Starting a Community Garden

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

The Community Garden forum isn't very active, so I thought I'd post this here. Some friends and I are talking about starting a small community garden. We have a vacant lot next door which we can use. The plan is for each person or group to have a "plot" that they can plant with whatever they want. It will be focused on growing food for one's family. And each person/group will be responsible for caring for their plot.

Has anyone else done this? If so, can you offer some advice on how to get it all started? I've never done anything like this. I won't be using any of the adjacent land as I can use a big section of my own gardens for my edibles. But I also want to be sure we're not taken advantage of or that we get stuck with caring for other people's plots. My whole yard is a garden and it's more than I can handle alone, so I certainly don't want to take on more. So I'm thinking I need a contract of sorts and a list of rules.

There's also a water meter on the land that is turned off. Who would pay to turn it on and pay the water bill? I don't want to be stuck with that as well. Or perhaps I should apply for a grant somewhere that will support the community garden and provide the materials we need to build raised beds with good soil and whatever else the garden would need.

Any advice or information?

NancyAnn

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

There was a community garden in Bakersfield for Apartment tenants because they did not have the yard to grow for themselves. The way the city did it is If you wanted a section to garden, you signed a contract that said you would pay X number of dollars a month and obey all rules. No wild parties, no growing of marjuana, no alcohol, and pick up after yourself were some of the rules. The money pd by each person was used to pay for water and trash pick up. I think the garden was divided among 20 people and they each pd $25. a month for each space. Each space was 10 x 20. If someone wanted more space they paid $25. for each space. They had measured the area and divided it up with space for a walkway between each garden.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the info, Marti. That sounds like some of the community gardens I've been reading about. I even found some garden rules and some contracts like you're talking about. There are several community gardens in Memphis (about an hour from here). A friend and I are going to check some of them out and talk to the owners IF it ever stops raining long enough. I'd love to see one in action.

NancyAnn

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Your welcome. A community garden is a good way for people to talk and learn to get alone. For senior citizens its a way to add to their grocies and socialization. Plus you can learn so much from them.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I saw one community garden online that had made a few raised beds higher so they could easily be worked by someone in a wheelchair. I thought that was such a great idea! Many of the elderly live in assisted living facilities with no access to a garden and they long for one since they were raised on garden food. I thought we might do that too.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Yes raised beds for the disabiled are great. I had a friend that make some with concrete blocks. They were made wide enough that you still could reach the center from either side and the disabilited person could sit on the blocks to work in the beds. They can also be made out of wood, deep enough for most plants and a wheelchair can fit under them.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Hi. Butterflychaser here is a link to the Community Gardening page on the Calgary Horticultural Society website. Although some info is specific to Calgary, alot is good info for everywhere. http://calhort.org/communitygardening/default.aspx

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Thank you, dahlianut. I'll check it out.

NancyAnn

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