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Connecting Communities Through Gardening

Have you ever thought about planting a garden, but you were not sure how to get started? According to Susan McCoy, Garden Media Group’s chief idea generator, “gardening with a purpose” will begin taking root. Two of the trends in gardening that McCoy predicts we’ll be seeing more of in 2011 are New Urbanism and CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture farms. These are two types of gardening that will help people connect through gardening education as well as allow them to develop better Earth stewardship through keeping produce local.

New Urbanism may include having homes, apartments and inner city businesses with less turf. More people may want to have plants that need little water or they will be collecting rainwater. Urban gardens are often placed in window sills or in pots on patios.

Community Supported Agriculture farms (CSAs) are springing up nationwide. CSAs offer fresh produce and provide the opportunity for learning about varieties, maintaining plants and sharing experiences with other members of the community.

I’ve noticed a few community gardens on the Gulf Coast. One CSA is in the Aragon Court neighborhood in Pensacola. I drove through with my kids when the Plein Air Painters group were in the neighborhood. I stopped at the playground and noticed a woman nearby pruning plants and pulling weeds. As I walked closer, I saw that she was working in a huge community garden that was filled with flowers and vegetables for the neighbors to work in and enjoy together. It has a covered area with bench swings for resting out of the sun.

Something new for the Gulf Breeze Area Chamber of Commerce is that they are developing a community garden and organic gardening educational program. Robert Randel of Tiger Point Chiropractic came up with the idea after a previous attempt in another location. The City Council approved establishing a garden on the chamber’s property, so it would be in a centralized location for volunteers.

Are you doing any urban gardening or taking part in a CSA? Let us know. It’s a great way to develop friendships and your gardening skills!

Go Explore!

Troy Record
Garden Center Magazine
Pensacola News Journal

Photo by Lisa Parker