As restrictions ease and many of us seek out ways to connect with our communities again, community gardens offer an inclusive and free/low-cost opportunity to grow food and friendships!
Community gardening not only provides a range of mental, physical, and social health benefits – but also positively impacts the environment.
Here are five reasons to join and support your local community garden in 2022:
- Increases physical health
Engaging in community gardening involves physical activity, maintains mobility and flexibility through motor skills used while gardening. Furthermore, nutrition is supported through eating healthy produce grown in edible gardens such as fruits, vegetables and herbs.
2. Promotes social health
Community gardens provide a safe, inclusive and healthy space to be social, make friends, and help build community cohesion and connectedness. Community gardens offer people opportunities to share knowledge, experience and culture, but also to listen to other individual’s experiences and tips that they have to offer!
Engaging in community gardening can promote good mental health and wellbeing through reducing stress, promoting a sense of belonging and acceptance, increasing confidence, and opportunities for mindfulness. Community gardening has also been associated with benefits to people with mental health conditions.
- Positive environmental and climate effects
Community gardens positively impact the environment through shortening food supply chains, reducing food miles and CO2 emissions, and preserving green spaces that improve air quality, promote biodiversity, and the natural cooling of air and surfaces. Furthermore, community gardens can build community adaptation to climate change – through building social and community resilience, food security and community trust.
- Learning new skills
Community gardens provides an opportunity to learn important new skills and knowledge in relation to nature, self-development skills relating to confidence, food literacy, responsibility, cooperation, creativity and understanding. Learning how to grow edible foods also promote food security, lifelong learning and knowledge that can be passed down among different generations.
So, if your goals for 2022 include increasing fitness, consuming more nutritious foods, alleviating stress, connecting with your community or taking climate action – getting involved in community gardening is a great place to start.
Did you know that the South East Melbourne region is home to over 15 community gardens? You can find all the up-to-date information about the activities and initiatives happening at our local community gardens in our revised South East Melbourne Community Garden Directory!
Visit or download our newly updated South East Melbourne Community Garden Directory, now live on the Food from Home website, the Community Garden Directory is available in several formats:
🌿 A downloadable, printer-friendly PDF
🌿 An interactive community garden map
🌿 Online community garden listings with detailed information
Food from Home are also hosting a FREE, online Community Gardens Virtual Tour event this Sunday 20th March, 1pm – 2.30pm. Register for the event here.
Happy growing 🌿
– Tara, on behalf of the FFH team