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Low Income Apartments - Gardens - Coaches - Community

Gardens in low income subsidized apartment with garden coaches.

Photo of Julie Howe
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There are hundreds of thousands of subsidized low income apartments throughout our country. Only a very small handful have gardens despite having plenty of land that is otherwise mowed and costs money to maintain.

The land is available.

These apartments house our low income children and their families face the common problem of buying poor quality food because that is what they know and can afford.

The children that live here are the most vulnerable.

It is time to make gardening a community way of life in our subsidized low income apartment communities. By using garden coaches to help children and adults learn the joy and benefits of gardening, we begin to improve upon quality of life for residents!...meeting and building friendships with neighbors, healthy food to supplement a small food budget, increased physical activity, getting outside into fresh air, sharing a bounty with a neighbor....

Please read the attached file for a more indepth story about this concept.

Age of kids. The solutions to changing kids’ eating behaviors will vary depending on their age. What works for a toddler won’t necessarily fly for a teenager, although we suspect some concepts might be appropriate for all ages—even adults! Which age bracket does your concept address (tick all relevant boxes)?

  • Pre-school (Tots) 2-4
  • Elementary (Kids) 5-10
  • Middle school (Tweens) 11-13
  • High school (Teens) 14 -18
  • Young adults 18-21

Hurdles to success. Helping kids make smarter food choices comes with a variety of hurdles that have to be addressed in order for a design solution to be successful, which of these do you think that your Concept overcomes (tick all relevant boxes)?

  • Expense and Convenience
  • Peer Pressure
  • Lack of Knowledge

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Photo of Chandra Shekhar

Photo of Franziska Luh

I think this idea uses the right lever to solve a big part of the identified problem.

Photo of DeletedUser


This has the added benefit of creating community ties, and therefore a support network between parents to help each other stick to a change in diet. The relationships created could be a spur to other community efforts.

Photo of DeletedUser


Definitely a good idea I'm tryin to pull off in Portugal, hope u guys can find a way to get a go at it in the us.. also think about bringing school children to these community gardens, specially if there are elders involved.. It'll be a beautiful sight I promise.. A community garden tied to a school also helps bounding the school and the work that's done there to the community therefore it should also help in reducing drop out cases.. I'm hoping my project will also open up teachers mind to get into some more field work from farming to composting it provides a valuable experience driven opportunity for teachers to step outside their classroom and make classes much more interesting specially in the Science related classes and I'm hoping in a few (well maybe longer than I'd hope for) it'll become standard in any science class of any level of teaching.
Once again best of luck!

Photo of Julie Francis

The organisation Cultivating Community, in Australia, does community gardening with low income apartments in Melbourne.

Photo of Vincent Cheng

Nice story & focus on where "food landscaping" could do a lot of good!