8 Things to Know about Community Gardens

1.  They’re good for us, and our communities!

Community gardens are about more than just growing food. By increasing the number of local community gardeners and available garden space, families and individuals are able to grow fresh, healthy produce for very little money, green previously underused areas, increase local food security, get to know and interact with their neighbours, and work together to enhance the communities where they live.

stewart st plots

2.  There are a lot of them locally!

There are 43 community gardens throughout the County and the City of Peterborough. You can find them in municipal parks, on church, school and community housing properties, at post-secondary institutions, on federal and provincial land, on private properties, at several workplaces, and in communal boulevards.

george st. united

3.  It takes a lot of people to run them:

The success and sustainability of community gardens relies on community support and on people getting involved. Locally, over 700 people work hard to maintain, organize and coordinate these gardens. This includes neighbours, co-workers, students, families, and teachers. Despite their differences, they share a common love for their gardens, and, by and large, they are all volunteers.

You don’t have to have a green thumb to be a part of a community garden. Hundreds of citizens get involved by providing land, donating tools, seeds and plants, by building sheds, composters and water systems, by leading workshops, throwing garden parties and in countless other ways.  Why not join them?

david's garden sign

4.  Allotment Plots

Although each community garden is organized a bit differently, they are predominantly established as allotment plots. Allotment plots are based on the British system of allotment gardening, which simply means: a plot of land made available for individual, non-commercial gardening or growing of food plants. 

The majority of community garden plots belong to families or individuals who rent the space and buy the seeds and plants, as well as water, maintain and take-care of the plots. 

jason's harvest

5.  They produce a lot of Food!

Local community gardens are producing a lot of food. As a result, they provide a crucial opportunity to increase local food security. Since the majority of plots in community gardens are allotments, most community gardeners are growing food for themselves or their families.

Similarly, community gardens allow individuals greater control over the quality and type of food they consume. They also increase consumption of healthy, fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

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nevin group

6.  They build up the communities around them  

Community gardens provide space for people to work together to create beautiful, productive spaces. Local gardeners report that by getting involved in community gardens, they spend more time outdoors, interact more with neighbours, meet new friends, and experience improvements in their mental and physical health.

Many communities also report decreased crime rates, as well as increased pride and community ownership over these spaces. Research has also shown that the creation of community gardens can lead to an increase in neighbourhood property values.

do not pick

7.   Community Garden doesn’t mean any visitor can pick the produce.

Community gardens are great places to visit. They’re beautiful, peaceful, and inspiring. When visiting community gardens, it is important to treat these spaces with respect, enjoy them with your eyes, ears, and nose, but not by touch. Harvests are the much-anticipated result of a season full of hard-work that gardeners look forward to throughout the season.

Many local community gardens donate a portion of their harvests. Some gardens have designated plots that are collectively maintained, and harvests are donated to local community food organizations. Others have plots that allow community members to pick from and enjoy freely. Unless signage clearly indicates it is okay harvest the plants, please do not pick the food or flowers from community gardens.

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8.  You can get involved!

Good news! If you’re inspired by our great community gardens, love locally grown food, and want to get involved, we can help!

Get in touch if you would like to:

  • Find a plot in a local community garden
  • Start a community garden
  • Learn how to grow your own food
  • Share your skills
  • Cook, preserve or even donate your harvest.  

 
For information on you how you can get involved, contact us by calling us at 705-743-3526 ext. 115, by email at growing@nourishproject.ca. You can also follow us on social media by checking us out on Facebook and Twitter.