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Despite the more recent interest in sustainable lifestyles, the practice and concept of urban agriculture has been around for centuries. Two of the most common forms of urban agriculture are allotments and community gardens. The term allotment is a term originating in Britain that refers to a piece of land cultivated by many people. Many use the terms interchangeably but there are some key differences. Both are important examples of urban agriculture and worth considering as part of a sustainable modern lifestyle.
What Are the Differences?
Though there are some fundamental differences in the setup of allotments and community gardens, both work toward the common goal of small-scale local agriculture on otherwise unused land. While community gardens in North America are managed and maintained by an entire collective, allotments have specific “tenants” who lease their own small portion of the land.
In an allotment, each tenant has their own small piece of something big. According to TripSavvy the land is usually owned by local council churches, allotment associations or private landlords and leased out to local individuals or families. They cultivate their own particular plot of the land but help maintain shared spaces.
American community gardens are on public land or land owned by non-profit entities. The labor is largely volunteer-based with varying levels of organization depending on the specific garden.
What Are the Benefits?
Urban agriculture has multiple benefits regardless of location. Some of the biggest advantages include:
While urban agriculture has been around for a long time, it’s more important now than ever. The rise in awareness and popularity of sustainable living and food habits has made them easier to find and gain support for. This makes it easier for you to get involved in one yourself—or start a new one for your own community.