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Old 12-01-2010, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
70 posts, read 177,496 times
Reputation: 64

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Hi All,

I'm going into my third year as a community gardener, in the Northeast. I currently have a 20x30ft spot that I look forward to working each spring. Recently, I moved to a city that is 30mi away from my plot and it is making it harder for me to spend as much time there (especially on the weekends). I work close to the plot, but live far away.

Also, I recently joined the executive board of the non-profit organization that manages all of the community gardens in my city. It is a great opportunity to learn more about community involvement and to increase participation in community gardening from the actual neighbors themselves.

Here is my point; I was thinking about lending out my plot (with the possibility of purchasing one adjacent to mine to double the size) and use it as a neighborhood plot for the kids to learn how to grow vegetables. I figured this may help me to be able to include the community, teach younger generation about growing their own food, reduce the amount of work I need to put into my own garden, and POSSIBLY reduce the amount of theft that goes on in our garden. Now, this last one is a stretch, education and participation may increase theft, but it may also create ownership of the garden and with the neighborhood kids around it may not be so bad?

I haven't run this by the board or other gardeners in my community garden yet, but thought I would get opinions online first. Let me know what you think or if you need clarification on this idea. I'm still in the beginning stages of brainstorming so I will take all opinions as constructive advice. Do you know someone who has done this before?
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Puposky MN
1,083 posts, read 981,467 times
Reputation: 4844
I think it's a fantastic idea! I've heard of it being done before, but haven't heard how they turned out. And maybe to decrease theft, you could offer a portion of the bounty to the children's families? Have them really appreciate the whole process, from seed to table.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
70 posts, read 177,496 times
Reputation: 64
Smile Food to Family

Yes, I would definitely encourage them to bring food home to their family. This would help with me too because I always feel guilty for food that goes bad. I'm single and can't eat THAT many vegetables. I usually don't even use my entire plot for this reason.

I also would like to participate more from an executive standpoint on the non-profit board. Getting more involved with what is going on in the other community gardens in the city. It will leave my time limited to what I can do in my own garden.

I was thinking that I could create a mini flyer and pass it around to the neighborhood then have people who are interested meet me at the plot sometime in late winter/early spring. I would like to get a understanding of who would be interested as early as possible.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:37 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,869,055 times
Reputation: 12719
Sounds like a great idea.

I'd suggest possibly working in conjunction with the local food pantry and try to attract children whose families are dependent upon the local food pantry and food stamps. One way in offering a hand-up rather than a hand out. Perhaps a flyer in each grocery bag from the food pantry? A flyer at the local public library? At the library of the closest elementary school to the plot? Perhaps if you donated the supplies you could enrol the local elementary school art teacher to have kids design a special sign for their plot? The presence of such a sign might cut down on theft. Perhaps the local elementary science teacher can even work spouting seeds and a cold frame into lesson plans?
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
70 posts, read 177,496 times
Reputation: 64
The neighborhood that surrounds the community garden is section 8 housing. I'm not really in touch with food pantries n' such but I think the direct neighborhood could benefit. I'm just concerned about again, increased theft of other gardeners food (approx 15 plots in garden) and what the non-profit org will say about it.
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