Congratulations, Cincinnati is the second-best city for Urban Gardening! The study from Lawn Starter considered gardening space, supplies, climate, and community in their analysis. Urban gardening has many positive benefits, but can it reduce food waste?
Does Gardening Reduce Food Waste?
Sure! Gardening can help us understand the resources and energy that go into growing, processing, transporting, and eventually disposing of food. Growing food encourages us to plan our meals ahead, properly store and preserve our food, and find responsible outlets for our waste, like composting!
Does Gardening Save Money?
If you put in the work, yes! Many gardeners’ joke that a home-grown tomato is the best, most expensive tomato you’ll ever eat. The University of Florida IFAS has a tool to help calculate the cost of growing produce per pound. While the tool helps explains the financial benefit, it doesn’t account for your time and effort. Gardening is an investment.
Does Gardening Improve Local Environments?
Yes! Urban gardening can be physically demanding, but that labor can reduce your carbon output significantly. If you decide to grow fruit trees, you’ll pull carbon from the atmosphere and contribute oxygen because trees are powerful carbon sinks!
What you grow and how you grow plays a bigger role than the distance your food travels. Transportation only accounts for 10% of food related emissions. Most of the carbon comes from altering the natural landscape and the processes required for commercial production. Urban gardening often transforms under-utilized plots of land into lush patches of vegetation without the need for heavy machinery or chemical application.
How Do I Get Started?
To learn about the local community garden community check out The Civic Garden Center, Ohio State University Extension, Master Gardeners, or from the City of Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability.
 (Ritchie, 20