Sunday, November 28, 2010
What is a community garden and what is community gardening all about. That question has been asked of me many times. It is simple to answer in a few words but it is also a very complex subject. Now a days a community garden is a plot of land that has been donated for use to grow food for those in need. This land may have been donated by a city, a church, a business, or and individual with the express requirement that it be maintained and used to grow food for members of a community. This is not the same thing as a food co-op where people get together and each has a share either purchased by cash or by goods contributed and receives a share of the food.
Community gardens are non for profit groups set up specifically for the purpose of growing food to help members of the community by supplying food pantries and organizations that supply meals to homeless people or others who are in need. Some of them are set up through churches and other religious organizations and run by volunteers. Others are groups of individuals who see a need in their community and have gotten together and volunteer their time to help feed others. Whether large or small community gardens are become increasingly important in feeding those in need due to the rough economic condition the recession has left many in. If it were not for these volunteers and generous contributors many people would not be able to obtain much needed produce to feed their families with. In recent years the number of these groups have been increasing and stepping in to help with hunger in America.
How can you help and get involved? Every volunteer organization has one problem that will out weigh others, that is enough volunteers. It maybe that you have talents, expertise, or knowledge that you can contribute. Maybe you have an extra two or three hours a week to stop by and pull weeds, water crops, or harvest some vegetables. Believe me no matter how much or little time you have to offer your volunteerism will be gladly accepted and deeply appreciated.
Along with growing fruits and vegetables a lot of community gardens have expanded to include honey production from bee hives, some are even raising chickens to provide fresh eggs. Did you know that in the City of Chicago it is legal to raise chickens in your backyard. I wonder how many eggs a day could be added to the food pantry if just a couple hundred people in a city of millions would put a chicken coop in their back yard. I am not advocating that you should raise chickens, but I am advocating that you should seriously think about getting involved and help others in your own community that can benefit from the food these great groups provide
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