Syracuse Grows Community Garden
The Syracuse Grows Community Gardens is a city- wide network of 25 community gardens that aims to establish community engagement by providing “advocacy, programming, education, and resources to support food justice and community development”. It was started on the basis of promoting ecological sustainability and providing the local community with access to fresh foods. In an urban setting, a community garden such as Syracuse Grows , allows for the communal population to have access to an alternative food way that does not only include corner stores or the conventional food system. By implementing this program in an area that faces low household budgets, inaccessibility to fresh/organic produce and that relies heavily on the ability to reach a location, the community garden greatly impacts the local food system.
There is no specific location for Syracuse Grows. All the Gardens are located throughout the city of Syracuse and the locations of the other gardens are based on where the participants, contributors, and members are positioned. Depending on their location gardeners identify a place for their garden individually, yet still retain collaborative efforts with the surrounding gardens in the Syracuse Community. There are currently 20+ affiliating gardens that are geared towards engaging the syracuse community through urban agriculture. Each provides the community with an alternative way to receive fresh produce and be educated on where and how their food is produced.
Membership relies on the interest of the individual. In order to become a member of Syracuse Grows Community Garden one may be interested not only in promoting a better community but also some of the following :
- Almost all community gardens are very affordable. In order to join people pay a small fee, but most gardens allow membership for free.
- People share knowledge. Some gardeners have experience planting while others do not. By collaborating this allows for people to share knowledge and get better understanding of gardening.
- The food. It is probably one of the main reasons why people join the community garden. Community garden is the abundant fresh food resource.
- Shared interest and making new friends. Community garden is probably one of the best places where people create social bonds and meet new friends by the interests.
It is very exciting that people’s interest in food in the Syracuse Community keeps increasing. Community members have become more concerned about the food they eat and where is comes from. This spring there was an addition of four more community gardens in Syracuse Grows coalition which is a big step in enforcing a communal effort in regards to food production.