Many people have taken an interest in eating healthier and reducing the number of pesticides and chemicals they consume when eating fresh fruits and vegetables. My family has been eating organic for the majority of our fresh fruits and vegetables for the last year. While I love how flavorful the organic vegetables and fruits are, I do not love the price. One way to combat the high expense is to garden.
If you live in the country or the suburbs, you may be able to grow your own garden to provide your family with organic produce that you grow yourself. However, we live in a suburb right outside of a large city, and there is no room to garden in our tiny yard. Rather than give up on gardening, I began to explore other options and happened to find a community garden just a few blocks from our home.
Community Garden Benefits
If you are not familiar with the concept, a community garden is a plot of land that has several gardening plots that individuals can use to plant their own gardens. If you don’t have enough land to garden on your own property or if you live in an apartment complex, a community garden can offer you a chance to grow your own produce. There are some benefits to utilizing a community garden:
-Supply your family with organic produce while spending very little money. Your expense here comes with the time you must spend caring for the garden rather than the money you must part with to buy food someone else has grown.
-Teach your children where food comes from and let them help you take care of the garden. Most kids like to dig in the dirt and help water and care for the garden. As an added bonus, once they see where the vegetables come from, they may be more likely to want to eat them.
-Membership is usually reasonable. The community garden I plan to use this summer only charges $20 per summer. If we maintain our garden and follow all of the rules of upkeep such as taking care of weeds and bug infested plants, we will get the $20 back at the end of the season.
-Have the opportunity to help others. Many community gardens produce an abundance of produce, so many gardeners give away their excess to local food pantries and homeless shelters. If your garden produces more than you and your family consume, you will be able to help others by donating.
You can find a community garden near you by simply typing in your city name and “community garden” in your favorite Internet search engine. I found several community gardens close to me this way. Alternatively, Local Harvest also offers a search engine to help you find nearby community gardens.
If you would like to nearly eliminate your grocery expense for fresh produce and would like to feed your family organic produce, community gardening may be for you. In return for your hard work growing a garden, you can feed your family wholesome foods fresh from the garden for several months of the year.