In cities across the country, most community gardens are divided up into individual plots. It means if some of your neighbors start shirking their responsibilities, it’s not really your problem.
In Detroit, 400 or 500 new community gardens have started over the past 10 years. Almost all of them are communal. Ashley Atkinson, director of Urban Agriculture and Open Space for a nonprofit called The Greening of Detroit, says people meet their neighbors at the gardens. “That’s really, really, beneficial in a city like Detroit, where neighbors are more and more isolated, as crime goes up and people feel less safe. It’s important for people to be outside getting to know each other, particularly elders and young people,” she says.