Shiloh’s Community Garden Project connects people to their community and nature by introducing them to a sustainable organic system of locally grown food through our community garden and hands-on educational courses for beginning farmers and gardeners of all ages.

The philosophy behind Shiloh’s community garden is therapeutic to one’s soul. We will teach people how to ground and work with the land to discover the basic structure of a garden to table healthy sustainable organic lifestyle. Children and adults are encouraged to be part of the project to learn gardening, urban farming and a healthy eating lifestyle. Through social interaction with members and community programs, we embrace social ties and build a greater sense of belonging.

Our community garden aims to improve dietary habits through fresh garden to table education and assist in mental and physical health activity while getting your hands in the soil and connecting to mother earth.

Community gardens have benefited members of communities for years as a place where they can connect with nature (which has been proven to improve well-being and mental health) while saving money on healthy food that they have grown alongside others and where everyone is welcomed. Community gardening has been identified as a way of improving health and well-being from an ecological public health perspective.

Community gardening is communal and collective in nature and cuts across ages, genders and cultures. Participation in community gardening has been linked to economic and ecological benefits, improve health, well-being, social, sustainable outcomes at an individual and planetary scale. This is because community gardens and other forms of gardening provide affordable and convenient fresh food, horticulture therapy and learning environments that improve academic performance, social interaction, and respite. Working with nature gives a sense of peace and purpose within ourselves that we can take back to our homes and families, whereas we share our learning, we ignite others with the same desire for self-reliance, self-worth, self-empowerment and self-love.

Wellbeing is more than the absence of disease; it encompasses optimal physical and mental functioning with resilience, positive emotional experiences and overall life satisfaction (Huppert and So, 2013). Wellbeing is important to consider in the context of community gardens because while wellbeing may not be the intended end goal of community gardens, many of the outcomes of community garden participation positively influence wellbeing.

Despite the lack of universal consensus on the potential for community gardening to promote community and collective action, it is widely recognized that they represent a cost-effective strategy for healthy public policy. This is because community gardens reduce urban decay and food insecurities, address social and economic stress, increase healthy food choices, promote regular exercise, social interaction and builds trust.

The community garden will provide the community with a source of exercise, friendship, stimulation and relaxation. Garden produce will be used for healthy communal lunches and dinners while the surplus crops will be offered to the community. Preservation of food is an essential part of our lifestyle and Back to Basic Program.


COMMUNITY GARDEN GROUP

We will establish a community garden group of volunteers that will meet once a week to work the ground and tend to the organic vegetables that are grown for our centre and community families.

One of the first upcoming permaculture courses offered at Shiloh

Permaculture Gardening
Community Garden – Design. Create. Grow. Eat
Facilitator: Rory Fogerty
https://permakai.nz

Introduction to Permaculture
The one-day course will help equip you to apply holistic permaculture design principles to everyday life in order to create a more sustainable and resilient you. The programme consists of:

  • Philosophy and ethics behind permaculture
  • The 12 design Principles and how these can be applied in practice
  • Importance zones and sectors in designing your paradise
  • Patterns in nature and what these tell us
  • Creating home garden abundance through use of species, companion planting, repelling pests, stacking and nurse cropping, biodiversity
  • Where to go from here

Children and adults are encouraged to be part of the project to learn gardening, urban farming and a healthy eating lifestyle. Through social interaction with members and community programs, we embrace social ties and build a greater sense of belonging.

The day will be a lively, participatory and thought provoking experience with Rory Fogerty, owner of Permakai, a permaculture market garden in Waiuku, and energy behind the local food movement openfoodnetwork.org.nz

In the garden we will inspire to offer an Earth Building Project to create a pizza oven. Who doesn’t love delicious wood-fired oven pizza? NO ONE!

We will create & build an exterior earth-built pizza oven in our garden as part of our sustainable community projects and fun community events. We want to offer weekly gatherings where we share a meal and conversation with the community we serve.