As a society we are extremely fortunate to have access to fresh food, clean water and open spaces for leisure. One of the best ways to spend that leisure time is in a garden.
Gardeners have long known about the benefits of gardening for physical health and improving mental wellbeing.
In recent times lockdowns have seen a surge in people taking up gardening, some for the first time.
As the lockdowns come to an end one of the ways we can reconnect with our communities is through gardening.
Community gardens provide everyone access to the joy of getting your hands dirty.
They offer us a level of connectedness with the people in our neighbourhoods that may otherwise be missing when gardening in our own backyards.
Sharing conversations over a cup of tea at the end of a good day in the garden while swapping seeds or gardening tips is rewarding on all levels.
There are no limitations on who can get involved and even when your gardening experience is limited there are plenty of good gardeners eager to pass on their knowledge and skills.
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Community gardens often become centres for educating people in the skills of sustainable urban living by offering workshops and courses to learn the principles and techniques that form part of sustainable lifestyles.
A blending of cultures often comes together in community gardens and many friendships germinate as a result of engaging in activities with other community members.
Community gardens have become an integral part of our society and their success is an indication of the health of our communities.
They provide fresh produce to those who help maintain them, as well as to the broader community, particularly those less fortunate.
Another concept that has grown in communities is the crop and swap. A crop and swap is an informal get-together of folks who have backyard harvest to spare or are looking for new ideas for what to grow next.
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It's not just vegies, often these swaps offer eggs, preserves, homemade cakes, breads and even crafts too.
To get involved with a community garden in your area, contact your local council or head to communitygarden.org.au and search for your area.
- John Gabriele is a horticulture teacher with a love for green spaces.