The Value of Community Gardens: Cultural Impact

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about community gardening? You may be picturing a patch of land dedicated to growing fruits and veggies collaboratively, or a collection of individual plots. 

And you would be correct. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see much more than plants. These spaces are about opportunity. Community gardens have positive impacts on culture, economy, environment, as well as social and health benefits. 

Cultural Exchange and Community Gardens

Picture chatting with neighbors while tending to plants and swapping stories about family recipes or gardening tricks passed down through generations. These gardens are places where people connect, build friendships, and share their experiences.

East Pasco Education workshop where kids learn from teachers. Photo courtesy of Chris Carrerio.

Community Resilience and Gardening

In our daily lives, we all face the element of uncertainty, community gardens offer a sense of security through food sovereignty. These gardens were created to help people be more self-sufficient, so communities could grow their own food and make sure they always had enough to eat on their own. When people learn to grow their own food, they take control over what they eat. This doesn’t just help them be more independent but also gives them something to rely on when things get tough.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is a perfect example where these spaces remained open, safe, and accessible in uncertain times. Dr.Whitney Elmore, County Extension Director, Urban Horticulture Agent, and Master Gardener Coordinator, said “I never will forget the individual; during the height of the pandemic telling me how our garden saved her life. She had lost her job, had children, was isolated and depressed. The garden gave her purpose, food, and hope.”

Good under Pressure

When things like natural disasters or problems with getting food happen, having locally grown fruits and veggies can be helpful. These gardens can supplement produce so fresh, healthy food, is available in times of crisis.

In today’s uncertain economy, knowing how to grow your own food is really important. Community gardens serve as a meeting ground to help people learn how to plant, grow, and harvest fresh fruits and veggies. By doing this, they help folks feel more confident and independent, no matter what’s going on in the world.

Conclusion

Community gardens are more than just patches of land—they’re places where change happens, and people come together. Community gardens make our society greener, stronger, and more united.

As our world keeps changing, community gardens show us how working together can make a big difference. By planting seeds and looking after the Earth, communities build strong bonds that help them stay strong, even when things get hard. These gardens aren’t just about growing food—they’re about growing resilience and building a better future for everyone.

Stick around to read about the social impacts of community gardens!

Supervising agent: Dr. Whitney Elmore County Extension Director, Urban Horticulture Agent

Have a question?

If you have any questions about gardening in Central Florida, please contact the UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County at 352-518-0156. For more information on UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County Community Gardens, and how you can join one, visit http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/pasco/.

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Julia Sirchia, Program Assistant at UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County
Posted: April 18, 2024


Category: Crops, Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Central Florida, Community Garden, Community Gardens, Dade City, Food, Garden, Gardening, Gardens, Goals, Health, Healthy, Horticulture, Nutrition, Produce, Resilient Landscaping, Right Place, Right Plant, UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Office, Vegetables, Water-wise


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