Within the broad category of agriculture explored at the Climate Town Hall meeting, many actions were outlined including: increasing local food security, localize food growing, encourage community gardening plots, and the importance of planting and farming climate appropriate crops. These actions segue nicely into today’s topic: Community Gardens in the Region of Waterloo.
The Region of Waterloo is home to nearly 60 community gardens scattered throughout the Tri-Cities and surrounding townships. For an up to date list of gardens in your area visit this website.
Community gardens in the Region of Waterloo are organized through the Community Garden Council of Waterloo Region. There, you can find a map of community gardens that exist across Waterloo Region, including a description and contact information for each garden, as well as how to start your own community garden, gardening tips, and other resources.
Community gardens are places where a community can come together with the goal of growing a variety of fresh produce, herbs, and flowers with individual or shared plots of land available for rent. Community gardens can help individuals of all ages contribute to a healthy lifestyle while benefiting the community they live in through providing fresh and affordable produce, reducing food insecurity, and connecting people to nature. Growing your own food in a community garden also helps to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions based on how far your food travels from its point of origin to your home.
Today, using a quick Google search, I calculated the distance that a few things in my fridge have traveled from where they were grown. The results were startling! Using the example of romaine lettuce that I purchased uncharacteristically from the grocery store I found that my package of romaine had traveled approximately 4,156km from California to Waterloo. That doesn’t include the distance the vegetable may have traveled from farm to packaging, packaging to warehouse, and then warehouse to grocery store. In the Waterloo Region, even if you were gardening in Cambridge and lived in Elmira, you would be travelling less than 50km to your food. Just some food for thought!
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