The Value of Community Gardens: Physical Health 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 will see much more than plants. These spaces are about opportunity, community gardens have positive impacts on physical health, culture, economy, and environment.

Community Gardening and Physical Activity

Check in with yourself, how are you feeling? Do a mental scan, right now where you are. Start at your toes and end with the top of your head – how is your body feeling? Something that might help is getting time outside, whether you are gardening or not.

Whether you have never touched a plant or are a gardening pro, there is no denying the benefits gardening has on our minds and bodies. Try it; you might surprise yourself.

Picture this: you are outside, digging in the soil, scouting for pests, planting seeds, and picking ripe veggies you grew yourself. By doing the tasks it takes to maintain your garden plot, you are giving your body a workout without even realizing it. Beyond eating the healthy produce you grow, there are many health benefits to gardening, especially within your community!

Garden members setting up the garden slots together. Photo courtesy of Chris Carreiro.

When you roll up your sleeves and garden, you are doing more than ensuring the health of your plants, you are positively impacting your own health. You may even consider your local community garden a secret gym! Digging, planting, weeding, and harvesting are not just fun chores; they are exercises in disguise. By tending to these green spaces, you are also tending to your physical health. Improving your wellness, or overall health, is just one of many research proven benefits of being involved in your local community garden.

Gardening is Power

We all know the saying, “knowledge is power”, This is especially true when it comes to our health. That is why the community gardens program, offered by UF IFAS Extension Pasco County, hosts workshops, educational sessions, and demonstrations on nutrition, cooking, and the myriad health benefits of fresh produce.

By empowering participants with information, these gardens become more than just patches of soil. These spaces become facilitators of healthier lifestyles and stronger communities, while decreasing food costs and supporting food systems and households.


In conclusion, community gardening offers numerous health benefits by providing access to fresh, nutritious food, encouraging physical activity, reducing stress, and fostering a sense of community, while decreasing food costs. By participating in community gardens, individuals can improve their overall well-being while also contributing to the health and vitality of neighborhoods.

Supervising agent: Dr. Whitney Elmore County Extension Director, Urban Horticulture Agent, and Master Gardener Manager

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

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Julia Sirchia, Program Assistant at UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County
Posted: May 23, 2024

Category: Fruits & Vegetables, Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: #RightPlantRightPlace, Central Florida, Community Garden, Community Gardens, Eating, Florida Friendly Landscaping, Food, Food Safety, Garden, Gardening, Gardens, Goals, Health, Healthier, Healthy, Healthy Eating, Healthy Snacks, Horticulture, Landscape, Landscaping, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Produce, Right Place, Right Plant, UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Office, Vegetables

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