Posted By: Michelle Kuehler /
Don’t have the room to plant your own garden or just want to be more involved with your community? Why not join or start a community garden? Being a member of a community garden helps you to connect with your community, can provide your family and other families in need with fresh produce, improves your health by getting you outdoors for a little exercise and gives you a green space in your neighborhood. Joining is easy, just do a little research and contact the person in charge of the community garden. If you want to start one, a few strategized steps can get you on the right path.
Step 1 - Planning: Recruit your friends, family and neighbors for your planning committee. Discuss what kind of garden is needed for your community and where it might be needed. Could your neighborhood use a steadier supply of fresh produce for families in need, or does it just need a little greening up? Is there an alley in need of a makeover? If you don’t have a place in mind, contact local municipal planners about possible sites or scout out owners of unused land. Decide on leadership roles. Who will be in charge of funding and partnerships, youth activities, construction and communication? Then, identify rules, tasks and set a launch date.
Step 2 - Funding: Your garden can be supported by membership dues, payment for garden plots or you can look elsewhere in your community for funding. Look to your community for financial support. Approach churches, schools, businesses and your local parks and recreation department for their support as a sponsor.
Step 3 - Development and Preparation: Design your garden on paper before you get to work. Consider walkways, fencing and storage areas, as well as how and where plots will be set up. After the site is secured and you have the design on paper, get to work! Grab a group of people to help clean the site, gather the materials and construct the site.
Step 4 - Go Garden: When you finish constructing the garden, celebrate and then get to work! Go to work planting in the garden you have worked so hard to create. When your garden’s bounty is ready for harvest, consider donating any surplus to a local food pantry or a neighbor in need. The fruits of your labor always taste better with kindness and a job well done!