We Believe Gardening Matters Because:
It allows us to grow foods that reflect our cultures and that offer health benefits and wealth building opportunities, which improves food security and reduces disparities.
Institutionalized racism has created fast food swamps and fresh food deserts in many of our communities comprised of low-income and people of color, resulting in disproportionately high rates of hunger, obesity and chronic disease. Living wage jobs are necessary to end hunger, but growing our own food is one way we can increase access to fresh foods in our communities.
It provides opportunities to share resources, knowledge, and food within our neighborhoods, making our communities stronger and more equitable.
Gardening is the perfect opportunity to work together with neighbors towards a common goal, sharing in the work and the bounty, and building a strong sense of community along the way!
Growing more food locally means we rely less on the destructive industrial food system and can reduce our carbon footprint, which is essential in this context of climate change.
The industrial food system is characterized by corporate-owned factory farms and intense use of fossil fuels and chemical inputs to produce food that will travel an average distance of 1500 miles from farm to fork. When we grow our own, it doesn’t get more local than your own yard or the community garden down the street!
When we grow our own it reduces our monthly food bills and can reduce hunger; and when community members sell food locally, it builds up wealth and strengthens our local economies.
Growing our own food and participating in community-based and regional food systems not only helps provide for our families, but helps revitalize our local economies.
Eating locally grown food is more nutritious and delicious.
In the industrial food system, produce is bred for yield and not necessarily nutrition. Foods that travel are picked before they are ripe and sometimes artificially ripened with chemical vapors. When we eat local, the food is able to mature on the vine for as long as possible, ensuring we get the most nutrients and flavor when we eat it.
When we grow our own food, we take control of what we put into our bodies.
Processed foods products are often cheaper at the checkout counter, but end up costing our taxpayers millions in healthcare costs each year.
Spending time outdoors and nurturing life in the soil has been shown to have a positive influence on mental health.
We have become increasingly disconnected from nature and from the life cycle of seed to fruit to soil. Relearning how to be stewards of the land is both necessary for our planet’s sustainability and is also good for our souls!