Small-scale gardening to combat hunger and to improve public health

I feel really proud when reading the page below in the “NIOU-NIEUWS”, a Dutch publication of the Comittee Maastricht-Niou.

This Comittee, created in the Dutch city of Maastricht, is already setting up different development programmes to combat desertification and to alleviate poverty for more than 2 decades  in Burkina Faso, not only in the village of Niou (Kourweogo Province), but also in many other villages, like Méguet-Zorgho.

I feel proud because I had this fantastic opportunity to participate with my team of the University of Ghent (Belgium) in the realization of the first small-scale community gardens for women and in some reforestation projects.  These community gardens, family gardens and school gardens not only provide fresh food, full of vitamins and mineral elements, but they also contribute to the improvement of public health, in particular that of the local children.

It cannot be denied anymore that one can easily solve the hunger problem of this world by creating small-scale gardens (community gardens, family gardens, school gardens, hospital gardens, etc.) in the drylands.

Food insecurity can be easily banned from all the drylands, if only the decision could be taken to spend less money on flying costly food from the developed countries to the developing ones, and to spend more on the promotion of small-scale farming or gardening. “Don’t bring food to this women, teach her how to grow it” !

It seems that the European Union is convinced of this, seen the financial resources recently offered to demonstration projects in five countries (see a former posting).

Let us that hope we are at a decisive turning point in the policies, heading for a better future through small-scale farming and gardening.

2009-06 : Een bladzijde uit het juni-nummer van het NIOU-NIEUWS
2009-06 : Een bladzijde uit het juni-nummer van het NIOU-NIEUWS

2009 Maastr. Groententuinen tekst

Gardening connects community (Google / Coloradoan)

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Gardening connects community

Michelle Provaznik

Community gardening has become an important grassroots movement across the country. So much so, that next week is National Community Gardening Week as proclaimed by Thomas Vilsack, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The benefits of community gardening are many:

> They can transform desolate, vacant land into functional and beautiful spaces that enhance the neighborhood.

> Gardening is recognized as a terrific form of exercise and connects people to their local environment.

> Growing healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables can improve diets and reduce food costs for families.

> Encourages local consumption, which can help conserve our natural resources.

> Builds community relationships.
Continue reading Gardening connects community (Google / Coloradoan)

Brasil : CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER: COMMUNITY GARDENS (H. D. TEMP, Organização Cidades sem Fome)

Dear Sirs,

The purpose of our contact is requesting your authorization so that we may send you information on a social inclusion project carried out in impoverished outskirts of Brazilian metropolises named


This project targets the utilization of unused public or private urban land on which vegetable and fruit gardens are implemented by a local population, with a view to providing destitute communities with work opportunities, professional capacity building and income generation through the selling of the produce harvested. Additionally, it aims at combating malnutrition and improving the quality of life of such communities through their access to healthy and nutritional foods, in addition to promoting the communities‚ environmental improvement.

The Organization Cities without Hunger pursues, both in the national and international ambits, resources to develop its projects, from the private sector, government agencies and foster agencies associated with consulates and embassies. The Organization Cities without Hunger has no political partisan or religious ties. Thus, we would appreciate your studying the feasibility of sponsoring or financially supporting our project.

For further information, please visit our home page at
where the project is described in detail.

We are very grateful for your interest in a project that has been helping poor communities to raise their food security levels and living conditions.

Yours faithfully,

Hans Dieter Temp
Project Coordinator
Organização Cidades sem Fome

A community garden in Saginaw Township (Google / mLive)

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Book “Seedfolks” inspires plans for a community garden in Saginaw Township

by Janet I. Martineau | The Saginaw News

Saturday January 31, 2009

From a tiny paperback book, the seeds of a large-scale community project are sewing.

“We hope people read about this and say, ‘Cool. I want a patch to plant,'” says Colleen M. Carty.

The idea taking root is a community garden on a piece of property owned by Saginaw Township. Flowers and vegetables growing there, planted by all ages and cultural backgrounds in the changing township, within the shadow of the new paved walking/running path from Shattuck to McCarty. Continue reading A community garden in Saginaw Township (Google / mLive)

Community gardening through the eyes of one man (Google / Examiner)

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Community gardening through the eyes of one man

November 13, 12:01 PM
by Doug Resh, Phoenix Food Examiner

In 2001 the Phoenix Revitalization Corporation (PRC) received a grant from the State of Arizona – Department of Economic Security to fund four community gardens within the Central City South neighborhood, giving new life to this area. Community gardens are defined as a facilitated set of activities leading to neighborhood beautification, community organizing, food security, preservation of cultural traditions, and building community satisfaction by contributing to friendlier, more cohesive neighborhoods. Continue reading Community gardening through the eyes of one man (Google / Examiner)

Community garden interest is alive, growing (Google / Caller)

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Community garden interest is alive, growing

By Mike Baird (Contact)

TroubleShooter Mike Baird: 10.20.08

— Sprouting your own vegetables could be one way to hedge the problem of climbing food prices. Community gardens allow folks to share the spoils of area soils, and gardening experts, farm growers and city leaders are poised to help. “As much as tomatoes cost in the store, they are tasteless and hard,” said Wynona Woolsey, a member of the Lantana Garden Club. The Troubleshooter met with the group Wednesday for input to help facilitate the development of 100 community gardens. Portland, Ore., is one of the most prosperous community gardening cities in the nation, with more than 50 of them. About 17 active garden club ladies are searching their sheds for duplicate garden tools, and leafing through resource books to help provide Troubleshooter tips to share with readers interested in volunteering or digging their own patch. Continue reading Community garden interest is alive, growing (Google / Caller)


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News from New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets

For more information contact: Jessica Chittenden, 518-457-3136


Announcement Made at First Statewide Community Garden Summit at SUNY New Paltz

ALBANY, NY (07/25/2008; 1453)(readMedia)– Governor David A. Paterson and Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced a new grant program that will strengthen community gardens. The Community Gardens Capacity Building Grants Program will improve access to fresh local produce, help New Yorkers reduce their food budgets, preserve open space, and provide a cleaner, healthier environment by supporting community gardens throughout New York State. Continue reading New York : STATE ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY GARDENS (Google / readMEDIANewswire)

Unconventional and Conventional Urban Planting (Google / Weburbanist)

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5 Different Types of Gardening: Unconventional and Conventional Urban Planting

Written by Urbanist on July 9th, 2008 / Many nice pictures !

There’s no doubt that growing plants is a rewarding way to beautify our indoor and outdoor spaces, and gardening is increasing more in popularity with each year that passes. While you may associate gardening mostly with standard residential or commercial landscaping, there are actually many different types of gardening that encompass various styles, techniques, locations and types of plants. Here are 5 different types of gardening that illustrate how varied this age-old pastime really is.

Container Gardening

Gardening in containers rather than the open ground opens up a whole new world of growing plants, allowing the gardener to bring plants inside during the cold season and use all sorts of vessels to contain them. With containers, even gardeners living in urban apartments can grow food, herbs, flowers and foliage in sunny windows or on balconies and rooftops. Container gardening eliminates the problems of weeds, most soil-borne diseases and gives the gardener ultimate control over moisture, sunlight and temperature.

Container gardening provides the perfect opportunity to recycle used household and industrial items that may otherwise have ended up in a landfill, from an old boot to a porcelain pitcher or even a bathtub.

Containers of plants can be grown indoors, outdoors, in conservatories or greenhouses. They can stand alone or be arranged in groups to provide maximum aesthetic appeal, varying the height, color and texture of the plants as well as that of the containers to achieve visual balance.

Raised Bed Gardening

Like container gardening, raised bed gardening allows the gardener to have total control over the soil being used to grow plants. Since raised beds are actually freestanding structures, typically made of wood, stone or concrete, the quality of the soil beneath them doesn’t have an effect on the results. Raised beds allow gardeners to grow a variety of ornamental, edible and medicinal plants on top of even the most barren surfaces, from rock-hard clay to concrete slabs. They also provide better drainage, keep the soil warmer and require less maintenance than traditional gardens.

Raised beds are often made of planks of wood screwed or nailed together in sizes typically ranging from 3’ x 8’ to 5’ x 20’. Leaving the width of the bed relatively small enables the gardener to reach inside to care for plants, preventing the need to step on and compact the soil. Beds are usually 8 inches to 3 feet in height, depending on the needs of the plants being grown. Raised bed gardens are filled with good quality soil mixed with compost and rotted manure.

Raised beds are especially well suited for disabled or elderly gardeners, since they can be built high enough for one to remain seated comfortably while gardening, eliminating strain on the joints and spine.

Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardening brings the beauty of nature inside, all year long. Many people grow houseplants for the visual benefits, but they also act to purify the air, drawing in airborne pollutants as part of the photosynthetic process. Houseplants can significantly improve air quality, especially in newer buildings that are completely airtight.

Common houseplants that help purify the air include English ivy, spider plant, golden pothos, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, bamboo or reed palm, snake plant, heartleaf philodendron, dracaena and weeping fig.

Caring for houseplants is easy even for the most inexperienced of gardeners. The plants rarely require much more than the recommended levels of sunlight and water.

Water Gardening

Water gardens can be made up of any vessel that contains water – from a pond or half-barrel to a an old bathtub or watertight planter.


Community Gardening

Community gardens are public spaces where you can typically rent a plot of land to plant ornamental, edible and medicinal plants as you like. Not only do community gardens provide access to fresh produce, they beautify neighborhoods, give a sense of community and connection to the environment. Some community gardens are tended communally, allowing everyone who helps out in the garden to have a share of its bounty.

These gardens help bring food production back to the individual, regardless of personal access to land for growing plants. Community gardens aren’t just for growing fruit and vegetables, though. Many community gardens are made up of native plants, herb and butterfly gardens and/or purely ornamental plants, often as a setting for sculptures and other art displays.

There are an estimated 18,000 community gardens in the United States and Canada. If you don’t have one near you and would like to start one, is a great place to start.

About container gardeningand community gardens (Google / Gardening Bookmark)

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Understanding Container Gardening

“Container Gardening”

If you are a garden lover, but have no space for your gardening appetite, don’t worry gardening is not necessarily out of your reach. In the available space of your house say balcony, patio, deck, or sunny window, you can create a container gardening, which will not only bring you joy but also vegetables. So, are you ready to start container gardening yourself… In the past, gardening is an exclusive realm of the landowner. Nowadays even the flat dweller can grow his dream garden without having any fuss. One’s dream can be fulfilled by container gardening, which means the gardening in a special container. Container gardening gives delights of landscape without weekly mowing. In the container, you can raise some perennials, annuals, and even shrubs and small trees. Continue reading About container gardeningand community gardens (Google / Gardening Bookmark)

Community gardening : City garden grows in many ways (Google / UticaOD)

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City garden grows in many ways

Posted Jun 08, 2008 @ 08:23 AM
Last update Jun 09, 2008 @ 08:23 AM


A group of refugees from Russia, Bosnia, Somalia and Belarus spent several hours Thursday morning at the community garden located at the F.X. Matt/Adrean Terrace/N.D. Peters housing complex in East Utica, replanting bean, onion, pepper and tomato plants originally planted in Hamilton College’s greenhouse. The event marked the final step in a year-long effort to establish a working flower and vegetable garden for the housing complex residents. The garden is representative of many successful endeavors in Utica made possible through the coordinated effort and generosity of business, government, foundation and educational entities as well as individual citizens. Continue reading Community gardening : City garden grows in many ways (Google / UticaOD)