Lifestyle

  • Written by Andrea Edwards


With backyards shrinking and high density living on the rise inner city residents are flocking to dedicated community gardens to reconnect with the environment and for the chance to harvest their own food.

Arbor Operations’ Peter Mumford said these open spaces are becoming increasingly popular and have multiple environmental, social and health benefits for the wider community.

“We live in modern cities that are evolving, urban encroachment is pushing allotment sizes down which means there is less space to get back to nature and grow your own vegetables,” Mr Mumford said.

“By having these open spaces, it also helps brings back the village vibe that many inner-city suburbs have been in danger of losing,” he said.

“You only need to look around these growth areas to see where there was once one house there is now two and where there was two there are now apartment blocks to realise the traditional backyard for many is becoming a thing of the past.”

“In Brisbane alone, there are there are over 30 community gardens and city farms providing a local place for residents with a common interest to meet and grow their own food.”

“There are also well documented health benefits, with studies showing being out with nature for just 20 minutes can reduce the stress cortisol by 13 percent, while digging around in the dirt has been found to help treat depression.”

“These green spaces provide all the benefits of having a garden without paying big bucks to own a big allotment.”

“As well as affordability, many people are also too time poor to have the time needed to dedicate to mow the lawn or look after a large garden on their own.”

“These dedicated green spaces give residents a chance to grow their food in an organic way that’s just not possible with mass produced produce.”

How to get onboard the community garden bandwagon;

  • Do some research; find one that’s close to your home so it becomes an extension of your property, where you’ll be able to dig in the dirt and have all the benefits of having a garden without all the hard work.
  • Create your own; if there’s not one nearby consider starting your own. Community gardens can come in all shapes and sizes with rooftop gardens becoming a popular site for a communal green space. Your local council will have guidelines about where and how you can do it.
  • Get expert advice; Don’t be afraid to go to the experts to get help with your garden, arborists and horticulturalists love the environment and are often happy to offer advice to help get more people enjoying the great outdoors.
  • Enjoy the benefits; Spending time outdoors is a natural stress reliever so not only will you feel better, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour with delicious home-grown produce.

“Community gardens aren’t new they’ve been around in Europe since the early 19th Century, while the first one established in Australia was in Melbourne’s east in 1977.”

“But it’s now more than ever they’re growing in popularity as people sacrifice space and the traditional backyard for being closer to cities and their amenities.”

“But what’s great about this is as well as getting people outdoors it acts as a community building activity, allowing like-minded people to come together on neutral ground to experience nature in a productive way.”

For more advice or assistance with community gardens visit Arbor Operations:

http://www.arboroperations.com.au/

 

About Arbor Operations:

Peter Mumford is the owner of Arbor Operations and has been involved in the agriculture, horticulture and arboriculture industries for more than 40 years. He is a qualified arboriculturalist and provides gardening consultancy services to a range of clients across Queensland, including schools and government.

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