Urban Agriculture Is Improving Lives
There is a lot more too urban agriculture than simply growing some vegetables and flowers.
There’s a certain connection people have with gardening and it is multiplied when they do this activity in a group.
There is a sense of accomplishment and emotional wellness that people gain from urban agriculture.
Not only does it help each individual feel better about what they’ve done and how they feel about themselves it also reduces stress, improves their social lives as well as provide food for them and their families.
If you think of what urban gardening is, a community working the same plot of earth together, for everyone who is involved. So it is a hard activity to be involved with and not make contact with other people.
What Impact Does Urban Agriculture Have?
Urban farming, gardening or agriculture impacts the lives of people on many different levels though not just socially or supplementing food.
In many cases it improves the financial situation people are in and it does this is these four fundamental ways:
Reduces financial output by reducing the amount of food that needs to be purchased, thereby increasing a families spending power.
Provides the opportunity to create income by selling what they grow and to generate or increase their household income.
Creates employment opportunities for others in the urban setting creating income flow initiated from urban farming.
The food that is grown is generally less expensive helping to keep more income in the household and providing a source of food for those who are financially challenged.
In some cities urban agriculture isn’t just for the gardeners involved, it is for the entire community.
What is harvested is sold in the local market and provides for everyone. I imagine those who are working the gardens have a great sense of satisfaction knowing that what they do is so important.
These same gardens add a great deal of beauty and I’m sure a great sense of community pride.
Some people have reported a greater sense of well-being and a feeling of greater mental health having the opportunity to connect and interact with the outdoors.
Does Urban Gardening Improve Communities?
In many communities people have taken idle and vacant land and made tremendous use of it by turning it into an urban garden.
The results are a win-win for the gardener and the community. So many people fall into that gray area were they cannot get enough through their job or through assistance.
The initiative they take shows their tenacity to make the most of their situation.
The positive effects of urban agriculture can be quantified, but they can’t truly be measured.
We see these positive effects in such areas as reductions in crime and suicide.
We can measure by what percentage we have seen a reduction in these areas but it’s difficult to measure how we have impacted families and people by what it meant to them to keep a family member from committing suicide or being robbed.
Healthy, garden grown vegetables are only a small part of the health that is harvested.
Eating healthy and living healthy can start for many people once they become involved in urban gardening.
Many people start out by seeking a way to supplement their food source and find out it becomes more of a lifestyle.
Walking or riding their bikes to the garden site becomes an extension of the overall activity and adds to their well-being and physical health.
Urban Agriculture in Summary
Urban agriculture improves people’s lives by affording opportunities that would not have been available otherwise.
The opportunities to provide food for their family, increase their income and provide employment for others alone are game changing for many.
The social impact cannot be understated with a reduction in crime and suicide rates as well as improving the quality of people’s lives by giving them a sense of well-being and connectivity.
Urban agriculture clearly has provided a way for people to improve and contribute to a better world.