Community garden, garden, gardening, health, physical health, physical activity, mental health, community, community cohesion, diet, fresh foods, food insecurity, food desert, central florida, orange county
Recently, research on community gardens and their benefits to health and community has become very popular. However, this influx of research has failed to investigate challenges to successful community gardening. Some articles examine issues between community gardeners and the land owners, but other than these conflicts community garden challenges, like lack of participation and quality leadership, have not been discussed in the literature (Draper and Freedman, 2010). To allow future gardens to be as successful as possible it is important to identify potential obstacles. Additionally, it is just as important to continue to examine possible benefits, for example, physical activity and health benefits of community gardening and the breadth of community issues possibly addressed by community gardeners. Continuing to research on community will allow for more successful gardens and encourage funding for these programs. This study examines how food insecurity, health and community cohesion issues can be affected by community gardens in Central Florida. It also investigates challenges community gardens often face. To do this I conducted structured interviews with community gardeners and semi-structured interviews with community garden leaders at several gardens throughout Orange County, Florida. The results show that community gardens have several benefits including increased consumption of fresh produce, improved physical activity, mental health and community cohesion. However, gardens are not without difficulties. About a third of the gardeners and the majority of the leaders said that lack of participation was a challenge they faced.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Hanson, Brittany Minnick, "Growing Health: Community Gardens And Their Effects On Diet, Physical And Mental Health And Community" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2203.