Derived from our research project literature review…
Participating in community gardening can bring people an array of positive health benefits. The benefits can be viewed in three different categories, physical, mental and nutritional. Jobs around community gardens are versatile and can accommodate anyone’s level of fitness. People often find the gardens as an important break from the city, a chance to deepen their connection with nature and relax. The access to nutritional food is of course also a plus and knowing where it comes from and how it is grown. This is particularly important for communities with less access to good food.
Common impact areas for quantitative health impacts from community gardening include Physical, Mental and Nutritional Health benefits.
Typical measures for physical health benefits can include the number of people involved in gardening practice as well as cumulative and average hours of those involved.
Mental health measures can include the number of programs that approach mental health as well as the number of participants that address mental health as part of their gardening practice.
Nutritional health measures can be the number of people eating produce from the garden, awareness of where consumed produce comes from and comparisons of those eating fresh produce as compared to others they live with.
Perception of physical and mental health improvements from participants involved in community garden are valuable qualitative measures and can be assessed through surveys and one on one interviews.
- Alaimno, K., Packnett, E., Miles, R., & Kruger, D. (2008). Fruit and Vegetables Intake among Urban Community Gardeners. Nutrition Education and Behaviour, 94-101.
- Amrstrong, D. (2000). A survey of community gardens in upstate New York: Implications for health promotion and community development. Health and Place, 319-327.
- Earle, M. (2011). Cultivating Health: Community Gardening as a Public Health Intervention. Wellington: The University of Otago.
- Kinglsey, J., Townsend, M., & Henderson-Wilson, C. (2009). Cultivating health and wellbeing: members’ perceptions of the health benefits of a Port Melbourne community garden. Leisure Studies, 207-219.
- Kuo, F., & Taylor, A. (2004). A potential natural treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence from a national study. American Journal of Public Health, 1580-1586.
- Wakefeild, S., Yeudall, F., Taron, C., Reynolds, J., & Skinner, A. (2007). Growing Urban Health: Community Gardening in South-East Toronto. Oxford University Press.
To explore these impacts areas and measures in more detail look to the full Literature Review report further on this site.