Halifax Community Organic Herb Gardens
The Halifax Community Organic Herb Gardens will be established in 2017. We will take a multidisciplinary approach to community-supported agriculture. The focus will be on developing small-scale urban organic herb production and education at multiple sites throughout the HRM.
This project will bring the community together to promote health and well-being via DIY workshops. Workshops will include:
- How to set up and care for your own home-based organic herb garden;
- How to prepare your own organic skin care products;
- How to prepare meals and improve health with organic herbs;
- The benefits of producing and purchasing organic, local products.
Why are we taking this initiative to set up organic community herb gardens?
- Community gardens increase a sense of community ownership and stewardship.
- Community gardens foster the development of a community identity and spirit.
- Community gardens bring people together from a wide variety of backgrounds (age, race, culture, social class).
- Community gardens build community leaders.
- Community gardens offer a focal point for community organizing, and can lead to community-based efforts to deal with other social concerns.
- Community gardens offer unique opportunities for new immigrants (who tend to be concentrated in low-income urban communities) to:
- Produce traditional crops otherwise unavailable locally,
- Take advantage of the experience of elders to produce a significant amount of food for the household,
- Provide inter-generational exposure to cultural traditions,
- Offer a cultural exchange with other gardeners,
- Learn about block clubs, neighborhood groups, and other community information.
- Community gardens offer neighborhoods an access point to non-English speaking communities.
- Community gardens allow people from diverse backgrounds to work side-by-side on common goals without speaking the same language.
Community gardens offer unique opportunities to teach youth about:
- Where food comes from
- Practical math skills
- Basic business principles
- The importance of community and stewardship
- Issues of environmental sustainability
- Job and life skills
- Community gardening is a healthy, inexpensive activity for youth that can bring them closer to nature, and allow them to interact with each other in a socially meaningful and physically productive way.
- Many community gardeners, especially those from immigrant communities, take advantage of food production in community gardens to provide a significant source of food and/or income.
- Community gardens provide access to nutritionally rich foods that may otherwise be unavailable to low-income families and individuals.
- Urban agriculture is 3-5 times more productive per acre than traditional large-scale farming!
- Studies have shown that community gardeners and their children eat healthier diets than do non-gardening families.
- Eating locally produced food reduces asthma rates, because children are able to consume manageable amounts of local pollen and develop immunities.
- Exposure to green space reduces stress and increases a sense of wellness and belonging.
- The benefits of Horticulture Therapy can be and are used to great advantage in community gardens.
- Community gardens add beauty to the community and heighten people’s awareness and appreciation for living things.
- Community gardens filter rainwater, helping to keep lakes, rivers, and groundwater clean.
- Community gardens restore oxygen to the air and help to reduce air pollution.
- Community gardens recycle huge volumes of tree trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, and other organic wastes back into the soil.
- Community gardens provide a place to retreat from the noise and commotion of urban environments.
- Community gardens provide much needed green space in lower-income neighborhoods which typically have access to less green space than do other parts of the community.