Give a person a fish, they’ll eat for a day. Teach a person to garden, and the whole neighborhood gets tomatoes. It’s an old saying with a unique—but equally true—twist.
Our mission is to end malnutrition for good. So, while solving immediate food shortage issues is important to us, we also look to the future and try to tackle these obstacles before they arise. It’s why we put so much effort into sustainable, long-term programs to help communities benefit from food security for years to come.
And nothing embodies our vision of a healthier future more than our Garden Tower initiative. Establishing these sustainable garden systems within a community provides many benefits for its health, society, and environment.
Garden Towers can greatly improve the physical health of the families and communities who tend them. A garden grows fresh, nutritious food for people to eat, and it continues producing food for as long as the growing season lasts. All they take are seeds, fertile soil, sunlight, some work and patience, and a supply of water—and our Garden Towers require 30% less water than an average garden.
The work required to grow a steady food supply will also benefit community health, both physically and mentally. Increased physical activity through gardening can improve self-esteem and promote relaxation.
At a glance, here’s how Garden Towers benefit the health of a community:
- Increases access to fresh, nutritious food, especially fruits and vegetables
- Strengthens long-term food security
- Encourages healthier dietary habits
- Increases physical activity
- Promotes positivity, self-esteem, and relaxation
For centuries, both urban and rural communities have turned to cooperative gardening during times of economic recession, war, and social injustice. Garden Towers can help revitalize a community by becoming a center of local pride, social relationships, and skills education.
As we’ve established Garden Towers in communities around the world, we’ve seen families, friends, and neighbors come together to work for a better future. Their social ties have strengthened as they proudly work toward a common goal.
Communal gardening helps individuals share the costs and responsibilities that would be too great for a single person. They’ve learned vital skills they can apply in other aspects of life, and some who tend Garden Towers have even used the abundance of food to supplement their income.
At a glance, here’s how Garden Towers benefit the social aspects of a community:
- Teaches useful skills like planning, food production, leadership, teamwork, and business
- Improves economic opportunities
- Strengthens trust, community pride, and social relationships
- Shared costs and responsibilities for community members
Communities are faced with increasing environmental issues that could affect their health and happiness. And the families in these communities are looking for ways to confront these problems. Garden Towers have the potential to do just that.
Gardening draws people closer to nature. After all, growing food requires them to partner with the environment. It helps them learn about and respect their local climate and ecology, which can change the way they treat their surroundings. When people respect their environment and communities, they take care of them.
One of the many great aspects of Garden Towers is that they can be established almost anywhere, even in urban areas. They can attract a variety of flora and fauna, creating a valuable green space that might otherwise be neglected, reduce land value, or be used for illegal dumping or crime.
At a glance, here’s how Garden Towers benefit a community’s local environment:
- Improves soil and air quality
- Increases biodiversity of plants and animals, including bees, insects, and birds
- Reduces waste through composting
- Reduces distance required to transport or purchase food
- Can replace neglected spaces that harm a community’s value
- Creates a natural, green space for people to appreciate and enjoy
Help Us Plant Community Gardens
You can help our Garden Tower initiative grow and provide all these benefits to needy families and communities around the world.
The easiest way to help is to donate—a simple gift of $20 provides a complete Garden Tower to a family in need, including the tower mesh, soil, and seeds.
Or you can join our Garden Tower Community Adoption Program and work to establish this initiative in your own community. For a more in-depth explanation on how to establish successful Garden Towers, read here.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
Food for Thought
Remember, 100 percent of all donations made to the USANA Foundation always go to change the lives of those most in need around the world. You can help us reach our goal of raising 30,000 Garden Towers by donating here!