Garden Beds Are An Urban Selling Point
Article/Eblast Distribution by Nashville Home Inspection; January 5, 2014
Many city-dwellers are finding they don’t have to move out to the suburbs to putter in a garden. The urban agriculture movement has taken hold, and includes a range of city garden options – both in rental and owner-occupied housing.
According to the American Community Gardening Association, there are approximately 18,000 community gardens in North America, and more and more of them are sprouting up in apartment and townhome communities.
According to one study, property managers see vegetable and flower gardens as a way to attract tenants, as well as lowering landscaping and maintenance costs. It has been suggested that community gardens help tenants socialize and share a communal activity, resulting in longer-term owners and renters, and improved property values.
Garden plots and raised beds can be found not only in new single-family and condo developments, but also in new and older affordable housing projects. The goal is the same no matter where to the garden is located: to encourage homeowners and residents to get outside, to allow people to connect with each other and to grow food.
The national developer KB Homes included 16 raised beds for its residents in a 52-unit luxury condo building in California. An Atlanta-based company maintains urban gardens in about 20 percent of their properties because empty-nesters don’t necessarily want to leave their gardening hobby behind. While it may cost $5,000 to $10,000 to start a garden in a residential development, property managers believe the costs are more than out-weighed by the satisfaction engendered in residents.
The United States has a history of urban gardening, including the Victory Gardens of World War II. During the war, Victory Gardens were planted by families in the U.S. to help prevent food shortage. According to the World War II Museum, in 1944 these gardens were responsible for producing 40% of all vegetables grown in the United States.
In addition, it is estimated that by 2050, almost 80% of the world’s population will live in or around urban centers, and the U.S. population will increase by about 6 million people in the intervening years. Urban and vertical gardens may be the only way to accommodate the food needs of a growing and hungry population.
Vertical farming is a method of urban farming which focuses on cultivating plant life within a skyscraper greenhouse or on vertical inclined surfaces. Skyscrapers are considered a suitable location for agricultural development because of glass windows allowing natural sunlight within a temperature-controlled environment.
Source: Eblast distribution, 010514, provided by Nashville Home Inspection | Blog, In The News, distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee