The growing popularity of community gardens in Prague

Nine years ago, Prague’s first community garden was established in Holešovice. Today, they are nearly sixty in various districts of the capital.

In June, two new ones opened in Kobylisy and Vypich. People use the city’s gardens to grow their own vegetables, compost, and meet like-minded people.

Growing fruits, herbs or vegetables and taking care of plants can have huge benefits on the physical and mental well-being of people while creating green spaces for entire neighborhoods.

This is why community gardens are steadily growing in popularity among the Praguers. In 2017, they were 24 in the capital, two years later they were 42, and today they have increased to 56.

“At first, only the inhabitants of the neighborhoods were interested, but now the neighborhoods of the city and different companies are also involved”, explains Radka Pokorná, director of the Kokoza association which helps to create community gardens.

The interest in community gardens is also noticed by the municipality, which encourages similar activities. “Community gardens are invaluable for a city dense with buildings, each green space has a great advantage for the microclimate and, ultimately, for the mental well-being of its inhabitants”, explains Vít Hofman, spokesperson for the City of Prague .

Community gardens, which are now being established across the country, can take many forms. MetroFarm on Císařský ostrov is another 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 offer a compromise between living in a big city and craving a quieter village life.

As well as providing opportunities to compost bio-waste and grow food, community gardens are great for meeting neighbors and like-minded people.

These spaces are suitable for experienced gardeners as well as beginners, especially since most of the tools and equipment are shared.

Many families also see it as an opportunity to educate their children about growing food, caring for plants and respecting the environment from an early age.

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