Last year our small city started up a community garden. It's right in the middle of town, within walking distance of low-income housing and in a fairly central location. The idea is a brilliant one — folks without the land or space to garden can rent a plot (4x4 or 4x8, all raised beds) for $25/year. I've witnessed firsthand in my own garden how growing vegetables yourself can really encourage you to not only eat more vegetables, but try new varieties you may have passed up in the farmer's market — what a neat idea to give this experience to others who may not have had the chance before!
Having a community garden in your town gives people an opportunity to enhance their diet with healthy choices, lower food spending, and empower themselves to contribute directly to their own well-being, life skills, and the beautification of their city. It also provides an opportunity to connect with other gardeners across all skill levels; I, for one, would have loved to set up my first garden next to an experienced gardener. Wouldn't it be so nice to be able to say, "Can you take a look at my tomato plants? What am I doing wrong?"
The American Community Gardening Association not only has an index of community gardens across America and Canada, it has lots of articles and information on how to form your own community garden in your area. If your city doesn't have one, it would be a very worthwhile venture to get some interested folks together and start your own!
More Info: ACGA
(Image: Shutterstock/Nick Hawkes)