Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tips for Starting a Community Garden

One of the biggest issues facing us as we deal with resource depletion will be keeping ourselves fed. By necessity, we will need to grow more food closer to home. One way to encourage movement in this direction is to promote local neighborhood gardens (also known as community gardens or P-patches). If you don't have one in your neighborhood, start one! I know from personal experience that it takes no special experience or knowledge to establish a new community garden.

My tips:
  1. Find a good location. This can seem like the hardest part, but it is not that difficult. Talk to local churches (many of whom have large underused church yards and who are institutionally interested in helping to feed the hungry), community centers, and schools to see if they have land they could set aside for a community garden. Also talk to local government - sometimes, local government is willing to set aside land for a community garden.
  2. Find partners. Local garden clubs are a great place to start, as they will often have a bunch of members who are eager to participate. Other community organizations may be able to help as well.
  3. Advertise what you are doing. Try to get an article in the local paper or at least write a Letter to the Editor describing what you are doing. Also, if your partner group(s) has a website, advertise on that.
  4. Solicit donations. Local businesses may be able to help provide materials, particularly if you have a clear plan and specific requests. Also, there are many grant-making non-profit organizations that can help if you submit requests.
  5. Find a mentor. There are a surprising number of people out there who at one time or another have been involved with a community garden. Find them and learn all you can from their experience.
  6. Just do it! Enough said.
If you have specific questions about how to make a community garden happen in your neighborhood, please feel free to contact me, and I will help in any way that I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment