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Old 07-07-2016, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Paradise
3,592 posts, read 3,078,260 times
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Does anybody have a community garden in their area?


Do you know how it works and how to get one started?
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:15 AM
 
6,318 posts, read 6,143,715 times
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It doesnt work well if it works at all. People get overloaded on internet BS promising them gardening/"permaculture" polyanna and then they meet the real world. Most cannot take labor and/or car trips involved, so most of it goes back to the weedy nature. But it is some kind of "going green" status item, so every year it is plowed and futility extravaganza repeats itself. Don't do it, you help no one, including the poor and Mother Earth.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Paradise
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Yeah, I see your point...but maybe I'm thinking of something else.


We currently live in an apartment so we don't have anywhere to plant anything. I miss growing tomatoes and cucumbers and other things to eat. Fresh, home-grown vegetables for my family.


I'm not sure when we'll buy a house or have a yard again. So I was thinking of a community type garden where people can grow stuff for themselves. Maybe it's not the same thing?
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
22,954 posts, read 12,087,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
It doesnt work well if it works at all. People get overloaded on internet BS promising them gardening/"permaculture" polyanna and then they meet the real world. Most cannot take labor and/or car trips involved, so most of it goes back to the weedy nature. But it is some kind of "going green" status item, so every year it is plowed and futility extravaganza repeats itself. Don't do it, you help no one, including the poor and Mother Earth.
IME, that's not true.

OP, here's a source for you - https://communitygarden.org

And a thriving example - http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods...nity-gardening
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Paradise
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Thanks for the link!
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
1,261 posts, read 871,751 times
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I've helped run a community garden. The one I helped with was in its first year when I started, so I wasn't there for the initial groundwork, but joined pretty soon after. It is a LOT of work, but can be very rewarding. Here's my advice:

- Communitygarden.org has some great advice on how to start a community garden. Start by reading there. (eta - just noticed someone else had posted this already - it really is a great resource!)
- There is an initial investment required, and grants are available to help cover those costs. If you know any grant writers who also like to garden, contact them now and try to get them excited about your project.
- Your local Master Gardener's program is also a great resource. Master Gardeners are required to do a certain amount of community service, and a community garden can be a great place for them to get those hours in. Their help will be invaluable.
- Make sure you have a very clear contract with information on what can and can't be planted. This varies from garden to garden, but I'd recommend not allowing invasive plants. You might want to give guidelines on where to plant larger crops like corn that can shade out someone else's plot. You should also have very clear guidelines on what action will be taken if someone's plot is not managed properly. In our case, gardeners were given a couple warnings if their plot got too weedy, and then we smothered the whole thing in plastic if it wasn't cared for. We were much too nice the first couple years and let problem plots go on too long. It wasn't fair to the other gardeners who kept up their plots.
- Get as many people involved in helping run/feeling invested in running the garden as possible. We initially did this by requiring some service hours of our gardeners. We also invited some gardeners to join the monthly board meetings. I think the more people you invite to the meetings, the better.

It takes dedication and time, but a well-run garden is a great thing!
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Cody, WY
10,419 posts, read 13,632,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunetunelover View Post
Yeah, I see your point...but maybe I'm thinking of something else.


We currently live in an apartment so we don't have anywhere to plant anything. I miss growing tomatoes and cucumbers and other things to eat. Fresh, home-grown vegetables for my family.


I'm not sure when we'll buy a house or have a yard again. So I was thinking of a community type garden where people can grow stuff for themselves. Maybe it's not the same thing?
Why not have a small hydroponic garden in your home? They can be very small and still produce well. I've been growing tomatoes for years in climates that won't allow outside growth. I grow them year around.

I grow herbs in the house as well. They're quite easy.

There are all sorts of books on this. Your county agent should have information as well.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:40 AM
 
6,318 posts, read 6,143,715 times
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Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
IME, that's not true.

OP, here's a source for you - https://communitygarden.org

And a thriving example - P-Patch Community Gardening - Neighborhoods | seattle.gov
Are those links supposed to override my visual perception? I am sure it works somewhere but I wasn't there. Seattle dumps so much money into the programs like that, it would be almost criminal not to have good pictures to show. A barely managed community garden is neither picturesque nor productive, but then overmanaging it defeats the purpose. I would guess it would take a critical number of dedicated people living nearby to run it. Personally, I would much prefer "hereditary" plots one could manage from year to year, but that's not what a community garden should be for. So the next best thing would be gardening with people of similar dedication and visions. I also would be OK with community gardening among weeds of the unkept alotments provided I could use some for mulch. A gardening HOA is the only arrangement I wouldnt be happy with.

In most locations one should be almost guilty for using community gardens though. So few people do it, it is just about the same as asking 99.5% to subsidize your hobby. And then all that gas one burns to get there. And then it takes so many inputs to create and maintain good garden soil. A community gardener has neither means nor altruism to dump that much $ in a random plot of land he doesnt own or use consistently, it's rather exploitative.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
1,261 posts, read 871,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
Personally, I would much prefer "hereditary" plots one could manage from year to year, but that's not what a community garden should be for.
Why shouldn't this be what a community garden is for? The most successful gardens in my area (and we have many) allow people to sign 3 or 5 year 'leases' for their plots. The one I worked on did not have multi-year leases, but the current 'owner' of the space got dibs on it for the next year. That way people were invested in their space and willing to put the time, effort and money into improving it.

Here are a few examples of successful gardens in my city: http://www.williamcronon.net/tours/c...roots-tour.pdf.

There are about 60 community gardens in our area, and the ones I've seen are largely well-maintained. I don't know the funding situation of all 60, but the one I worked on was not funded by the local government. We did have a grant that helped us cover the initial costs, our land was donated by a local church, some supplies were donated by local businesses, and the rest of the funding came from annual rental fees. It isn't the case that the city is pouring tons of money into a pet project.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,371 posts, read 3,553,826 times
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I dunno, it all gets too political for me. Everyone has their idea of what constitutes a beautiful garden and what doesn't. Just 5 minutes of research online yields such dramatically different ideals of how one should, could or would garden that it would NEVER be worth my time. I'd always feel like someone was judging me for not conforming to what they think I should or shouldn't do - organic v. inorganic, pesticides v. no pesticides, OMG it could go on and on. A neighbor recently "rented" a plot in a beautiful community garden close to our neighborhood and within a week she was being contacted about not planting her plot quick enough. Then, she did plant it, but the powers that be didn't feel her plants were spaced far enough apart and proceeded to give her a tutorial on how it should be done. My neighbor's been gardening for over 40 years.

I realize not every community garden is going to function like North Korea, but my best educated guess is that most do. There is always someone just waiting to ruin the fun for everyone else.

OP, perhaps you have friends or family locally that would allow you to use part of their yard for a small garden? If not, I like Wyoming's idea of growing indoors. An investment in good grow lights, potting soil and a few containers could easily yield a nice and tidy, productive indoor garden.
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