The Princeton Environmental Institute has published an interesting and timely article about home gardening which comes to a conclusion many gardening enthusiasts can confirm: Growing your own food at home is a meaningful, highly rewarding and emotionally enriching activity.
The article is entitled:
This comes from a study published in Landscape and Urban Planning Volume 198, June 2020, 103776, entitled:
The researchers found that home gardening was among the top five activities in terms of how meaningful an activity felt to people while engaging in it. Below is a brief synopsis including quotes from the two sources.
“It is noteworthy that gardening is consistently among the top five activities associated with high average net affect, average happiness, and average meaningfulness scores as well as the frequency in experiencing peak meaningfulness.”
And not all home gardening achieved the same results. Food production specifically excelled” “In addition, whether people gardened alone or with others made no difference, and people who kept vegetable gardens reported a higher level of average emotional well-being than people who worked in ornamental gardens.”
“The high levels of meaningfulness that respondents reported while gardening might be associated with producing one’s own food,” Ambrose said. “The boost to emotional well-being is comparable to other leisure activities that currently get the lion’s share of infrastructure investment. These findings suggest that, when choosing future well-being projects to fund, we should pay just as much attention to household gardening.”
“This study thus suggests that cities consider investments supporting household gardening as they consider other ways to enhance urban livability.”
“These results raise interesting equity questions on which activities to invest for creating more livable and equitable cities, because our findings indicate that household gardening was the only activity that disproportionately benefited women and low-income participants.”
“Therefore, household vegetable gardening should be considered amongst other livability investments, such as biking and walking infrastructure, in cities. Additionally, backyard gardening alone may provide EWB benefits similar to the purported EWB benefits of community gardens, thus both should be considered as cities address livability investments.”
“The results suggest that household gardens could be key to providing food security in urban areas and making cities more sustainable and livable.”
According to the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, which some 209 cities worldwide have now joined, “Increasing the amount of urban agriculture is listed as one among several key strategies that can contribute to food security, livelihoods and livability in urban areas.”
In these uncertain times, addressing the issues of food sovereignty and food security, while improving the daily lives of our cities’ inhabitants, particularly the poor and disadvantaged/discriminated sectors of society, is a goal we should put more focus, effort, and resources into.
Let’s get gardening! Let us know in the comments what foods you are growing at home, in your community garden, or, if you are lucky enough to have a nearby plot of land like we do, on your own little farm.
We’d love to have your feedback. Together we can build the community we envision.