Once upon a time, everyone had gardens. The soil was fertile and healthy, weeds and bugs were free to roam, and all sorts of heirloom varieties were grown. There was plenty of acreage for every family, and your neighbors were way down the road, not 10 feet away.
Nowadays, with most of us living in suburbs and cities littered with high-rise buildings, finding those lush, green fields to grow a garden on is more expensive, and certainly more difficult to find. But for many urban gardeners, when there’s a will, there’s a way.
Every neighborhood has space for a community garden, it’s just a matter of getting creative and turning unused space into a thriving, healthy plot of land.
Meredith Sheperd, urban garden designer and founder of Love and Carrots is taking little scraps of lawn near roads and side yards, and working to transform them into edible gardens for community members.
She says that there is a whole generation of people who never had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to grow their own food, and she hopes to change that. Teaching kids how to grow their own food closes the gap between seeing a plant on the vine and seeing that same plant on their plate.
Marlana Kain is growing a rooftop garden and says that her gardening is about as urban as it gets. It’s noisy, busy, but is also a peaceful, secret respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
She says going to the roof and looking at all the little sprouting plants and growth gives her joy that is unexplainable.
No matter how much land, rooftop, or yard space you may have, everyone has the chance to grow their own food. It’s just a matter of trial and error and seeing the beauty and potential in commonly overlooked places.