In our local parish, we were talking about how we can contribute to the community by starting a common garden which will provide crops for those in need. Are you familiar with community gardening? If not, it’s a way of gardening using a common piece of land collectively developed by a group of people. This means that you can contribute to community gardens and work with others in developing it!
Community gardens provide fresh produce to a certain community and help in preserving the environment. Additionally, the cooperation between citizens helps build a strong bond which aids in maintaining prosperity in the neighborhood.
If you’re interested in starting a community garden around your place, then you’re in for a treat. I’m going to give you a few ideas on setting up and starting a garden which your neighbors can help out in developing!
Meeting Up and Organizing
First of all, contact whoever you need to so you’d gain permission on starting the garden within the community.
Next, there are certainly some individuals who are as interested in creating a community garden as much as you! Make announcements and call up those who may be into the idea.
After which, find a suitable venue where you can meet up. Appoint certain people who’d be able to handle aspects such as administration, finance, and communication.
Identify the following things:
- What plants will you grow?
- Will the garden be for sustainable development or for aesthetics?
- What resources do you need and in what quantities?
As you appoint officers, the one handling financial matters should keep track of how much the project will cost upon starting up. The cost of seeds, fencing, fertilizer, and pest control measures are usually ones taken into account.
Most importantly, determine how you are to acquire the patch of land. If it’s a community-sponsored lot, you’d be able to save some funds on rent or purchasing. If not, then you’d have to adjust the budget based on how much land area you can buy within the neighborhood.
If finances are a problem, you may ask for a sponsorship from local businesses. Some are generous enough to give one out, so it’s best to give it a shot.
Once you’ve found a suitable site for a community garden, it’s time to do some organizing! Depending on the plants you want in the garden, you’d have to segregate them properly. If you’re focusing on produce, you’d of course have to place root crops in a certain area and leafy vegetables in another. On that note, crops which are more prone to being ruined by elements should be hidden from plain sight. Such crops include the aforementioned leafy vegetables. On the other hand, you may not have to worry that much about beans—which are protected by the pods—and tubers, which grow underground.
If the community garden is simply for planting flowers, you may refer to this guide on arranging flower beds. Make sure you keep the soil fertile and slightly moist. Keep the area well-fenced to prevent cats, dogs, and little children from coming in and ruining the garden itself!
Maintaining the Garden
Meet up with the rest of the group on a weekly basis. If that won’t be possible, delegate some people within the organization to take care of the garden for a particular week and then some other people for the week after that.
Learn by trimming stems of shrubs which have overgrown. See to it that the water system is cleaned up and functional as the plants need moisture.
Weeds can be damaging to plants as they steal water and nutrients and also produce natural herbicides. Take care of the problem by pulling them out. When using weed killers, just make sure your crops won’t be affected by chemicals by using natural killers which are safe for plants. Do so as soon as they appear. Spread the soil evenly once weeding is done.
Perhaps the most important of all is watering the plants. While an irrigation system may take care of this aspect, it’s always best to occasionally do an old-fashioned watering just to be thorough. Here is a guide on watering plants.
Lastly, have fun!
Gardening with your neighbors, friends, or family members can be an enriching experience. What’s more is that you’re helping out in your community by providing crops and preserving the environment! Make the most out of your community garden by dedicating some days to maintaining it upon starting one. Lastly, don’t forget to have the time of your life doing so!