Part of developing a greener, healthier, and more sustainable community is establishing an urban food network with both residential backyard micro farms and larger more utilitarian community gardens including permaculture, rain-gardens & aquaculture.
Studies predict the long-term impact of high rates of joblessness among young people will be a less-experienced work force, increased government spending due to lower lifetime earnings, reduced tax revenues, and higher prison costs. Our Urban Food Production Project(s) began with a job-training program in mind for mid-lower income young adults. Our program seeks to address the needs of this specific population by offering intensive job training through community service, combined with life skills and continuing education programming.
Seasonal crops are harvested for use by local residents, shelters, food pantries and local farm markets to feed those most in need. Farm to Fork Thursdays are an opportunity to volunteer in the Park Place Peace Garden which provides some of the produce for community suppers.
While the most obvious benefit of community gardens is the food produced, these projects also educate participants about sustainable living and build community relationships. People who come out to the gardens can learn how to cultivate, produce, and maintain their own healthy food source. It’s also a great way to meet people with a similar interest in sustainable living.
Another important process of community gardens is the food network involved: people harvest the crops from the gardens but also contribute kitchen scraps from their homes and businesses. Through collecting this compost, the soil in the gardens can be fortified with the nutrient-rich recycled product. Altogether the garden and the community sustain each other.