How to Start a Community Garden

community-gardenA community garden can be a great way to boost community interaction and give everyone something to share. If you’re considering starting a community garden in your HOA, check out these how-to tips.

Find Out Who’s Interested

Before you run out and start planting a community garden, find out if anyone else is even interested. While a garden seems like a harmless thing, there may even be some residents who argue against it, so you want to know where you and the garden stand. If people are interested, make sure to create a planning committee to help craft the garden, which is much easier than having everyone involved.  

Determine What You Have and What You Need

You’re a community of different people with different skills and tools, so find out what you already have. If you have someone with great gardening experience, get them involved and take advantage of their knowledge. If you have someone with tools and equipment, ask for help. Once you know everything you already have, you can make a list of items you’ll need, such as more gardening tools.

Figure Out How to Fund the Garden

The garden won’t be free. In some cases, you can rely on residents who participate to bring their own items. For example, you may require residents to produce their own seeds and tools, but even then, the garden will cost the HOA money. Instead of relying on dues, consider charging a small fee for residents who want to use the garden. If you don’t want to make your residents pay, you could always try to find a sponsor. Offer free advertising and lots of business to the gardening shop down the street if they offer some funding.

Develop the Gardening Site

Next, you’ll need to find a site and get it ready. This is where you’ll really want to rely on residents to volunteer their time and equipment. Try to turn it into a fun event by offering snacks and drinks after everything is done. Don’t forget to organize the garden. Figure out how to divide the plots, where to store tools, etc.

Get the Kids Involved

Parents will be more excited to help the garden if it offers something for their children. Create a children’s garden that is run by children. Make sure to have an adult supervise and offer assistance, but leave most of the work to the children to teach them the joys of gardening.

Create Rules

Last, but perhaps most importantly, you have to create rules for the garden. These include what is expected of the gardeners and how issues are dealt with. Make sure to post these rules on the HOA website, so everyone has easy access to them.

A community garden can just be a great way to let the neighborhood interact, or it could be a way to make money by selling the produce. Whatever you choose to do with your community garden, these how-to tips will help make it an easy process.

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