GROWING ORGANIC FOOD FOR A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY

“Teaching kids how to feed themselves and how to live in a community responsibly is the centre of an education.”

― Alice Waters

‘Oh look, there is a bee pollinating a flower’, said a little girl excitedly pointing to a marigold plant. The team mentioned how pollination is extremely important and explained to the fascinated girl how various other insects like butterflies, wasps, ants and even lizards sometimes help in creating vegetables and fruits for us to eat turning flowers into fruits.

Nature works wonders when it comes to our greens at the community garden. AfterIMG_20190310_104900 planting seeds and saplings waiting for a few weeks lo and behold scrumptious and vibrant looking salad greens like kale, arugula, celery, pesto leaves, radish, chillies other varieties brimming with Vitamins like bok choy and spinach all ready for picking. The resident children really enjoy the refreshing activity and can’t wait to start picking the fresh produce. After instructing the children how to carefully pick the precious produce, the children collect the fresh harvests in large cane baskets, wash and prep the produce which is taken to the cafe and sold to the building residents.  The amount collected gets circulated back into the upkeep and on-going activity of keeping the gardens filled with produce and greens for the next activity.

IMG_20190324_110026Come harvest day at the community garden, the all kids assemble near the beds of greens and like eager beavers. It was interesting to see that the garden also has fruit bearing trees like Gooseberry and Fig which attract a lot of insects, birds and honeybees. Being in healthy ecosystem children learn about the ways of nature and its designs for co-existence through symbiotic relationships.

After a round of washing the greens and biting into a few leaves to taste their hard-work, the children gathered around a huge table putting the delectable greens on display. The residents were quick to flock around the produce and pick up some fresh Italian basil, kale, bok choy and spinach for the weekend feasts.

It is great to see the hatting roles of accountants as they mentally transacted all sales of the produce. Community gardening is indeed a powerhouse of learning!

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How does a community garden benefit?

A community garden is a food growing space that brings individuals together to grow edibles that can be directly consumed and understand how farming and edible gardening works. This teaches a community about health, seasonal varieties and sustainable living.  It puts you in touch with the basics taking you back to grassroots and learning the journey of sowing, growing and looking after the plants which is ultimately food. We respect and consume it better this way being connecting from the beginning and being aware of what we eat.

When a community comes together for a common objective and activity, it strengthens and unifies groups of common minded individuals.

The community which undertakes this this initiative in the city known as ‘Pebble Bay’ little green hands pick and sell extremely fresh organically grown produce to residents who happily support and enjoy these greens every fortnight over the weekend in the mornings.

For children not only is it a joy, but it gives unhealthy food a organic kick in the right direction and brings us closer to achieving greater sense and respect in the journey of farm fresh.

We give you top reasons on why Community Gardening is a must have in today’s societies:

Beating Climate Change

When we talk about climate change, about dwindling health or about how resilient are we training our future generations to be, what’s important is to bring to light small but significant efforts that holistically remedy the problems. “Community gardening”, is one such initiative! When you are a part of a journey of sowing, growing and harvesting and eating it, you realize the immense sweetness of the food touching your soul, not just your tongue.

In turn, you save up quite a bit on the ‘food miles’ that are required to transport food. Also, gardening usually accompanies with it composting that, on a larger scale, helps divert a lot of waste from going into landfills.

What’s more is that it helps to create a positive urban-micro climate. Today’s urban cities are becoming concrete jungles that are significantly hotter. Once a garden city, Modern day Bangalore is a prime example of a heat-island. Imagine how wonderful it would be to have community gardens being set up in all societies to beat global warming, one small farm at a time. Gardening; a small step for a community, one giant leap for climate!

Increasing Biodiversity

Gardening when done with a multitude of plants species invariably attracts a lot of other species of animals and insects that create symbiotic relationships on the mini-forest. The bees, butterflies, birds, earthworms, lizards and more, all of them unite not just for the tremendous roles they play in form of pollinators or pest control but to give a sight that’s rare to find in modern cities. The gardens then become natural laboratories for the children to watch, learn and grow and for the adults to embrace the nature in its vibrant forms.

Fresh to the plates, fresh to the mind

Fresh food is the most nutrient dense. With a community garden, you can just pluck the ‘Kale and Spinach’ right into your salad and eat it for maximum nutrition, just like the residents of the community garden did with their fresh produce that weekend.

With a community, they say, you can “Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul!”. The kids’ initiative with gardening went a notch up and made the garden a learning laboratory that goes beyond the textbooks.

Planning to start your community gardening journey and wondering where to start? Message us on 9886400312, visit www.agreenventure.in to see what we do, follow us on facebook and instagram to kick-start the journey to positive health and learning.

Dhanushree Bhanawat

A Green Venture team

Watch our video of community growing and harvesting below!

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