Eat Well in Long Beach: Join a Community Garden
The benefits of growing your own food are vast. Not only is it an affordable solution to improving your diet, but it’s also a great way to stay active and soak up some vitamin D. However, not everyone has a yard equipped for a garden. And sometimes container gardens just won’t cut it.
One solution is to seek out a community garden. Community gardens vary widely throughout the world. In North America, community gardens range from familiar “victory garden” areas where people grow small plots of vegetables, to large “greening” projects to preserve natural areas, to tiny street beautification planters on urban street corners. Some grow only flowers, others are nurtured communally and their bounty shared.
Fortunately, Long Beach has a great selection of community gardens where you can dig in the dirt, grown your own food, and get to know other fellow gardeners in your community.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best community gardens in and around Long Beach:
Long Beach Organic Community Gardens
This non-profit organization has six community gardens in Long Beach. Plots of land are rented out for a small fee on a six month basis from March to August and September to February. There may be a wait list so claim your spot early.
Organized by the above non-profit, this community garden functions as a co-op in which the community works together on one large garden. The work is divided equally, as is the produce. This is a great option for those who would like to get to know other like minded people in their community.
Cambodian Seniors Gardening Project
This gardening program was started in 2006 with the goal of initiating gardening to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among senior citizens. Long Beach has the largest population of Cambodians in the U.S., so this garden also caters to growing plants native to Cambodia.
1st and Elm Community Garden
This community garden is free! Check out their Facebook page for more information.
Long Beach Community Garden at El Dorado Park
This 8.5 acre site is located next to the El Dorado Nature Center and has 300 plots available for rent. Contact Joan Criswell at (562) 598-4076 for more information.
Edison Gardens in Seal Beach
Located in College Park West, Edison Park offers a special section for community gardeners. Call (562) 431-2527 Ext. 1307 for more information or to reserve a plot.
No matter where you live in Long Beach, there’s a community garden nearby. The urban garden movement is ever expanding and the city of Long Beach is clearly on board! Take advantage of this opportunity and join a local garden in time to reap the benefits of summer produce.