There is a growing trend for community gardens in Invercargill and nationwide.
Eastside Baptist Church pastor Chris Lee said community gardens were becoming popular because people were trying to reclaim the past.
The church ran two community gardens and they empowered people to do things on their own, he said.
People used to grow vegetables at home and now with prices going up it was becoming necessary to go back to this, Mr Lee said.
''I think the cost of food and the gap between the haves and have-nots is getting huge.''
It was important for people to have community gardens because vegetables were being forgotten, he said.
''Some of our kids don't even know what a vegetable is.''
The problem with community gardens was that more people would come at harvest time and not the rest of the year, Mr Lee said.
They had a core group of 10 people who helped out throughout the year.
South Coast Environment Society project co-ordinator Robyn Guyton said they started with a community garden in 1998 but when interest waned it was turned into a forest garden, a low-maintenance wild type of garden with herbs and fruit and nut trees.
They started their first garden during a recession but after things improved people stopped coming, she said.
The fruit trees, planted about five years ago, were now starting to produce, Mrs Guyton said.
It was really nice to have this shared facility as people had become quite reliant on supermarkets, she said.
- The Southland Times