Benefits of Community Gardens:• Improves the quality of life for people in the garden• Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development• Stimulates Social Interaction• Encourages Self-Reliance• Beautifies Neighborhoods• Produces Nutritious Food
Benefits of Community Gardens:• Reduces Family Food Budgets• Conserves Resources• Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education• Creates income opportunities and economic development
Tips on Establishing a Community Garden• Decide on a name for the garden• Ask the garden participants to suggest a name for the garden and have them vote to make the final selection. This helps to develop a sense of ownership.
Garden plan• Decide if everyone will farm the entire area together and share the produce, or if each person will be assigned individual plots. Raised beds of 4 x 16 feet works well as individual plots. Depending on the size of the family or group working together assign one or more plots. Decide on location of storage shed and compost area. Flowers on the perimeter of the garden will make it very attractive.
Develop a budget• Seek funding in monetary or in-kind contributions for land preparation, storage shed, garden tools, seeds, fertilizer, compost bins, and so on.
Garden rules• Work with participants to develop list of rules for the garden. Keep them simple. Each adult or parent of minors participating in the garden should sign the rules. Keep a copy on file and give them a copy.
Garden calendar• Develop a yearly calendar of the planting dates for different crops and garden events and for them to keep a journal. The calendar can also include a list of garden participants and their phone numbers.
Garden duty assignments• Divide garden participants into groups and assign chores for common areas, for example, pulling weeds in flower beds and turning compost piles.
Celebrate successes• Organize a garden open house. Provide education stations for the public to learn about garden membership, crops, insects, or foods prepared. Invite the media to come and tour the garden at the open house.
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