Gardening can be a way to save money on fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs, and a way to build healthy activity into the day. Even those who don't have their own outdoor space can get into gardening by joining a community garden. If you're new to community gardening, try these four ideas to get digging in the dirt.
One type of community garden is a multicultural community garden, planted with different fruits, vegetables and herbs from around the world that are acceptable based on your area's hardiness zone. Multicultural community gardens have an added benefit of being a good reason to seek out neighbors with different ethnicities and backgrounds from yours to learn about their native cuisines and gardening techniques.
Fight Food Insecurity
Use your garden to help the estimated 46.5 million Americans, including 12 million children, who struggle with food insecurity. Last year, as a volunteer master gardener, I helped my church's community garden to donate pounds of organic vegetables to our local soup kitchen every week. If every community garden in the United States was able to plant a row of vegetables and fruits for the hungry, what a huge difference it would make to every community!
You won't find the best plants in a garden center or seed catalog — instead, the best plants you'll get are from your neighbors. Help your community garden organize a "plant swap" and encourage others to share leftover seeds from favorite plant specimens and cuttings from favorite landscape material and even house plants.
Celebrate Green Holidays
Earth Day (celebrated on April 22) and National Arbor Day (celebrated on April 29) are terrific opportunities to get together in the garden. On Earth Day, share your experiences with organic gardening, green landscaping and recycling. On National Arbor Day, come together to plant trees to provide shade.
Now that winter is finally gone and spring is here to stay, try to make an effort to meet and greet with your neighbors and start a community garden today.