10.Urban Gardening: Putting the Sustainable back into Community

Full GardenGardening is a passion of mine. Unfortunately living in an apartment doesn’t really permit for a whole lot. But I do have a small balcony that I have turned into my potted plant paradise.
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Most of the plants I grow are edible. Strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and herbs, litter my balcony among the catnip and flowers that reside in my balcony garden. It’s something I love to do in my down time as a relaxing sort of hobby. It yields my very own delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs that I use in my cooking. Plus, there is something very rewarding about eating the food that you grew-and talk about organic.

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Sustainable gardens have been around forever. I got into it because of my grandmother and others are quickly following this popular trend. Urban gardens have recently become a popular trend in the U.S.

Fruit Activists

In Del Aire, Ca. fruit activists, Fallen Fruit, has planted the state’s first public fruit park. The group grew the trees as part of an art movement and a way to provide accessible fresh fruit for locals.

In Fort Wayne, Ind. a local charitable organization-A Better Fort-is helping the community by planting fresh produce in downtown Fort Wayne. Their goal is to teach the community how to plant and harvest urban gardens, a sustainable effort. Their idea is to grow urban gardens to help flourish the community and help put a stop to poverty, hunger, and provide healthier food.

In Seattle, Wa. Beacon Food Forest dreams of creating an urban edible forest located in Seattle’s Jefferson Park. “A Food Forest is a gardening technique or land management system that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes in edible tress, shrubs, perennials, and annuals.” Their goal “is to design, plant and grow and edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food, and rehabilitate [the] local ecosystem.” (Beacon Food Forest)
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Urban sustainable gardens are amazing. Not only does it help flourish a community, it also teaches younger generations how to live sustainably and keep gardening alive. It provides public access to healthy food and keeps alive the notion of community. While this is something I can see happening easily in small towns, I question whether or not this gardening subculture can take on big towns or cities-that’s why I commend the Beacon Food Forrest and their efforts. The real question though is the impact this can have for the future and whether or not people care enough to keep it going.