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Growing Communities and Gardens


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Kansas Community Garden Conference
July 7, 2014
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Chuck Marr

Many new community gardens have been started in the last several years. A plan to make these gardens thrive and grow, becoming an integral part of your community, is important for their sustainable future. Some ways of improving the future of your gardens will be discussed and your input and ideas will be welcomed.

Published in: Education
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Growing Communities and Gardens

  1. 1. KEEPING IT GOING….. Sustaining a Community Garden Relating the Community to your Garden Dr. Chuck Marr Professor (Emeritus) of Horticulture Kansas State University
  2. 2. Types of Community Gardens  Allotment gardens  Donation gardens  Reclamation gardens  Special populations gardens  Handicapped/special needs  Youth  International groups
  3. 3. ‘Rebirth’ of Community Gardens  The Earth Movement  The Oil Embargo  The Food Scare  Nutrition and Wellness  Economic Crises  Obesity and Health  Local Foods The Early ’70s’ ….Present
  4. 4. An Excellent Opportunity  Current Important Issues  Nutrition Obesity  Exercise Food for impoverished  Local foods Low Impact Gardening  Recycling Carbon sequestration  Wide range of population  Opportunities for funding  Opportunities for community support
  5. 5. Garden Management  Garden Management ‘Team’  ‘Two heads are better than one’  Diverse  Focused on the task  Separate the ‘small stuff’ from ‘management’  The “Sparkplug” ‘Builder’ not necessarily a manager Overworked Shared ‘responsibility’ and workload
  6. 6. Plan, Plan, Plan  Perfect the original plan  Grow, shrink, stay the same  Plan for growth  Stay the same is not all bad  Don’t worry about a little shrinkage  Replacement-repair of equipment  Be prepared to react to a ‘windfall’  Actively seek a ‘windfall’
  7. 7. Rules are Rules  Evaluate rules and adapt if necessary  Avoid ‘one-time incident’ rules  Enforce rules (with good judgment)  Keep the rules straightforward and simple  Always be prepared to justify why a rule is important
  8. 8. Relating to the Community  What does your garden do for the community?  Create an “OH REALLY” moment  Take every opportunity to share with community groups  A place for photographs and a contact for information with media  Personal contact with community leaders, funders, and ‘in-kind’ donors
  9. 9. Social Gardening  The ‘Rural’ Ethic  Good things happen from social interaction  Fewer conflicts  Sharing and cooperation  Common interests  Provide opportunities for social interaction  Mentoring  Don’t force uncomfortable situations
  10. 10. Accountability Share an ‘end of season’ wrap up with all participants and funders Accurate accounting Shared leadership and responsibility
  11. 11. Education and Learning  Take and make opportunities for gardeners to learn  Using garden space  Pest problems  Gardening techniques  When to do what  Growing things is not an ‘inherent instinct’  Mentoring  Educational events or communication  Accurate and reliable information
  12. 12. K-State Research & Extension Knowledge for Life