Check out this exciting research from Jill Litt, Ph.D (University of Colorado Denver) on community gardeners: The Influence of Social Involvement, Neighborhood Aesthetics, and Community Garden Participation on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption.
Here’s some of the highlights:
- “Community gardens may provide a way to enhance neighborhood environments while also promoting health and well being through economic, social and physical changes. Gardens yield fresh food, bring ‘nature’ to urban areas, bridge ethnically, economically and age diverse communities, promote neighborhood beauty, build skills and knowledge of everyday life, strengthen community capacity and one’s sense of community, and promote active and healthy lifestyles” said Litt.
- Community gardens are affordable and accessible to people across the lifespan — regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status or educational background.
- Community gardeners cultivate relationships with their neighbors, are more involved in civic activities, stay longer in their neighborhoods, eat better and view their health more positively.
- 20 minutes of gardening a day translated to statistically higher ratings of health.
- People who garden found their neighborhoods to be safer, cleaner and more beautiful, regardless of educational and income status.
- More than 50% of gardeners meet national guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake compared to 25% of non-gardeners.
- Gardeners report they get 12 hours a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity, which is about 30% more exercise than non-gardeners get.
View the whole press release here: New research on community gardening reveals the roots of emotional and physical health