Nine years ago, the first Prague community garden was established in Holešovice. Today, there are almost sixty of them in various parts of the capital.
In June, two new ones opened in Kobylisy and Vypich. People use city gardens to grow their own vegetables, compost, and meet like-minded people.
Growing fruits, herbs, or vegetables and taking care of plants can have enormous benefits on people’s physical and mental well-being while also creating green spaces for whole neighborhoods.
This is why community gardens keep growing in their popularity among Praguers. In 2017, there were 24 of them in the capital, two years later the number was at 42, and today it has increased to 56.
“In the beginning, only residents of neighborhoods were interested, but now the city districts and different companies are also involved,” says Radka Pokorná, director of the Kokoza association that helps create community gardens.
The interest in community gardens is also noticed by the municipality, which encourages similar activities. “Community gardens are valuable for a city dense with buildings, each green area has a great benefit for the microclimate and ultimately for the mental well-being of its residents,” says Vít Hofman, a spokesman for the Prague City Hall.
Community gardens, which are now being created throughout the country, can take many forms. MetroFarm on Císařský ostrov is a different type of community garden that also includes a farm.
On the banks of the Vltava river, people can take care of plants and animals and even adopt a hen. For many, these types of spaces provide a compromise between living in a big city while also craving quieter village life.
Besides providing opportunities to compost biowaste and grow food, community gardens are great for meeting neighbors and like-minded people.
These spaces are appropriate for both experienced gardeners and beginners, especially since most tools and equipment are shared.
Many families also see it as an opportunity to educate their children about growing food, taking care of plants, and being eco-friendly from an early age.