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Old 03-28-2008, 08:07 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,708 times
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Hi everyone- I love to read about so many productive urban gardeners and am happy to join the site!

I am a graduate student at Boston University currently working on a project about urban women gardeners. I am wondering about your motivation to urban garden-- Is it purely for the love of gardening? Food security? Is there any sense of community activism behind it?

Whatever your reason for urban gardening, I would love to hear about it. I greatly appreciate any responses.
Thank you, thank you!
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Denver
2,970 posts, read 6,149,944 times
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I am a member of an urban garden in Denver. My boyfriend and I got a plot for many reasons, but mainly because there is nothing better than fresh, home-grown herbs, vegetables, and fruits.

Our plot was in very rough shape when we gained possession of it. It has been very rewarding these last few weeks to work with the land and get our plot in shape for planting a month from now. It is our time to relax and connect with each other, and it is really rewarding to look back and see what we have accomplished so far.

Two weeks ago we started our pepper and tomato seedlings and they are beginning to sprout, and that is exciting too.

This summer should be a lot of fun with meeting more members of our community that share our community garden, although that is not the main reason we got the plot. I am very excited about working with the earth, being in the sunshine, and watching my garden grow!
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 31,555,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanagstudent View Post
Hi everyone- I love to read about so many productive urban gardeners and am happy to join the site!

I am a graduate student at Boston University currently working on a project about urban women gardeners. I am wondering about your motivation to urban garden-- Is it purely for the love of gardening? Food security? Is there any sense of community activism behind it?

Whatever your reason for urban gardening, I would love to hear about it. I greatly appreciate any responses.
Thank you, thank you!
Well, I'm not growing veggies yet, so I'm still gardening for pleasure at this current moment, but my next step is to start growing food.

I made the step to leave a restricted HOA neighborhood to move back to a more urban, established neighborhood with no restrictions outside of city code. Part of this reason was for gardening. I wanted to have the freedom to use all of my land as I wished and if I want a potager garden in my front yard I don't want an association telling me I can't have one . So I made the move, and the next step is to build the garden.

I have a few reasons and they do resonate with what you said above:

Food Quality: I am just sickened by the food quality available in the grocery stores. The veggies might look good, but so often they are tasteless . I'm sure I can do a better job than this "dead" food sold in the store.

Food Price: Once you leave the major cities, your options for organic produce can shrink. Yes, we have a handful of health food stores in my region, and yes, the grocery stores provide some organic produce, but there is not a regular, abundant source of organic produce that is reasonably priced, so I think I can grow it myself and not feel the pinch that I would if I were to purchase all organic food.

Food Security: Yes, this figures in as well. The fallout from Peak Oil will affect every aspect of our lives, I believe, and growing our own food might become a necessity on some level at some point in the future. I want to learn to save seeds, can, etc., now before I "need" too. I know that sounds a bit apocalyptic, but really I view it more along the lines of the old Victory Gardens...it's nothing to panic about, but it is something to prepare for and the preparation can be a fun learning experience along the way.

Community Activism: I think creating an urban garden in my front yard will help promote the "coolness" factor of growing veggies . I've been eating low on the food chain for 20+ years and at times have been vegan, macrobiotic and all definitions of vegetarian, but primarily have had zero meat for 20+ years and ate a plant-based diet. I'm not one to conk people over the head and say "Eat low on the food chain!", but if I can lead by example, then I think it's something I can do to help the animals and the planet.

I also just love the idea of my own mini farm in the middle of the city!
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:21 AM
 
1,278 posts, read 3,664,335 times
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Gardening is the greatest past time of all!!!! I currenlty live in NYC, and without the public gardens here, the city would be a terrible place to live. Green space is so important to your quality of life, even if you know nothing about it.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 8,458,040 times
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I'm... well, I'm... OK, I am (well) over 50. There, I said it. That's as close as I can come to telling my age. And to be perfectly honest about it, I have never outgrown my childish desire to play in the dirt. And it's evern more fun now since I get to eat the things I've learned to grow
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:05 PM
JnR
 
Location: Central Coast, Ca
1,709 posts, read 777,299 times
Reputation: 440
I enjoy nurturing my 'babies' and watching them grow, not to mention the beauty it adds to my deck. We do live in the 'country' somewhat but have a small plot of land that is dominated by a big and beautiful oak tree. So, I cannot garden in the ground. But we have a large deck and so I container garden with veggies, herbs and flowers. I enjoy watching the bees, birds and butterflies that come to visit and I enjoy incorporating the veggies and herbs into our daily diet. I did recently add a small greenhouse to the backyard, under the oak tree, so that has expanded my gardening capabilities. I just find it relaxing and enjoyable to grow things and my husband is always amazed at the things I grow... he is so supportive!!! LOL My 2 cents....
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:24 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,530 posts, read 42,694,765 times
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I like to have something to tend. I like the smells of the dirt and the plants. I like to step outside and pick a tomato, or some herbs. Some years I don't bother, since those things are readily and cheaply available, but by the next year I miss it and do it again.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Piedmont NC
4,597 posts, read 10,225,966 times
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For me, it's one of the few things I've found that provides instant gratification. I see the fruits of my labor, even if it's something as mundane as weeding, or cutting the grass, or putting mulch on the beds.

I also love the expression, something to the effect of 'he who plants a seed beneath the sod,' and something, 'believes in God.' Lovely sentiment there, I think.


And there is an awful lot of fun in playing in the dirt! You are so right, AliceT.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:18 AM
 
Location: friendswood texas
2,489 posts, read 6,448,954 times
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I was raised in a family of gardeners, so that is part of the reason I garden. Two, I was extremely close with my grandparents who lived through the depression. They instilled in me that if you garden you will never go hungry. This will be the first year in over 5 years that I will be able to plant a vegtable garden again. (We are renting and last year hubby wouldn't let me dig up the back yard, since it looks like we will be staying in this house for awhile, He decided I could put a small raised bed in the backyard this year)

For me now cost is a major factor. When we were first married I had huge vegtable gardens. I canned and froze tons of vegtables enough to feed my family and all my aunts and cousins as well. You would not believe how much I gave away. When we moved to Ca and had to live in apts. I couldn't believe how much my grocery bills went up. It kills me everytime I have to buy vegtables. I could cut out at least 85 to a 100 dollars out of my monthly budget by having my own garden.

Lastly, I will admit I love playing in the dirt. It gives me an excuse to get outside.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga TN
2,349 posts, read 9,493,282 times
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I have always had only flower gardens until this year. I did it for cheap "dirt therapy" and the simple pleasure of flowers. Now we have a brand new veggie garden and my reasons have changed a little. I have a 4 year old and a neighbor child who are starting to learn responsibility. An edible garden is a great way to teach children all sorts of great things. My son is a veggie lover and I can't tell you the number of times we have had to run to the store for those teeny tomatoes but he is most excited about getting the cats "drunk" on home grown catnip lol I think this will be alot of fun and the children will benefit in many ways. So will my pocketbook
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