If thinking of a garden full of ready-to-eat produce conjures up images of bucolic fields in a rural area, try these words on for size “urban gardening”. Sound a little odd? More and more city dwellers are choosing to garden in their limited spaces and urban community gardens, once a rare find in the city, are becoming more commonplace. The interest and demand for public growing space is, well, growing! Community gardens offer opportunities for city residents to learn and connect with each other, as well as reap the benefits of fresh produce. Urban green spaces also help beat the heat of the concrete jungle. Urban gardens are cropping up all across America. Here are just a few we know of. Do you know of any urban garden programs in your area?
Capital District Community Gardens
Upstate New York
CDCG manages 47 cooperative neighborhood food gardens in New York’s Capital Region and operates the Veggie Mobile – a mobile produce market that makes fresh produce more affordable and accessible for low income, inner city residents in the area.
Eco City Farms
Prince George’s County, MD
The secret to good produce is good soil, and worm poop gets the job done. ECO City Farms aims to change the fresh food landscape in the Chesapeake food shed through sustainable urban farming and agricultural jobs training. Its motto is, “We grow great food, farms and farmers.”
Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture
The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture based in Alexandria, Va., is located on the grounds of a former plantation owned by President George Washington. The nonprofit has teamed up with the National Trust for Historical Preservation to help bring an end to food deserts in the D.C. region. Meanwhile, kids get an education in raising plants and killing bugs.
Indy Urban Acres Farm
The city of Indianapolis recently transformed eight acres of undeveloped property into healthy productive land designed to feed hundreds of people in real need of fresh produce, and dedicated to educating people on food literacy at the neighborhood level. Indy Urban Acres also serve as educational resource for user groups, community organizations, and Indy Parks youth programming to learn the value of the urban gardens.
Oakland Community Gardening
The city of Oakland operates nine organic community gardens, striving for better access to good food for everyone. The gardens are popular places for residents to stay active in their local communities. Members must be at least 18 years old and pay an annual fee for a garden plot.