Do you live in a city or a suburb? Are you interested in having organic fresh fruits and vegetables, but don’t have space? Have you considered starting a community garden, but don’t know how? Here are some tips and ideas to motivate you. Since it is winter this will give you time to get things organized to start a 2016 garden.
Finding a piece of property to have your garden will be the first priority. You can check with the local city and inquire if there is park space available to make a community garden. Local business owners might have property available to put the community garden. This will improve the landscape, bring customers (gardeners) to their business. Perhaps barter fresh produce for some space; these are all things to mention when approaching a business.
You may also find an apartment complex that is will to provide land to their tenants to have a community garden. Place an ad in the local newspaper or online news paper for property. Be creative in your thinking when looking for garden space. Make sure you test the soil, for contaminants, before reserving the property. Be sure to find out if public liability insurance will be necessary. If a lease agreement is needed, make sure it is for at least three years.
Create a Garden Planning Community:
Again you can place an ad or a flyer locally to find other people wanting to have a community garden. Once you have a list of people interested select a few members that are will to help establish the garden area. This will require a lot of free time for meetings, planning, building and supervising the community garden. Make sure your volunteers are in for the long haul. Don’t forget to inquire locally at groups already established, for example horticulture groups, landscaping groups and organizations interested in natural living.
Many community gardens have sponsors. Churches, organizations and park and recreation departments are some that might be interested. They receive advertising (posting a sign) for their community service and you receive a financial donation that helps you purchase organic seeds, tools and other gardening supplies. Some businesses might donate those items instead of financial donations. Either way, this will help with your endeavor. If you are unable to locate sponsors, membership dues is another way to help with the purchasing of items.
Once you have the property and you have your tools, it is important to choose the right location for the garden on the property. It needs the most amount of sunlight daily. You will also need water available to the garden, choosing a garden plot close to the water source is important as well.
Organize the Garden:
Your planning committee will have already decided on a design for the community garden. Now is the time to implement that design. Your land will most likely need to be plowed and tilled. This will either take sweat labor or you may be able to get a rental organization to donate their machines to do this for you. Once the ground is ready you will then build the individual garden plots. Your committee may have already decided on how to divide the work load or get volunteer help from the members, if you have members that are unable to physically help or for some other reason are not able to help in the manual labor, churches and other organizations that give community service might be able to help in this area.
Another task your garden committee will need to determine is the Garden Rules. These will need to be posted publicly in a weather resistant form. Getting input from all the members is the best way to choose rules, as people are more willing to follow rules they helped create.
Children will most likely be a part of your garden community. Setting aside a plot for them is important in their education and appreciation of plants. Choose plants that are easy to grow (ie sunflowers, green beans, flowers and lettuce). They are looking for quick growing plants that are fun. You can even plant a sunflower house which will be aesthetically pleasing as well. Speaking of aesthetically pleasing, planting flowers to border your garden or beautiful foliage will help the neighbors to your garden appreciate the garden.
Once you have established this beautiful garden you will want to have the community members communicate easily. Creating a social media group will allow for instant communication. Emailing is another option when sending out mass information to the group. What ever form of communications always encourage polite discussions and friendships among the community.
Finally, when creating a community garden you will be dealing with people from all walks of life. Remember to glean from one another and find common ground instead of focusing on negative. Find the blessings of gardening, fresh food and natural organic lifestyle. The garden will provide socialization and food for your body and spirit.