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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

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