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Old 08-20-2015, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Home is Where You Park It
23,172 posts, read 12,324,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunslinger256 View Post
The community garden in my development is free but because most of the residents are young and have busy lives, they don't use the garden. Over the years, weeds and grasses have taken over the boxes but the HOA has put some money into periodic mowing and weed trimming to make walking into the garden possible.
There are ways to deal with this.

Last town I lived in, a medical clinic that serves lower-income people had some spare land they made available for community garden plots. Not surprisingly, because the clinic staff already had plenty to do, it deteriorated into a weed patch. The local master gardeners approached the clinic and offered to manage it. It looks great today, and there is a waiting list for plots.

It doesn't take a huge amount of time or effort to manage a community garden, but it does take consistency. Some community gardens are effectively managed cooperatively by the plot renters, but most that I know about are managed by some third-party. Your HOA may just need a reliable volunteer or two. The HOA is already doing the mowing and weed trimming, and that is the heavy work.

Another model that I've seen to work in an HOA is for a few people to do all the gardening, and then offer the produce to the residents at low cost. Then you can put on a block party/picnic several times a year, and get a few more people interested.

More food banks are getting into growing their own, and they usually can't afford to buy their own land. It's a shame to see garden space wasted.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gunslinger256 View Post
I much prefer growing stuff in my own back yard because getting up the enegy to head down to the community garden can be hard to overcome when it's 100 degrees out or if the rain yesterday has made the soil like quicksand.

I had hoped to use the extra beds to grow watermelons and pumpkins and cantelope but they all died presumably from squash borer so I'll try again next year. My wife wants me to grow some corn but I'm not sure if I managed to kill off all the johnson grass that was taking over the beds since I have mine covered with black plastic since about may.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:14 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
10,244 posts, read 15,980,719 times
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The Union County (Ky.) Garden Coalition began putting raised bed gardens around the county, sponsored by civic organizations and churches. " The program installed 9 community garden sites with a total area of 7,200 square feet. Over 360 individuals benefitted from distributed produce or garden related programs. Approximately 10,180 pounds of produce was grown and distributed. "
Read the rest of this story at https://growappalachia.berea.edu/2014/02/04/first-year/
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:23 AM
 
2,645 posts, read 3,107,663 times
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Like anything, a community project is only as good as the community it's in. Stating that community gardens are bad because you had a bad experience is like saying Toyotas are bad cars because you saw someone driving one poorly.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
2,778 posts, read 2,916,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
There are ways to deal with this.

The local master gardeners approached the clinic and offered to manage it. It looks great today, and there is a waiting list for plots.

It doesn't take a huge amount of time or effort to manage a community garden, but it does take consistency.
I am a Master Gardener and I have volunteered some time to repair the fence, gate and rain barrels but It's a fair amount of work for one person to be consistent.

A few of the beds were turned but the prospective owner never came back after turning their beds and it went back to weed. I've claimed 2 boxes just to manage the weeds and to grow something to improve the soil. Most of the produce is given away to the community or to charity and the volunteer hours count against my required master gardener volunteer time.

I'm thinking of laying down some cover crop to shade out the grass for next year but the bermuda and johnson grass will just grow through it.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:27 AM
 
5,401 posts, read 5,901,083 times
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As another poster said, OP you just had the extreme misfortune of participating with the wrong group.

Do not give up on the concept. I know several communities with thriving community gardens that have livened up empty lots. Look for ones with master gardeners from county extension offices.
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Old 08-21-2015, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Home is Where You Park It
23,172 posts, read 12,324,957 times
Reputation: 14802
Quote:
Originally Posted by gunslinger256 View Post
I am a Master Gardener and I have volunteered some time to repair the fence, gate and rain barrels but It's a fair amount of work for one person to be consistent.

A few of the beds were turned but the prospective owner never came back after turning their beds and it went back to weed. I've claimed 2 boxes just to manage the weeds and to grow something to improve the soil. Most of the produce is given away to the community or to charity and the volunteer hours count against my required master gardener volunteer time.

I'm thinking of laying down some cover crop to shade out the grass for next year but the bermuda and johnson grass will just grow through it.


When I was an MG, we could design our own projects to qualify for our volunteer hours. If that is the case where you are, seems like this would work for you, and you could get a bit of help.

You said that most of the families in your development are young. Does this mean that there are a fair amount of kids? Maybe you could orient around children's projects. Seems like that would meet both the HOA's interest in having the garden be a benefit to the development's families and the MG's interest in education and community service.

Here's a Seattle P-Patch garden in an HOA-owned garden -
Bee Fest 2015 - West Seattle Bee Garden
http://westseattleblog.com/category/gardening/

Besides community plots, this garden includes a bee garden and a bee building designed specifically for kids.

This development is socially and economically mixed, quite a few kids whose parents are from India and middle-eastern countries.

My sister used to live in this development, there is a second community garden there as well.
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Old 08-23-2015, 02:47 PM
 
6,898 posts, read 11,250,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I had a small community garden until health issues forced me to give it up.
it was a plot about 20X20 and cost $20 a year to rent. I'd get enough tomatoes to last me a year in bottled sauces, a years worth of herbs fresh at first then dried,along with much produce that didnt last that long but was sure fun to eat.To me it wasnt so much about how much produce i could grow but the joy of being out in the sun working the earth.

My community plot late spring=(2nd plot)
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...pse0605ccd.jpg

Now reduced to =
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...ps3a70f2f0.jpg
Jambo: That is just too sad. Sorry you had to give up (most of) your passion.
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