After reading Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, I've been intrigued with the concept of local food. Did you know that communities can appropriate CPA funds to create community gardens? The "use of land for community gardens" is specified within the definition of "recreational use" in the Community Preservation Act.
"Recreational use", active or passive recreational use including, but not limited to, the use of land for community gardens, trails, and noncommercial youth and adult sports, and the use of land as a park, playground or athletic field.
What are community gardens? They are properties that are gardened by a group of people - either communally or divided into plots that are gardened individually. They are publically accessible and usually owned by a municipality or a non profit. Community gardens can produce vegetables and fruits to feed the gardeners, their families, and even a larger local market - selling produce at farmer's markets or donating to local food banks.
Why is this important? Establishing community gardens can preserve open space, scenic vistas, and rural character. They can also produce locally grown and harvested produce.
The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world. — Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma)
Here are a few examples of Massachusetts communities with community gardens: Codman Community Gardens in Lincoln, Boston Natural Areas Network (which owns 40 community gardens in Boston), and Harvest Farm Project in Dartmouth.