The Benefits of a Natural Community Garden

Man in local community garden.

The image source is Envato.

What are the main benefits of a community garden for local residents? Many people will appreciate the fact that they can get out of their home with their family and contribute to a community garden. Doing so helps everyone in the community to feel more united while growing natural and healthy foods for everyone to enjoy. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of a natural community garden.

Use a Large Variety

When designing a neighborhood community garden, it will be beneficial for the community to have a variety of different types of plants. The community should be able to use a wide range of plants. This allows community members to get a good idea of which type of plants will work well for the type of community and neighborhood they live in. Many of the plants and fruits used in a garden provide community members with healthy foods for them and for the rest of their family. This is important for the physical and mental health of neighborhoods. It is important to make sure that a local community is able to provide healthy foods for themselves. The food choices can vary depending on what you can grow or what the city has to offer, but there are a lot of choices out there.

Consider The Winter Season

A High Tunnel System, commonly called a “hoop house,” is an increasingly popular conservation practice for farmers, and is available with financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  With high tunnel systems, no summer is too short or winter too cold because high tunnels:

  • Extend the growing season
  • Improve plant quality and soil quality
  • Reduce nutrient and pesticide transportation
  • Improve air quality through reduced transportation inputs
  • Reduce energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh produce

High tunnels protect plants from severe weather and allow farmers to extend their growing seasons – growing earlier into the spring, later into the fall, and sometimes, year-round. And because high tunnels prevent direct rainfall from reaching plants, farmers can use precise tools like drip irrigation to efficiently deliver water and nutrients to plants. High tunnels also offer farmers a greater ability to control pests and can even protect plants from pollen and pesticide drift. A number of soil health practices can be used in high tunnels, including cover crops and crop rotations, which also prevent erosion, suppress weeds, increase soil water content, and break pest cycles. Perhaps the best thing about high tunnels is that they help farmers provide their communities with healthy local food for much of the year – food that requires less energy and transportation inputs.

Apply for a Grant

In order to create a community garden, there are a lot of hoops you must jump through first. If you want your garden to support your community through the long winter months. The first thing you might want to learn is how to apply for a NCRS high tunnel grant. This will provide you the money to get all of your supplies and equipment to get started. But first, make sure you know all of this information:

  1. Know Your State’s Local Rules & Qualifications
  2. Clearly Define Your Goals & Eligibility
    1. What Will Your Farm Accomplish?
    2. Does Your Farm Qualify Under NRCS Rules?
  3. Plan Out Your Proposed Farm
  4. Consider Implementing Conservation Practices
  5. Submit Your Application Correctly & On Time

Financial Benefits

Creating a community garden is less expensive than buying commercially grown food. Community gardens provide fresh produce and greens at a fraction of the cost of commercial gardening while also usually eliminating the need to drive far distances to a store. It can also be very helpful to the community as a whole in order to help those who are in need. Children can also learn what it takes to grow a garden by seeing how the vegetables they eat are grown and how to prepare the vegetables to be enjoyed.

The benefits of community gardens are significant for communities. If community members enjoy working with others to create a sustainable living environment, these gardens will benefit them and everyone else in their community.

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