Like many, I have grown up living in apartments – some even without a balcony – and so the concept of a community garden is scary and exciting all at the same time. I didn’t grow up on a farm, once told my mother that where milk came from was in fact the shop, and manage to kill most plants that enter my home. How on earth did I become so detached from nature and the food it provides for me?
But this is a common scenario as more and more of us live in big cities, in smaller houses or apartments, with no green space and, if we’re lucky, a balcony or patio area. Our schools are also getting bigger, with more concrete, less trees and our food is increasing processed and packaged. The only time I’ve ever picked an apple off a tree was, when living China many years ago, we took a school trip to an apple orchard – best apple I’ve ever had in my life. Yet the best thing about the community garden is that it doesn’t take much space at all.
I’m lucky that my local council is very much aware of this burgeoning problem but what even I didn’t realise was that a community garden existed opposite my very small apartment (with no balcony). And this is part of the charm of the community garden, they’re kind of hidden from view of those heads down in their phone or rushing to get their next coffee fix. My local community garden is sandwiched between my local library and local community centre – so if you’re a living, breathing participant of this suburb you will find it.
And what does the community garden have to offer? For one, it connects you to community and for those of us who live alone there’s nothing more important. It also provides the opportunity to meet new people and learn about organic gardening methods and composting while getting a little dose of sunshine’s vitamin D. Those Londoner’s know what they’re doing with their garden plots and its time we joined in because, honestly, what have you got to lose.