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Community Garden: Environment, Social and Economic Approach

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 5 (1048 words)
Categories: Food, Garden, Natural resources, Pleasure Of Gardening
Downloads: 32
Views: 4

In the group presentation, we talked about how the community garden can positively impact the three pillars of sustainable development. The first half of the presentation were divided into 3 parts, environment, social, and economic approach. I took a part in explaining about social benefits of community garden and then introduced two men who does community garden, in their words, kitchen garden, as a case study. In this paper, I want to focus on the social aspects, how it is beneficial for people in the individual level to participate and community level to manage it in the community.

For the counter argument, it introduces downsides of having community garden as well. Moreover, it discusses about its history, how the concept of community garden started and evolved until today.

Building Social Capital

There are countless benefits of having community garden in the region. Community gardens are built and maintained by local community members. It has benefits for both individuals and collective benefits.

One of the most important factors when stating the collective benefits, is the social interaction between neighbors. Researchers have also indicated that the benefits of the gardens are not only building and sharing and getting fresh vegetables or fruits for food security but also building the social capital. The next section explores its social benefits. Community gardens facilitate social interaction which generate social capital. Social capital is an increasingly important concept in the research as well as measures of social capital have been namely associated with many different measurement of health. The author of the article Seeding Social Capital? Urban Community Gardening and Social Capital indicates that the lens of the concept of social capital is demonstrated that urban community gardens create social capital, both bonding and bridging, and exhibit indications of linking.

Furthermore, it is identified how there is much to be learned from future research, illuminating how urban community gardens can foster social capital, and thus benefit cities and local communities. Social capital can be both a “private good” and a “public good” (shared or group recourses) also in the context of social capital, researchers usually distinguish Cognitive social capital and structural social capital. The first cognitive social capital can be made as people’s perceptions of the level of interpersonal trust and norms of reciprocity within the community. While structure social capital, unlike the cognitive social capital, is the actual social networks or participation. History of community garden In the post war era, the concept of “gardening for community” raised rather than food production in general. Today’s programmatic urban gardening aims at building social ties among individuals, with the view of joint community action and promoting such wider goals as encouraging healthier eating habits through gardening, reusing public spaces and providing access to nature.

The modern form of community garden began around 1973 in the red lined south Bronx neighborhood of New York City (Debord, 2002). During this of era, the economic downturn was occurring with the inflation which government paid 16% of interest. It included problems such as jobless and created food deserts. To recover from the suffering situation in urban communities, engaging people into the gardening was one of the results (DeMuro, K, 2015). Soil in the urban region/ soil quality Soil in urban cities are known for their poor quality, which comes from the stresses of development. They are usually deeply compacted and have an alkaline pH. Typically, these soils are lucking nutrients and organic matter so that it does not enhance growing anything on that soil (L, K, 2002). By adding organic material into the soil, it can be neutralized.

In a recent study, adding compost made from dairy manure solids and tilling soil twice resulted in “significantly reduced soil density and pH and increased soil organic matter, electrical conductivity, and concentrations of phosphorus and potassium…In most instances, plant tissue nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were higher for plants grown in soils receiving compost,” (Loper, Shober, Wiese, Denny, & Stanley, 2010). Moreover, due to the long residence time of hevy metals in soils, urban soils are partially polluted. However, in many cities, anthropogenic activities have resulted in the substantial contamination of urban soils. The study which was conducted by Delbecque and Verdoodt (2016) demonstrates that the concentration of trace metals in an urban environment was highly variable due to both disuse and point sources of these contaminants.

Possibility of Agrihood

Having said that possibility of creating strong social ties through community gardening, there is another projects which uses the concept of agriculture and neighborhood, in short“agrihood”that is spreading its popularity in America. What is Agrihood? Agrihoods coms from the idea of farm to table eating, urban farming, food co-ops, and community supported agriculture. The concept of Agrihood takes a bit further by positioning agriculture as an integral part of community planning. Simply put, it is a neighborhood communities built around the working farms. The Agirifood aims at giving opportunities for the residences to feel connected, not only to their homes and their neighbors but also to the land there are living on. One of the most beneficial things about an agrihood is that there are not just eating fresh, quality locally grown vegetables, agrihood is more than that. It is participating in the life of working harm and having a deeper connection with the mother earth.

Also, within the community, the Agrihood is desined to have many opportunities for people to learn things, from young people to old, everyone in the community can get their hands dirty and truly lean what it’s like to grow own food. These neighborhoods boast organic farms, herb gardens and edible nature trails. People who have different background are living in the garden based community. Artists live in artist-in-residence, and also there are full time farmers, some even have camps to run programs for children to foster healthy living in the next generations. There’s currently an agrihood in at least 27 in 50 states in America, and a report from the Urban Land Institute says the trend is still growing. “By including a working farm as a central project feature, developers can unlock special advantages, ranging from reduced amenity costs, increased project marketability and faster sales for residential properties to opportunities for enhanced community social ties and access to land for current and would-be farmers,” ULI reported.

Cite this essay

Community Garden: Environment, Social and Economic Approach. (2020, Sep 07). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/community-garden-environment-social-and-economic-approach-essay

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