Happy World Environment Day! Did you celebrate in a small or big way? I have just, finally, peeled off my soil-encrusted gardening clothes after an exhausting but richly rewarding day spent in our community garden with the kids.
Our lovely chooks are nicely nestled within their home in the EcoGarden. Finding this second home has opened my eyes to the notion of thinking outside the square- or even your home- when looking to lead a more sustainable, gentle life. Community gardens provide the opportunity for people to grow where they otherwise may not. Today I noticed how much potential, beyond the weeding, planting, harvesting, a community garden can offer.
1. Instant playgroup. Within moments of arriving at the garden, my children were dirty, wild, runny-nosed creatures of the sunny wintry outdoors. They ran around the garden beds with other kids, some familiar and others strangers. They showed visitors the ins and outs of caring for our chooks. The mums had the opportunity for a chat and a breather.
2. Green spaces are healthy spaces. You can't help but roll up your sleeves and break out a little sweat when there is a glorious strawberry patch to be tended, ready to rest over winter, and hopefully reap rewards in the warmer months. I exercised before I even noticed.
3. Sharing across generations. Our garden has the fortunate situation, surrounded by retirement villages and early childhood services. What a vast wealth of knowledge to be shared. What a spectacular opportunity to build social networks for people far from family, a little lonely or just finding themselves with a bit of extra time.
If your spaces at home are providing you with excuses not to grow some food, why don't you find out where your nearest community garden is? I wonder if there is some space for you to plant some snow peas, have a chat with someone new, take a book and relax for a spell? It really is as good as it sounds.