"Nothing’s better than food straight from the garden to the stomach’. What are the pros and cons of private and community food gardens?

Expert Answers
Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Private and community food gardens have many advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages include:

1. Insight-- Community members will know exactly how the crops are grown and if any chemicals were used to maintain them.

2. Accessibility--The community garden is near the home and easy to access.

3. Control-- The community members can decide exactly how the crops will be grown and can choose to be organic or use fertilizers or pesticides.

Disadvantages include:

1. Availability-- Growing vegetables in a community style garden means that there may be lulls in vegetable production, because it is on a smaller scale. 

2.  Choice-- Community gardens, because they are smaller operations, usually have to choose a few basics and only grow those selections.  It will not be like going to the supermarket where there is every choice possible.

3.  Risk--Community gardens require personal investment to start up the crops, without any promise or certainty that those crops will yield results. 

4. Time-- Community gardens need effort and exertion to maintain, not to mention organization about which community members will fulfill the roles to care for the crops.


thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For the individual:

Great tasting fresh food.
You may save a lot of money on produce.
Encourages a healthy diet.
Helps you understand how food is produced.
May have spiritual benefits.
Makes you get outdoors and get some exercise a few times a week.
Builds community -- you get to know your neighbours.
Creates a green space in your urban environment.

If you aren`t a skilled gardener, all your plants may die.
Raccoon, pigeons, and other urban wildlife may get all your food.
Big city smog can contaminate food.
Requires regular maintenance -- may be hard if you work long hours or do business travel.

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