Nature has incredible effects on our physical and mental well-being, so it’s no surprise that a simple succulent on a desktop or some potted herbs on a windowsill can immediately improve a space. Take those plants a step further, and you’ll cross into the territory of urban gardening, which brings even more benefits to individuals and communities alike.
Here’s how urban gardens are championing communities in cities across the nation.
What Are Urban Gardens?
Urban gardening, sometimes known as city gardening, is defined as “the process of cultivating green spaces in urban settings.” It encompasses a variety of projects from urban farming to patio gardens to community gardens. Urban gardens can be tended by individuals, groups, companies, or organizations. The amount and variety of food grown can vary widely, as well as the size of the project itself, but urban gardening initiatives are all rooted in a city setting.
Urban gardens are also united by the important benefits they bring to gardeners, consumers, and communities as a whole. Whether they consist of a collection of pots on a balcony or a cluster of plots on a vacant lot, these gardens provide more than food, offering a host of environmental, economic, and social benefits.
Benefits of Urban Gardening
- Because produce is grown in local settings as opposed to far-away farms, urban gardening reduces transportation needs, therefore cutting down on carbon emissions.
- Urban gardens are often small-scale operations that employ sustainable gardening practices. Sustainable and organic agriculture eliminates or reduces much of the environmental harm that would be incurred by industrial agricultural methods.
- Green spaces in cities help reduce the urban heat island effect.
- Urban agriculture stimulates local economies and supports local food producers.
- Community gardening projects often offer food at little or no cost, which helps bolster food budgets and increase food security.
- Fresh produce promotes healthier diets and improved well-being, which in turn can translate to financial savings.
- Urban gardening connects residents, strengthens community, and offers opportunities for friendships and social support.
- Urban gardens can be tools of social change that address inequities, systemic racism, and community development issues.
Here at Appetite For Change, we use food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change in North Minneapolis. We bring people together to learn, cook, eat, and grow food, creating change that lasts. Learn about our urban agriculture projects and explore what we do for our community. Browse our shop, consider volunteering, or donate today to support our incredible impact in North Minneapolis! Together, we can create well-rooted and flourishing change!