Sophie's World Blog

Community gardens

The green world in the city

Community gardens

Community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people. Dated back to the 1800s, it was born with the industrial revolution and with the development of industrial cities. The goal was to create a city gardening, self-sufficiency, and to make a harmonizing green living area. This movement came from the UK. To the 1900s, the community gardening went through on a spectacular development, typically the two world wars and the economic crisis.

The government supported and developed the community gardens, they called them Liberty Garden and Victory Garden. These gardens provided self-sufficiency; they were that successful that they gave 40% of the vegetables and fruits to the Americans’ kitchen table.


That was in the past. Nowadays, community gardens are celebrating their second rebirth. What are they doing? What do they want? What is the benefit of community garden?

The garden itself

They are using, buying, and renting the unused urban industrial areas; they are rehabilitating and recycling this fields and use them for growing plants, vegetables, and fruits.

Their purpose and benefits

‘The American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) is a bi-national nonprofit membership organization of professionals, volunteers, and supporters of community greening in urban and rural communities. The Association recognizes that community gardening improves people’s quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources, and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education”.

The American downtowns are faced with the following problems:

  • There is no affordable and fresh vegetable downtown
  • There is no safe and barrier-free green
  • There is no creative activity for the elders and the children
  • There are many abandoned industrial areas, which are hotbeds of crimes
  • Crimes are committed by young, bored, and angry youngsters

Fortunately, community gardens have advantages that address those:

  • It can prove to the higher social level that even the poor ones can make something for the betterment of their life
  • Helps the children to get much more about their environment and gardening
  • Develops the community spirit
  • Offers a free time program
  • Helps families to get better and cheaper vegetables and fruits

How do they work?

The volunteers can freely decide what kind of garden they want to create:

  • Open
  • Fenced

Who is the target group?

  • Organic or traditional cultivation they conduct

How many members

  • How much is the membership fee
  • They need an article of association

And of course there are many specifications about the land; the quality needs to be checked. If there is any chemical left in it, the owner or the ex owner has to make it usable for them and whatnot. So, it’s always better to be cautious before we jump to any kind of land buying and renting, but after that, there are all the already-created communities to prove how worthwhile they are.


Copyright: Zsófia Michelin-Corporatum Oy, Content pictures copyrigh: Shutterstock, Development: e-Com