Top Community Gardens In South Florida

July 4, 2016 8:00 AM

Also known as “La Florida,” South Florida is known for its amazing gardens, fabulous flowers or amazing horticulture. In fact, South Florida is the only area in the United States to have a moist, tropical climate. That said, we are able to produce fruits and vegetables that are genuinely “tropic” and grow popular fruits and vegetables much to be more flavorful than anywhere else. This amazing sunshine does not hurt, and the humidity could not be better!

Just a few years ago, many had never heard of a community garden. And, now, there are reported to be more than two dozen community gardens found in South Florida alone. The community gardens in our area were initially started to help low-income families gain access to quality produce at a low price. The ability to grow quality fruit and vegetables organically drew in other crowds.

Gardening is a therapy and eating the “fruit” of your own labor is an amazing reward. City sanctions prohibit gardening in some sections of Florida. Community gardening makes self-contained farming available to those crowds. Whether to actually grow or to purchase produce, we strongly encourage you to check out some of the top community gardens in South Florida.

PATCH | Dania Beach
1201 West Dania Beach Boulevard
Dania Beach, Florida 33004
(954) 924-6801
www.thepatchgarden.com

With the mission of “eliminate blight and improve quality of life by providing green spaces in urban residential/mixed use districts,” PATCH is the “people’s access to community horticulture.” Revitalizing the neighborhood and enhancing community healthy, the Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (DBCRA) and the City of Dania Beach gained a $35K grant from the Broward Regional Health Planning Council and built a wondrous community garden. One of the largest community gardens in Broward County, this now beautiful and prospering garden replaced an eyesore of a dumpsite within the city. Community members are allowed to hold 1 to 100+ plots.

The garden hosts a weekly farmer’s market on Saturdays, featuring vendors selling locally produced goods and resell-approved food items. Local small businesses and charities are also encouraged to get involved. Within the community, the organization is dedicated to promoting healthy living through partnerships and educational STEM programs with local schools.

The North Lauderdale Community Garden
Located at: Southwest 74th Terrace
701 SW 71st Avenue
North Lauderdale, Florida 33068
(954) 722-0900
www.nlauderdale.org

Cultivating edible and organic plants, these gardens have been a blessing to the community who’s ultimate goal was to “foster community cohesiveness while improving resident diets and providing opportunities for outdoor activity.” Originally built in 2011, the gardens relocated in 2014 upon receiving funding from the Sow it Forward Grand and Grow Your Park Grants from National Recreation and Park Associations and Darden Restaurants.

The garden has since impacted the local community, buffing out eye sores from the region and beautifying North Lauderdale like it has never been beautified before. Gardening lessons are taught on premise to improve the community gardens and to empower the young gardeners of tomorrow. Outdoor classrooms engage students in basic botany and environmental science.

North Lauderdale’s commitment to environmental sustainability requires that all supplies are recycle-able or biodegradable. They also encourage the growing of crops without the use of chemicals or pesticides.

The Need To Feed, Inc.
399 SW 3rd Ave.
Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441
(954) 849-5194
www.needtofeedinc.org

Broward County is said to have over 287 thousand households who are facing food insecurity — lacking access to the necessary quantities and/or qualities of food in leading a more active, healthier lifestyle. Since 2012, The Need for Feed, Inc. has been working to solve this issue, growing food for donation to food pantries in Deerfield Beach, Pompano, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. Not only have they served fresh dinners to over 8,000 community members, but they have held over 3,000 cooking demonstrations and led over 600 others to doing the same at home. Cooking demonstrations offer insight to cooking on a budget.

They also have a farmer’s market that works in continued efforts of making quality produce available for public consumption. With a mobile farmer’s market, The Need to Feed provides access to produce even in areas where it might not otherwise be found — bringing the store to those who can’t otherwise get to it.

Related: Top Botanical Gardens In Miami

Eat Real Food Community Garden | Marando Farms
1401 SW 1st Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315
(954) 294-2331
www.marandofarms.com

Dedicated to “saving Florida’s farms and ranch lad,” Marando Farms “promotes healthy farming practices and supports both farms and farmers.” They seek to ensure the availability of fresh food, while contributing to a stronger economy.

With a community garden of 16 raised bed garden plots, split by 10×10 and 5×10 plots, the farms enable families and businesses to grow fresh fruit and veggies and even encourages donation to community good backs and non-profit organizations within the area. The farm also gives community gardeners access to non-plot related items, such as fresh eggs and honey shares.

The farms offer field trips and a petting farm, which houses abandoned animals – providing them with clean living environments and strongly improving their quality of life. Children are inspired to live healthier lifestyles, be active and fall in love with nature.

Miramar Community Garden
3700 Largo Drive
Miramar, Florida 33023
(954) 602-3270
www.facebook.com/MiramarCommunityGarden1

Located in a historic section of the city, the garden is recognized as an award-winning “micro urban farm,” offering locals with the opportunity to grow fresh, organic produce and plants, while educating on the importance of healthy living. Here, visitors are not just becoming one with nature, they are connecting as a united force in the building and maintaining of a community garden that feeds its members with over 7,400 square feet in fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Touring the gardens, you will get to see composting stations, drip irrigation, fending, a wildflower garden for pollination, fruit trees, planter bags and rain barrels.

Related: South Florida’s Top Gourmet Markets

Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan is the owner of Shorty Produkshins in Orlando, Florida, and specializes in Social Branding and Public Relations for both the Professional Services Industry and Entertainment Business. Over the last 13 years, she has worked with many publications and has created branded content for multiple organizations, Globally. BrandSocial.me

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