„If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need“ Marcus Tullius Cicero was sure.
A simple wisdom thousands of Viennese window sill gardeners and balcony growers already seem to have realized.
Everybody does it
Nearly every grocery store in Vienna has herbs, organic seeds and fertilizers right next to the conventional vegetables aisle. Where do these myriads of tomato, rosemary or basil plants go to? There must be a micro garden in every other flat, a plantation in every neighbourhood. And even among managers and top executives, the it-gadget of the year for a fancy rooftop terrace is not a manly gas outdoor grill, but, you guessed it, raised beds for one`s own produce.
And what is it indeed that makes growing edibles so satisfying? What makes urban gardening aficionados carry home plants, herbs, soils, pots and what not?
Getting one`s hands dirty, seeing directly the effects of one`s own work may be dominant motives for most gardeners. For some it is also being outdoors and having a community to share common interests with.
Throughout Europe the number of community gardens grows and with it publicly funded spaces and programmes to plant and harvest collectively. This means, there are more and more people in urban settings who make their own flower and herb beds, their own produce, find joy by plowing through dirt with their bare hands.
Community gardens transform cities, give back life and green to stone and concrete deserts. They build stronger communities and reward their members not only with fresh produce but also with psychological benefits: gardeners are more balanced and content, they learn patience and the value of their own work.
Want to continue your read, jump over to the full article at TEDxVienna.