Worried about your grocery bill? Here’s how community gardens can help.
By Yuki Hayashi

With rising grocery prices, food security is a concern for many Hamiltonians. While this is fundamentally a public policy issue, community gardening can provide some relief at the grassroots level.

Community gardens allow residents to grow and harvest food in a shared urban environment. As a minimum, they offer the convenience of dedicated space not far from home (a boon to those of us who lack garden space or sunlight). But their best, they also offer camaraderie and shared resources such as water access, garden tools and community events.

Here are 5 ways community gardens can enhance personal and community food security.

• Vegetable gardening gives you access to free or low-cost produce during the summer and fall months.

• Many community gardens have partnerships with local food banks, meal programs and pantries, providing healthy produce for others in the community.

• Freezing your excess harvest allows you to eat healthy veggies out of season (when produce prices typically go up).

• Participating in community gardens helps increase food literacy. Kids learn where food comes from, families can have fun gardening and cooking together.

• Community garden networks grow this urban resource, so more neighbourhoods can convert underused land into vegetable and pollinator gardens, so more people can grow – and share – food.

Finally, being part of a garden community encourages neighbours to meet, share skills, pool resources and have an impact on their community.

Want to help grow something great? Powell Park Community Garden offers 4’ x 8’ rental plots ($25 per season, which can be reduced based on need) as well as shared communal plots. Email powellparkcommunitygarden@gmail.com for more details.