community vegetable garden

What if we could use wasteland and open public spaces to supplement or sustain food resources for impoverished communities? How does one go about starting and running such a project?

Implementation and maintenance

It starts with a community meeting, where the idea is put forth for discussion amongst those present. Whoever signs up for the project will have to commit to active and reliable involvement. Let’s say 100 people in a suburban community take part. They submit a project plan to the local municipality with all the names and signatures of those wishing to be involved. Once they’ve been allocated land, seeds can be donated by a nursery, supplied by the government, or purchased through money raised at fundraising events.

Security systems will have to be put in place, such as a barbed wire fence, which could be funded in the above mentioned ways. A small security Wendy house could be erected and manned by members of the community on a rotational basis.

The graveyard shifts can be done mostly by members who are not employed and don’t have to get up to work the next day.  The fields can be tended by groups of ten people for between three and five hours per day. The teams could be selected according to the similarity in each individual’s work and domestic schedule.

The municipality can help by installing plumbing and water at their own cost. After all, it’s the least they can do. Governments earn a fortune in taxes that are supposed to go towards things such as roads, but how much goes toward the single most important and basic human need – food?

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The entire project will be a valuable and positive investment for the entire country.

How community projects improve community relationships

  • Many hungry people will be able to put food in their bellies.
  • Members involved will enjoy a greater sense of community and well-being, knowing that they are taking positive action for themselves and others.
  • Those involved will occupy more of their time in a constructive manner, as opposed to drinking, taking drugs, and committing crime. In other words, it can keep people off the streets, and hopefully result in a general decrease in crime. The ripple effects are far reaching, as people involved will be able to steer their lives in a more positive direction. As they gain new skills and begin to see the fruits of their labour, their general self-esteem and sense of self-worth will increase. They will begin to feel a sense of accomplishment and feel more positive about their future, about learning and education; they will become more empowered and strive harder to better their lives. What with more available income, they should be able to do just that.
  • Through working with the earth people will re-establish a connection with nature and gain a greater appreciation for the environment and life, and in so doing will add balance and harmony to their lives. This could lead to the development of noble and philanthropic qualities such as compassion, patience and kindness, as they strive to work harmoniously with others for the greater good of the community.
  • With less street crime to fight, perhaps some of our tax money will be directed towards more community projects, which results in a bit of a snowball effect. The government needs to understand that this is a long-term project that may initially require some capital investment, but which offers many long-term returns.
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We all stand to gain from these kinds of projects, not just those directly involved. If the positive changes in communities become obvious, perhaps the projects will gain traction in communities all over the world. In an ideal world, we could stamp out global starvation altogether!

Greener Ideal strives to help you live your life in more sustainable ways with green living tips, healthy recipes and commentary on the latest environment news. The views expressed by guest authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.

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