Starting A Community Garden

Welcome to Tuesday Gardening ! Today’s post is about starting a community Garden.

As a library project the kids are planning to start a plot of there own in the towns community garden. Our community garden is a labor of love with most things donated by a local business interested in feeding our community. Have you thought about starting one at school or church to better your community? It’s the perfect time to get started….. Lisa

Community gardens are part of the  sharing community/ They make it possible for many people to enjoy a resource – in this case, land for gardening – that they couldn’t afford on their own. However, it’s not just the gardeners themselves who gain from community gardens – the benefits extend to the rest of the neighborhood and even to society as a whole.

Here are a number of the benefits of community gardens:

  • Beautifying Cities. Many community gardens sit on what were once vacant lots filled with rubbish. When urban gardeners take over, they clear away the debris and replace it with lush greenery. Community gardening turns urban eyesores into vibrant green space, which improves the quality of life for everyone in the neighborhood – not just the people who actually tend the garden. There’s even some evidence that having a community garden increases property values in the surrounding area.
  • Fresh Produce. Many urban neighborhoods are “food deserts” – places where it’s nearly impossible to buy  fresh fruit and vegetables Community gardens provide fresh, nutritious produce for many families who couldn’t otherwise afford it, improving their diet and their overall health. They also relieve hunger by donating their excess produce to food pantries.
  • Healthy Lifestyles. Urban gardening gives city dwellers a chance to enjoy fresh air and healthy outdoor exercise. They also provide a peaceful retreat from the noise and bustle of an urban neighborhood, easing stress for residents.
  • A Cleaner Environment. The plants in a community garden add oxygen to the air and help reduce air pollution. They also absorb rainwater, reducing the amount of runoff that runs through the streets and carries pollutants into rivers and lakes. Many community gardens also take part in  composting recycling plant waste such as leaves and tree trimmings into useful fertilizer.
  • Stronger Communities. Sharing a community garden gives people a chance to connect with their neighbors. Gardeners also feel more personally invested in the places where they live, gaining sense of ownership and community spirit. And because they get people out of their apartments where they can keep an eye on the street, community gardens can help reduce crime in the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Educational Opportunities. Working in a community garden is a good way for kids to learn about where food comes from and gain a basic introduction to environmental issues, work skills, and business principles. It can be educational for adults as well. Community gardens give people a chance to meet and learn about neighbors who come from different backgrounds, including people of different ages, races, cultures, and social classes.

Form a Planning Committee :

Get together with friends and neighbors who may be interested in starting a Community Garden. Ask business leaders and town leader to lend a hand. They are great source of information and support with funds and community laws.

Find a Site

This is the most crucial step in planning a community garden. Look around your neighborhood for a lot that has the following traits:

  • Is not being used for anything else. Check with the town with zoning ,laws and ownership.
  • Gets plenty of sunshine – at least six hours a day, if you are planning to grow vegetables.
  • Is relatively flat.
  • Has a source of water available. If you are not sure, contact your local water utility to ask whether the property has a water meter.
  • Does not contain any large, heavy pieces of debris that would be difficult to remove.
  • Is close to you and the other neighbors who want to take part in the community garden – ideally within walking distance.

Plan Your Garden

Decide what you want your community garden to include. Measure the site and draw out a simple scale map that you can use to plan out the location of different components, such as garden beds and paths. Then meet with your garden group to discuss how you want to lay out your garden.

Community gardens commonly include:

  • Individual garden plots
  • Paths between beds
  • Compost bins
  • A shed or other structure for storing tools
  • Spots to hook up hoses for watering
  • A common area for gathering, which could include benches or picnic tables and a source of shade
  • A fence around the outside to protect your garden from vandalism and theft

Establish Rules / Budgeting

Before you can actually start gardening, you need to set some rules. This ensures that all gardeners know exactly what’s expected of them. Get the rest of the gardeners involved in this process, since people are more likely to follow rules they have helped to create.

Your rules should cover such topics as:

  • Funding. Decide whether gardeners should pay any annual dues, and if so, who collects them. Also, figure out who gets to decide how to use the money raised for the garden. Set up a bank account specifically for the community garden funds.  A basic community garden typically costs between $2,500 and $5,000.
  • Membership. Decide what people have to do to join the garden and how plots are assigned. Figure out whether you want all the gardeners to meet on a regular basis, and if so, how often. Also, decide what hours the garden should be open and, if your gate has a lock, who should have keys.
  • Maintenance. Determine whether gardeners should share tools or bring their own. Also, decide who is responsible for caring for the shared areas of the garden, such as weeding paths and mowing lawns. Contact the city council for help setting up city services, such as trash pickup.

Then Prepare the site, Start Gardening and Share your bounty and information about your garden.

Plants That Respond Well to a Community Garden Environment

  • StrawberriesStrawberries are a great addition to any organic community garden throughout North America. …
  • Kale.
  • Radishes. …
  • Snow Peas.
  • Blueberries.
  • Beets & Cabbages
  • Tomato

Thanks for stopping bye and check out my Garden books at Lisa Everyday Reads…

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