A community garden is a space where plants are grown by community to meet that community’s needs.

Benefits of community gardens

Health

  • Fresh, healthy, organic food
  • Exercise
  • New skills

Community

  • New friends and connections
  • Safer, cleaner streets

Economy

  • Affordable food
  • New partnership and opportunities
  • Local investment

Environment

  • Beauty
  • Improved soil, air and water
  • Decreased waste and pollution

Types of Community Garden

Some gardens may be a mixture of different types.

  • Plot-based: A garden run by a community group such as an organization or group of volunteers. Individuals or families rent plots to garden and plan, manage, and harvest their plot.  This is the most common type of community garden in Hamilton.
  • Communal: A group of members share in the responsibility of planning, managing, and harvesting from a communal space.  The majority of produce is used by the members.
  • Youth/School: A garden with the main focus of involving kids.
  • Donation/Victory: A group of volunteers grows food crops intensively and donates the produce to those in need.
  • Demonstartion: A group or individual creates a garden space with the goal of education through demonstration.  For example, Dundurn castle has a period demonstartion kitchen garden.  Visitors use the space to learn about another era and get ideas for gardening.
  • Therapy: A garden with a focus on the theraputic value of plants.  Often these are perennial gardens featuring many smells and textures.
  • Allotment: A government group manages garden plots and individuals go to a central government contact to rent a garden plot.  Gardens in Hamilton are no longer run this way.  It is a very common style in Britian and other areas of Europe.

Good Videos Highlighting Community Gardens

  • London Community Gardens: http://vimeo.com/32727066
  • Community Gardening in Atlanta (far away but a great video): http://vimeo.com/21756414

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