By now you have probably heard of the wonderful gardening movement known as community gardening- they seem to be popping up everywhere! While you may have heard of or even seen a community garden, chances are you don’t actually know exactly what they are and how they work! Well, wonder no longer.
What are they?
Community gardens are places where people from all walks of life can come together to grow and garden food and plants, cultivate a green environment, and essentially create and become a part of a thriving and vibrant community that has a penchant for sustainability.
There is no particular gardening theme to follow, they can be as small or as large as one wishes, anyone can be involved and anything can be grown- this is what makes community gardening so alluring for all! Not to mention the abundance of fresh produce that is grown and shared among the community members!
How do they work?
Community Gardens are most commonly formed and run by schools, workplaces. neighborhoods or organisations as a collective group. After deciding upon starting a community garden and finding a suitable place to site it (see below),a leader or manager is generally selected. In most cases, members are sometimes expected to pay an annual fee to help pay for the upkeep, which the leader will manage.
There is no set way to run a community garden- this is generally agreed upon by the members themselves, however, each member will generally contribute something agreed upon by all, and will also take turns in tending to and maintaining the garden, such as watering, weeding, harvesting and composting.
As a group, they can choose to either swap and share the wares amongst themselves, sell them at local markets, or even give them to a charity or worthy cause- most combine all three of these and have great success.
Where can they be?
Once the seed of starting a community garden has been planted, it is important to find an area in which it can take shape. The gardens are usually located on vacant public land, which can be donated by local councils or other organisations under a type of lease agreement. Places they are usually formed include; parks, schools, vacant lots, roof-tops and nature strips- basically anywhere that is given the okay by the landowner, is easily accessible, has a water source nearby, and plenty of sunlight.
Do they really work?
If members are passionate and dedicated- community gardens can really thrive and be a fabulous success- the fact that they’re popping up all over the country tells us how popular they are! Admittedly, they do take some work, but if a team is committed, this way of gardening will be a great venture, and can create a nurturing and strong community. Plus with the fresh produce that will likely be available (which we all know is far tastier than its store bought counterparts), people would be crazy not to get involved! Check out some of the other benefits for starting a community garden here.
So, what are you waiting for!? Gather up your fellow green thumbs and start planning your dream garden today!