11 April 2012
It’s a simple question with a complex answer – what is a community garden?
It’s the word ‘community’ that helps find a way of answering the question. The underlying premise of community gardens is that they are set up and managed by local people for the benefit of their community.
No two community gardens are alike and, increasingly, the phrase is used to describe a ever-widening range of projects and pockets of land.
Community gardens can range from a few food growing plots on a housing estate to a sprawling wildlife garden. They could be community orchards, a patch of green land with poly tunnels, converted waste ground with raised beds, gardens based in school grounds, flower beds next to a railway station or a big site that acts as its own market garden.
This diversity often occurs because of the needs of the local community and the interests of the volunteers who maintain it. Some are set up simply as a place to relax, while others focus on education, training, well-being or environmental concerns.
Whatever the driving force behind these growing spaces, there is always a strong desire to encourage better community relations and help provide a focus which brings together people of all ages, abilities and cultures.
If you want to know more about community gardens, and where you can find one near you, then visit the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens website at www.farmgarden.org.uk where you can search an online map and download maps.
Post by Ken Elkes, Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.
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