Garden City Harvest | Community Gardens

how community gardens are creating change in missoula

 

Gardening is healthy and therapeutic. We grow vegetables knowing our food is safer, more affordable, and more nutritious because we grow it here. I love the soil, the physical labor, and being outdoors in all kinds of weather.  I love the open space, and I value the social opportunity to connect with gardeners and visitors whether we are sharing produce, swapping seeds and garden knowledge, or just chatting.

 – Jenny Ferguson
Northside Community Gardener

 

Naomi

Community gardens are good for connection, economy, property value,
carbon footprint, and both mental and physical health

 

  • Every $1 invested in a community garden plot yields $6 worth of fresh produce
  • Community gardens raise residential property values within 1,000 feet
  • Community gardens and neighborhood farms foster neighborhood connections
  • Community gardeners eat vegetables in larger quantities and more frequently (for adults and children in the family) and frequency of running out of food decreases
  • Microbes in the soil act as mood enhancers – a kind of natural prozac. That combined with the meditative act of gardening makes for strong medicine  (YES Magazine)
  • Gardening is particularly beneficial to older adults. Studies have shown that gardening can contribute to overall life satisfaction, strengthen social networks, decrease feeling so loneliness, and provide other psychological benefits to the elderly
  • The average female community gardener weighs 11 pounds less than her neighbors; an average male weighs 16 pounds less

 

Our community gardens

 

  • 369 plots, almost 2 acres
  • 10 gardens, including one therapeutic space
  • 10 partnerships
  • Grow approximately 92,250 lbs of food each year
  • Are gardened mostly (over 70%) by people who earn low or moderate income

 

Our gardeners making connections

 

94% shared produce with others, showing success, and a further connection to those around them – it feels good to share

 

73% shared gardening knowledge with other community gardeners – connecting and helping new gardeners grow

 

Mental and physical health

 

74% of our gardeners are leading a healthier lifestyle, 89% had improved quality of life, and 93% ate more fresh vegetables

 

Gaining self-sufficiency

 

78% of our gardeners are more self-sufficient thanks to their garden. Providing food for yourself and your family is an amazing thing

 

Learning to garden

 

Many of our gardeners start growing their own at a Community Garden. It is a lot harder to fail when you have so many gardeners to watch, ask, and learn from