Growing New Roots--Kansas Community Gardens 2012 Annual Conf


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Community gardens help individuals and families, kids as well as adults, come together, learn from each other, and grow their own produce. Learn about the different models for community gardens, how to move through the planning process to the gardening phase, and how to ensure your garden is viable for the future. Find out more about the Kansas Community Garden Grants program, a joint project of K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Health Foundation, that helps provide funds to establish new community gardens.

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Growing New Roots--Kansas Community Gardens 2012 Annual Conf

  1. 1. Kansas Community Gardening— Growing New RootsKansas Community Garden Grants Team— Dr. Cheryl Boyer, Dr. Cary Rivard, Frannie Miller & Evelyn Neier
  2. 2. Kansas Community Gardens
  3. 3. The Community Garden Brings people together Gardeners learn from each other Gives a place to garden for those that don’t have access  Apartments or mobile homes  Shaded yard  Poor soil
  4. 4. Health Nutrition  Access to fresh, healthy food  Increase consumption of vegetables  Stretch food dollars Physical Activity  You can garden throughout your lifetime Mental Health  Outdoor activity
  5. 5. Impact of Community Gardens• Economic Impact – Well maintained garden: ½ lb produce/sq ft area – Approximate value of at least $2/lb – Average 600 sq ft garden=300 lb produce – 300 lb X $2 = $600 produce – $600 - $70 investment = $530 return – 2009 National Gardening Association Survey for home gardeners—numbers may vary for community garden where investment $ are lower
  6. 6. Planning Good planning is critical  Many gardens have failed because of knee jerk reactions  It’s more than just tilling under some soil Need buy in of gardeners  Grass roots effort Determine needs of community  Not a “one size fits all"
  7. 7. Types of Gardens Neighborhood Community Garden Collective or Communal Garden School Garden Entrepreneurial Training Program Garden Mentoring Garden
  8. 8. Community GardensNeighborhood Allotment Gardens vs. Communal Gardens (Produce goes to Individuals) (Produce goes to Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, Charitable Groups)
  9. 9. Neighborhood Community Garden
  10. 10. Neighborhood Community Garden
  11. 11. Neighborhood Community Gardens• Allotment Garden--Land is divided into plots for individual or family use. Land may be owned, rented or borrowed by the community garden.• Gardens are usually organized and managed by the member gardeners.• Most common type of community garden.
  12. 12. Collective or CommunalGarden
  13. 13. Collective or Communal Garden• Participants work in garden for a common goal (ex. Food pantry garden, grow produce to donate to low income families, gardeners share with each other, etc.)• All for one and one for all• May struggle sustaining garden in long haul if you do not have a good support base
  14. 14. School Gardens
  15. 15. School Gardens• Outdoor Classroom – Science, math, language arts, nutrition, social science, etc., – Outdoor gathering space to enjoy nature and relax• Goals – Help meet specific educational goals (state education standards) – School beautification
  16. 16. Brainstorming Session Is there a need for a garden? What is the purpose of the garden? What role will the garden play in the community? Who will utilize the garden? What type of garden will meet our needs? Who will support the garden?
  17. 17. Organization and Governance
  18. 18. Garden Governance• Garden rules, By-Laws• Developed by the garden group• Specific to your situation• Provides for smooth operation of garden• Helps establish expectations of gardeners• Provides for appeal processes• Reviewed by Legal Counsel
  19. 19. Building a Strong Team
  20. 20. (Community) = (Garden)You are not a CommunityGarden without bothCommunity and Garden
  21. 21. Building the Team• Team Involvement and Camaraderie• Dedicated, motivated members• Diversity of ages, backgrounds, skills• Share the work load and responsibilities• Democratic process• Good communication
  22. 22. What are the key roles?• Leader• Communicator/Publicity Person• Money person—treasurer• Recorder—secretary• Fundraiser• Dedicated Board Members• Garden mentors• Coordinator or Garden Manager??
  23. 23. Community Gardens Some Logistics Irrigation Water Source Cost Use Drip!! Tools Hand Tools Safety Issues Supplies Mulch Compost Seeds and other Equipment Tillers, mowers, etc. Shed
  24. 24. What about Perennial Crops?
  25. 25. Soil ImprovementAdding Organic Matter• Organic matter (OM) improves soil in a number of ways – Loosens tight clays – Increases water-holding capacity – Increases cation exchange capacity – Soil “aggregates” and tilth• How OM can be added – Compost • Pre-plant or side-dressing – Degradeable mulch – Crop residues – Cover crops / green manures
  26. 26. Soil ImprovementCover Crops• Also known a “green manures”, cover crops are extremely important for soil health – Organic matter – Soil microbial health• Suppress Weeds• Add / Recover nitrogen – Highly-leachable N03 – Legume cover crops fix N• Can be used as mulch – No-till or strip-tillage• Can reduce excess nutrients (P)• Reduce soil erosion
  27. 27. IrrigationTypes of irrigation systems • Flood or furrow – Not typical • Overhead / Sprinkler – Direct-sown crops – Frost protection – Cover crops • Drip / Trickle – Low pressure vs high pressure – Not a “soaker hose” – Most efficient system – Reduced leaf wetness
  28. 28. Sources of Irrigation WaterAdvantages vs. Disadvantages• Surface Water – Creeks, streams – Rivers – Ponds• Below-ground – Wells• Treated water – City – Rural water districts.
  29. 29. Water filtrationAbove-ground water sources • Screen Filters • Plastic Disk Filters • Sand Filters – Swimming pool – Stainless steel – Ceramic
  30. 30. The Drip SystemLow pressure systems “drip tape”• Inexpensive• Long rows• Inject fertilizer
  31. 31. The Drip SystemHigh pressure systems “drip tube”• Much more expensive• Shorter rows• Long life of materials – Lower maintenance• No pressure regulator• Can be purchased at hardware stores
  32. 32. Raised Beds vs.
  33. 33. Raised Beds
  34. 34. Tools
  35. 35. Just about anything can be rented
  36. 36. Tools
  37. 37. Tool/Equipment Storage
  38. 38. SuppliesMulches• Mulching is a valuable practice that is often overlooked. – Conserve soil moisture – Control weeds – Increase / reduce soil temperature – Disease management• Organic Mulches – Leaves, straw, compost, wood chips, pine straw• Plastic Mulches – Colored mulches – Reflective mulches
  39. 39. Kansas Community Garden Grants• Joint project of K-State Research & Extension and the Kansas Health Foundation• Grant funding for new Kansas community gardens• Gardens may apply for up to $5,000 to help establish new gardens (site prep, water lines, sheds, fencing, large and small equipment, etc.)
  40. 40. Kansas Community Garden Grants• Applications for 2013 due January 15, 2013.• 2013 application available at• If you have questions, contact Evelyn Neier, or 785—410-3760• Visit website for more info on community gardening
  41. 41.• Information on Community Garden Grant• Resources• Videos• Other Grant Opportunities• Biographies of 2012 Grant Recipients
  42. 42. Resources• Links to related websites – American Community Garden Association – Kansas Health Foundation – K-State Research & Extension sites• Publications – Missouri Community Gardening Toolkit – How to Organize an Allotment Community Garden (North Carolina Extension Publication)
  43. 43. Videos• Community Garden Topics – Learning tools – Short videos to show to groups – How to organize a community garden, where to site a garden, common garden features, budget items, gardening techniques, garden programming, etc.
  44. 44. 2012 Garden Recipients• Short bio of each garden• Any links to websites, Facebook pages, blogs, etc.• Good way to get ideas for how different gardens are structured, their activities, their goals, etc.
  45. 45. Starting a Community Garden• Remember the importance of good planning• Include the gardeners in the planning process• Keep in mind that a community garden is a community within a community
  46. 46. QUESTIONS ??
  47. 47. For more informationEvelyn Neier4-H Youth DevelopmentK-State Research & Extensioneneier@ksu.edu785-410-3760