Children's and Community Gardens


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Presentation given by Elizabeth Ayers, Madison County Extension Agent at the 2011 Master Gardener Conference in Raleigh, NC on May 10

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Children's and Community Gardens

  1. 1. Children and Community Gardening in Madison County Elizabeth Ayers Madison County Cooperative Extension
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>America Community Gardening Association </li></ul>
  3. 3. Community and School Gardens <ul><li>Environment to work with teachers, parents and neighborhood resident volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Learning the relationship between people, plants and wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons are limited only by one's creativity </li></ul>
  4. 4. Community and School Gardens <ul><li>School Gardens are like libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible and knowledgeable people to maintain </li></ul><ul><li>Children can and will learn </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent additions </li></ul><ul><li>Utilized year-round </li></ul>
  5. 5. Step 1--Form a Garden Committee <ul><li>No one person can coordinate </li></ul><ul><li>Finding funds to support the garden </li></ul><ul><li>scheduling educational activities </li></ul><ul><li>finding and training volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>researching and disseminating information </li></ul>
  6. 6. Step 1--Form a Garden Committee <ul><li>Where do you find such people? </li></ul><ul><li>School staff </li></ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul><ul><li>Local residents </li></ul><ul><li>Gardeners </li></ul>
  7. 7. Step 1--Form a Garden Committee <ul><li>Determine if there really is a need and desire for a garden </li></ul><ul><li>Who will the garden serve--kids, seniors, special populations, schools </li></ul>
  8. 8. Step 1--Form a Garden Committee <ul><li>If project meant to benefit a particular group - essential they be involved in all phases </li></ul><ul><li>Organize a meeting of interested people </li></ul><ul><li>Make a list of what needs to be done </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain lease or agreement from owner </li></ul>
  9. 9. Step 1--Form a Garden Committee <ul><li>Find a garden site but consider past uses of the land. Is there any contamination? </li></ul><ul><li>Is insurance something you need to consider? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Step 1--Form a Garden Committee <ul><li>Decide on a mailing address and central telephone number(s). Try to have at least 3 people who are very familiar with all pertinent information. </li></ul><ul><li>Form a telephone tree </li></ul>
  11. 11. Step 1--Form a Garden Committee <ul><li>If your community garden has a budget, keep administration in the hands of several people. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a name for the garden </li></ul>
  12. 12. Step 2--Define the purpose and objectives of your garden <ul><li>Every garden fulfills some need or objective </li></ul><ul><li>Each garden is unique </li></ul><ul><li>All gardens are a learning aid or teaching tool </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of garden--vegetable, flower, trees, a combination? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Step 2--Define the purpose and objectives of your garden <ul><li>Some teachers may utilize the garden across all curriculums. </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever your needs are, by addressing these issues, you will have a better understanding of the work involved in this stage. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Step 3--Layout your students gardening activities <ul><li>Determining your objectives allows your next step to be lesson plan. </li></ul><ul><li>You will need to determine which groups of students will be doing what and when </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to schedule specific activities at specific times or assign certain tasks to your volunteers. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Step 4--Define a year-round garden plan <ul><li>Identified what your garden will be like while school is in session. </li></ul><ul><li>Summer break? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is going to keep this garden maintained until school starts? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you want the garden to look on the first day of school? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Step 5—Choose garden site and design your garden <ul><li>Garden site should be in an area that receives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plenty of sunlight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good drainage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Close proximity to water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electricity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessible to students, volunteers, and teachers </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Step 5—Choose garden site and design your garden <ul><ul><li>Site should have enough room for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Garden </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tool storage </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining a large garden will use up all of your time and energy so select a relatively small area. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Step 6--Build your Garden according to plan <ul><li>This is the big moment when teachers, volunteers, students and their parents pool their resources and build this permanent addition to the school. </li></ul>
  19. 19. HOW SHOULD THE GARDEN BE ORGANIZED? <ul><li>Are there conditions for membership (residence, dues, agreement with rules)? </li></ul><ul><li>How will plots be assigned (by family size, by residency, by need, by group- i.e., youth, elderly, etc.)? </li></ul><ul><li>How large should plots be (or should there be several sizes based on family size or other factors? </li></ul>
  20. 20. HOW SHOULD THE GARDEN BE ORGANIZED? <ul><li>How should plots be laid out? </li></ul><ul><li>If the group charges dues, how will the money be used? </li></ul><ul><li>What services, if any, will be provided to gardeners in return? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the group do certain things cooperatively (such as turning in soil in the spring, planting cover crops, or composting)? </li></ul>
  21. 21. HOW SHOULD THE GARDEN BE ORGANIZED? <ul><li>When someone leaves a plot, how will the next tenant be chosen? </li></ul><ul><li>How will the group deal with possible vandalism? </li></ul><ul><li>Will there be a children's plot? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the gardeners meet regularly? If so, how often and for what purposes? </li></ul><ul><li>Will gardeners share tools, hoses, and other such items? </li></ul>
  22. 22. HOW SHOULD THE GARDEN BE ORGANIZED? <ul><li>How will minimum maintenance (especially weeding) be handled both inside plots and in common areas (such as along fences, in flower beds, and in sitting areas)? </li></ul><ul><li>Will there be a set of written rules which gardeners are expected to uphold? If so, how will they be enforced? </li></ul><ul><li>Should your group incorporate and consider eventually owning your garden site </li></ul>
  23. 23. INSURANCE <ul><li>Difficult to obtain leases from landowners without public liability insurance. </li></ul><ul><li>Garden insurance is a new thing for many insurance carriers </li></ul><ul><li>Work with an agent from a firm which deals with many different carriers </li></ul><ul><li>Better success with one of the ten largest insurance carriers </li></ul>
  24. 24. Sample Guidelines and Rules <ul><li>I will keep weeds down and maintain the areas immediately surrounding my plot if any. </li></ul><ul><li>I will keep trash and litter cleaned from the plot, as well as from adjacent pathways and fences. </li></ul><ul><li>I will plant tall crops where they will not shade neighboring plots. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Sample Guidelines and Rules <ul><li>I will not use fertilizers, insecticides or weed repellents that will in any way affect other plots. </li></ul><ul><li>If my plot becomes unkempt, I understand I will be given 1 week's notice to clean it up. At that time, it will be reassigned or tilled in. </li></ul><ul><li>If I must abandon my plot for any reason, I will notify the manager. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Most Important <ul><li>Have fun </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy Eating </li></ul><ul><li>Stewardship </li></ul>
  27. 27. My Experiences In Madison Co. <ul><li>4H Mini-gardens </li></ul><ul><li>Hot Springs School Garden </li></ul><ul><li>Seven Glenns Community Garden </li></ul><ul><li>Victory Garden at The Veteran's Restoration Quarters </li></ul>
  28. 28. 4H Mini-Gardens <ul><li>4H Project Book </li></ul><ul><li>Record keeping </li></ul><ul><li>Educational resources </li></ul><ul><li>2 site visits with Master Gardeners </li></ul><ul><li>End of Year celebration </li></ul>
  29. 29. Hot Springs School Garden <ul><li>4 th Grade Teacher and classroom </li></ul><ul><li>4H curriculum following standard course of study </li></ul><ul><li>School and Cooperative Extension </li></ul><ul><li>Spring and Fall Garden </li></ul><ul><li>School and Community </li></ul>
  30. 30. Victory Garden <ul><li>ABCCM - The Victory Garden </li></ul>
  31. 31. Seven Glenns Community Garden <ul><li>Housing Development </li></ul><ul><li>Gardening Club </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Row for the Hungry </li></ul><ul><li>Fields of Hope </li></ul>
  32. 44. Summary <ul><li>Whether it’s a community garden or a school garden remember: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose of garden </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guidelines and Rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite everyone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grow </li></ul></ul>
  33. 45. Thanks <ul><li>North Carolina Cooperative Extension </li></ul><ul><li>American Community Gardening Association </li></ul><ul><li>North Carolina 4H </li></ul><ul><li>ABCCM – Video </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  34. 46. Any Questions?