Pandemic Gardening: A wish for tomorrow
Findings from the national survey
Thousands of Australians are finding solace, satisfaction, delicious produce and connection to nature by growing their own food under the duress of COVID-19. This is the overwhelming message delivered by over 9000 respondents to the inaugural Pandemic Gardening survey, conducted by Sustain: The Australian Food Network, during June-July 2020.
Much like the goals of Community Greening, Sustain works for the transition to a food system that supports flourishing communities, individuals and ecosystems.
Over 70 percent of the survey respondents said growing food had significantly or greatly improved their mental health, while over 80 percent said gardening during the COVID-19 period had been very important to them.
Growing their own food was therapeutic for respondents living with or recovering from cancer, those suffering post- traumatic stress disorder and various other physical and psychological health challenges.
Respondents also said edible gardening was important to food security during the increasingly tough economic conditions, providing access to fresh fruit and vegetables without the need to go to the shops.
Gardeners benefited from the social connection of chatting with neighbours over the fence or with fellow community gardeners, although that has been curtailed in areas locked down by COVID restrictions.
A Sustain representative said, “As thousands of respondents commented, COVID-19 has provided us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move Australia in the direction of greater fairness and sustainability – and it can all start with more of us growing more of our own food.”
Our community gardeners have shared with us how gardening has improved their health and contributed their thoughts to the Sustain survey about gardening through the pandemic. Contact the Community Greening team if your wish for tomorrow is to learn more about growing food sustainably and benefiting from time spent in a garden.