Community Garden Start Up
Source: The Martha Stewart Show, May 2008
There really are only positive effects of community gardening. It gives a community a gathering space, provides green space in urban areas, educates people -- especially children -- about the way the natural world works, and gives shelter to urban wildlife. It is also a place for people to grow their own food, and it provides a social network for reaching out to neighbors.
Community gardens originated in the first part of the 20th century as a way for immigrants who came from rural farmlands to urban spaces to continue to grow their own vegetables and keep a cohesive community. This was especially important as urban spaces rapidly grew. Victory gardens, which were popular during World War II, were considered community gardens. During the 1960s, eco-consciousness made community gardening a popular idea again in response to urban decline and decay. This is happening again in many parts of the country.
Form a Planning Committee:
-Find people who want to do it.
-Decide what kind of garden you will grow, and who the garden will serve (youths, adults, or both).
-Approach a sponsor or umbrella organization.
Choose a Site:
-Make sure the site gets at least six hours of sunlight a day if you are growing vegetables.
-Do a soil test.
-Look into the availability of water.
-Try to get a lease for at least three years.
Prepare and Develop the Site:
-Develop a design.
-Organize volunteer work crews.
-Determine plot sizes.
-Decide if the garden will be organic. -Include plans for a storage and compost area.
Organize the Garden:
-Determine the conditions for membership.
-Decide how the plots be assigned, if the gardeners will share tools, and if there will be a children's plot.
-Decide how the next gardener will be chosen when someone leaves a plot.