry.
The benefits of the garden will serve the community in many ways, including:
–Community gardens provide an opportunity for people to enjoy nutritious food at little or no cost. People who garden (or who live with someone who gardens) tend to eat more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. In a survey in Flint, Michigan, while only 17.8% of respondents from non-gardening households ate fruits and vegetables at least 5 times a day, that number rose to 32.4% in households with a gardener.
–As well as providing fresh nutritious produce for the gardeners and their families, community gardens provide the opportunity for people from different backgrounds to come together. They help foster a sense of ownership and community. Community gardens are generally monitored and managed by the gardeners, resulting in a cleaner
space and more active local community.
– Gardening itself offers many benefits such as stress relief, helps with building esteem, helps fight depression as well as offering physical health benefits such as increased dexterity, cardiovascular development and strength building.
–Community gardens also have a positive impact on nearby property prices. A New York University study looked at the impact of community gardens on the neighboring property values. The authors of the study, Vicki Been and Ioan Voicu, compared the sales prices of properties within a certain distance from community gardens, to prices of similar properties in the same neighborhood, but not near a garden. By comparing prices in the same neighborhood, the authors hoped to deal with the potential price difference due to neighborhood location. The study found that community gardens have statistically significant positive effects on the values of property within 1,000 feet of the garden.