Rebel Gardening: Turning a Single Seed into a Movement

Community gardens, also known as neighborhood gardens, are public spaces where urban agriculture is practiced. These gardens are managed by the community itself, with residents of the neighborhood or town taking an active role in their development and maintenance.

Community gardens can be found in various locations, including public parks, schools, church yards, and vacant lots. Their primary goal is to grow fruits, vegetables, aromatic herbs, and medicinal plants for the consumption of the participants themselves.

However, community gardens go beyond simply producing food. They also foster social interaction among neighbors, promote environmental care and education, and contribute to the food security of the community.

In La Plata, Argentina, a community garden called “El Campito” has become a hub of activity. Emiliana Gallo, a social worker, and Facundo Cagni, a student of agricultural sciences, started the garden as a way to bring people together and promote sustainable living. They began by transplanting a few plants from Emiliana’s parents’ yard to a corner of a public square.

As the garden grew, so did its popularity. Neighbors began to join in, and the garden became a place where people could come together to grow their own food and connect with one another. The garden has also become a symbol of community empowerment, with residents taking ownership of the space and working together to maintain it.

Gloria Sammartino, an anthropologist specializing in food issues, notes that community gardens have always been an important part of human development. She sees the rise of community gardens as a response to the commodification of food and the loss of self-sufficiency in society.

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For Emiliana and Facundo, the garden is not just a place to grow food, but also a space for creativity, art, and community building. They believe that by working together to grow their own food, people can reclaim their power and take control of their own lives.

As Vandana Shiva once said, “There is nothing more subversive than planting a seed and producing food.” Community gardens like “El Campito” are a testament to the power of small actions and the potential for change that can be achieved through collective effort.

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