How to Create a Community Garden (2022)

Introduction: How to Create a Community Garden

By strambeer

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I am one of many volunteers in the grass roots, non-profit organization, Earth's Promise. This past year we created an organic community garden with the Ethiopian community of Beer Sheva, Israel. Our garden is called the "Building Strong Roots" community garden, located in the Gimmel Neighborhood of Beer Sheva.

We chose a neglected piece of land originally intended to be a park as the site for the garden. This instructable will showcase the steps we took to construct the garden. We hope this instructable will help anyone considering building a garden in your community. Please visit our website for more information.

(Video) How to Start a Community Garden

Earth's Promise


Step 1: Planning

A lot of time went into planning the garden. The biggest issue was location, location, location. We spent over 5 months searching out communities who would be interested in working with us. In the end we chose an absorption center who house new Ethiopian immigrants to Israel. It worked out well for us because most Ethiopians have agriculture experience, especially in the coffee fields. We actually ended up learning more about gardening from them.

Step 2: Acquire the Land

This can be one of the most frustrating parts to building the community garden. The land we intended to use was neglected and full of garbage. The problem was that it was intended for public use. We approached the city many times and got the support of the deputy mayor and city engineer. In the end, we got permission to use the land for the garden. This was a big victory. We do know that there is more work to do. Having permission and owning the rights to the land are very different things.

Step 3: Initial Land Cleanup

Before the land could be used, it needed a good cleanup. We organized a "Cleanup Day." This was a huge success. We had so much help picking up trash and moving rocks. We added a little music and brought in volunteers from the local high school and university to help.

Step 4: Ribbon Cutting Ceromony

We found that one of the keys to a successful garden is to get as many people involved as possible. You never know who will come forward and donate equipment or seeds. We held an opening ceremony to announce the garden to the general public. It was a huge success. We had local newspapers come and do a story, along with government officials. The local Ethiopian children performed a dance to entertain the crowd.

Step 5: Fence and Marking the Plots

We did not want to put a fence up, but vandalism was a big concern. We worked with the city engineer and local residents to make sure the fence fit well into the neighborhood. We also decided to set hours the garden would be open, so people could work and enjoy the area.

We also worked with the community to decide whether to have one large garden or individual family plots. This community wanted individual family plots and would then work together on the upkeep of the rest of the garden. It was also decided to dedicate a separate area for a children's garden and teenager garden.

Step 6: Compost Delivery

One of our first biggest mistakes that turned out to be a lot of fun was the compost. We had a truckload of compost delivered after we put up the fence. It probably would have been smarter to drop the compost in the middle of the garden and then put the fence up. We ended up having to transport to the compost by buckets and wheelbarrows. We created a "Work Day" and invited the community to help. This generated a lot of enthusiasm from the community and the volunteers.

Step 7: Irrigation Pipes

We hired a local company to help us lay down irrigation pipes. We designed the garden so each individual family plot has their own faucet to control the amount of water. Later we brought drip irrigation equipment to conserve water.

Step 8: Garden Plot Lottery

In order to distribute the garden plots fairly we held a lottery. We turned this event into a party as well. It was a lot of fun and really got everyone excited to start gardening.

(Video) How to Set up Your Community Garden Plot in 2022

Step 9: Bed Building

We held a work day in order to construct the garden beds. The Ethiopians pretty much knew what to do. They were actually teaching us volunteers. We first broke up the soil and then added the compost. The soil in this part of Israel is pretty much like clay so we needed to add the nutrients. We found that the older kids were really excited to work and use the tools. They turned out to be a big help after school was out.

Step 10: Invite Guests to the Garden

Right away, we started advertising and inviting guests to work in the garden. We had special visit from member of Knesset (Israeli Parliament) who is the Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galil, Yaakov Edri. We also enjoyed visits from IDF solders who brought smiles to everyone.

Step 11: Water Conservation Workshop

Israel, along with the rest of the Middle East, is a land plagued with a water crisis. One of the primary goals was to create a garden that required as little water as possible. After the beds were constructed we installed drip irrigation lines. These drip lines are engineered to deliver a set amount of water directly to the roots of the plant. We are really excited because the manufacturer, Netafim, has invited everyone to visit the factory. For more information about the technology you can visit their website:

www.netafim.com

Step 12: Planting

Finally, after months of hard work, we planted. We searched out donations from a local organic seed manufacturer. We also had some friends at the university who donated seeds and seedlings from their research in desert agriculture.

This was a lot of fun but it did get a little hectic. The key was being organized and not over planting because it would have been a big waste. We had about 15 different species of crops like lettuce, hot peppers, green onions etc.. We kept a list of who received seeds to make sure there was enough for everyone. This was a little tedious but the extra seeds were saved for a second planting a few months later.

Step 13: Sign Building

We had to identify each individual plot and thought numbering them would be kind of boring. One volunteer had the idea that each plot should represent cities in Israel and Ethiopia. We got all the kids together to brainstorm different cities and paint the signs. We chose 3 primary colors for the signs, red, yellow and green; the colors of the Ethiopian Flag.

Step 14: Harvest

A few short few months after planting, we started to see the "veggies" of our labor.

Step 15: Ouside the Fence

The enthusiasm for the garden could not be tamed. Volunteers along with the community took extra plants (cacti and succulents) and planted them outside the garden fence. This seemed to bridge a nice relationship with the community in the area. We also find that kids like to compete to see who can pick up the most garbage.

(Video) Community Gardens - 10 Steps to Successful Community Gardens (Module 1 Part 1)

Step 16: Future Work

Well, this is just the beginning for "Building Strong Roots" Community Garden. We have been inundated with requests for garden plots. We just received permission to expand the boundaries of the garden to include more plots. We are also working on new activities for the kids and teens.

For more information or if you would like to help, please visit our website at:
www.earthspromise.org

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FAQs

How do you create a community garden? ›

How to Start a Community Garden
  1. Organize a meeting of interested people. Organize a group meeting and invite anyone you think might be interested. ...
  2. Form a planning committee. ...
  3. Identify your resources. ...
  4. Approach a sponsor. ...
  5. Choose a site. ...
  6. Prepare and develop the site. ...
  7. Plan for children. ...
  8. Organize the garden.

What is the goal of a community garden? ›

The aims of the garden typically focus on providing opportunities for local residents, improving local environments and/or on producing fruit and vegetables for food.

What is the meaning of community garden? ›

Community gardens are plots of land, usually in urban areas, that are rented by individuals or groups for private gardens or are for the benefit of the people caring for the garden. Dig into these resources to learn about healthy, local food.

Where is the best place to put a community garden? ›

Parks, service centers, schools, utility easements, apartments, churches, or synagogues can make ideal locations. The garden location should be close to the gardeners who will maintain it. Sometimes, gardeners propose turning their own private land into a community garden with themselves as resident coordinator.

Why public gardens are important? ›

The Roles Public Gardens Play: Research and Conservation

Others maintain their own laboratories. Regardless of their setup, public gardens understand the important role plants play in our ecosystems and work to promote understanding.

How do gardens help the environment? ›

Like green spaces, gardens participate in the protection of biodiversity; for example, by providing food and habitat for bees and other pollinators. Beyond attracting fauna, gardens help improve the quality of our air and cool down built environments by enabling reverberation and evapotranspiration.

Why is gardening important? ›

It's good for your health.

The health benefits of gardening have been well-documented. Being outside increases your exposure to Vitamin D and the weight-bearing exercise of gardening is good for bones and the heart. One study even found that gardening decreases your risk of dementia!

What is the impact of garden? ›

The findings demonstrated links between gardens and improved mental well-being, increased physical activity and a reduction in social isolation enabling the development of 2 logic models. Conclusions Gardens and gardening can improve the health and well-being for people with a range of health and social needs.

How does gardening bring people together? ›

Growing food can bring people together in all kinds of ways, from community gardens, to sharing food with friends and neighbors, to simply cooking for people with the fresh, homegrown food you produced. Some gardeners get involved with community food banks, school gardens or the local farmers market.

How can you make a community garden profitable? ›

A community garden thrives on its community members. Typically, they make money through ongoing memberships. These memberships can either be basic or provide ongoing gardening supplies. Additional revenue opportunities exist in gardening shops, seed shops, classes, and similar visitation experiences.

How do I start a gardening program? ›

For anyone looking to begin a gardening program at a school, here are some tips to consider before you get growing:
  1. Evaluate Your Available Space. Who is your garden serving? ...
  2. Find Resources and Build Partnerships. ...
  3. Check the Health of Your Soil. ...
  4. Collaborate on the Design. ...
  5. Selecting Plants. ...
  6. Build and Use Your Garden.
29 Mar 2021

What makes a school garden successful? ›

An effective school garden will need a gathering area that will accommodate an entire class. A gathering area can consist of benches, stools, hay bales, tree stumps, or anything else kids can sit on, arranged in a semicircle.

What is a community garden and how does it work? ›

Community gardens are plots of land, usually in urban areas, that are rented by individuals or groups for private gardens or are for the benefit of the people caring for the garden. Dig into these resources to learn about healthy, local food.

How do community gardens make money? ›

A community garden thrives on its community members. Typically, they make money through ongoing memberships. These memberships can either be basic or provide ongoing gardening supplies. Additional revenue opportunities exist in gardening shops, seed shops, classes, and similar visitation experiences.

How much space is needed for a community garden? ›

o 30-100 square feet is a great beginner garden size o 100-300 square feet of space is adequate for most households o 300-600 for more serious gardeners wanting to cook frequently and preserve food for winter. o More than 600 square feet can be a serious “mini-farm” supplying large quantities of food during the main ...

What is a disadvantage of a community garden? ›

Personality clashes are among the problems with community gardens. When people work closely together there are bound to be differences of opinion, jealousy, and other negative effects. Small conflicts can be exacerbated by cultural differences.

Are community gardens effective? ›

Results suggest that community gardens were perceived by gardeners to provide numerous health benefits, including improved access to food, improved nutrition, increased physical activity and improved mental health. Community gardens were also seen to promote social health and community cohesion.

What is community garden program? ›

The scheme is meant to encourage the public to participate in greening activities at community level and to adopt greening activities as part of daily life. It also aims at arousing public awareness in greening and environmental protection through participating in gardening activities. Top. Share.

What do you call a community garden? ›

The main types of community gardens are what you might call a neighborhood garden, or an allotment garden, where each individual gardener has their own plot. Another very common type of community garden is a communal garden where everyone works together and gardens the whole space.

How do you market a community garden? ›

4 Proactive “Word of Mouth” Tips to Growing a Community Garden
  1. Come Up with a Unique Concept. ...
  2. Grow Support for Your Garden by Growing Your Social Media Presence. ...
  3. Create a Strong Online Presence with a Website Dedicated to Your Community Garden. ...
  4. Contact Your Local Community News Outlets.

How do community gardens help the economy? ›

Urban community gardens are a type of green space presenting a diverse role in urban systems. They can also be beneficial for solving the matter of food insecurity by providing self-sufficiency and resilience in low-income communities and increasing the continuity of agricultural activities.

Why would you grow a garden in a city? ›

Urban gardening teaches you that you don't need a lot of space to grow your own food. There are techniques like vertical gardening, container gardening, rooftop gardening, and hydroponic gardening that utilize space well. Urban gardening helps you make the best use of space while growing all the food that you want.

How do you plant a community garden plot? ›

Amend the soil with well-decomposed compost and other organic material at least two weeks before planting. Spend time with your garden plot and watch the path of the sun and determine the layout of your garden bed based on sunlight and shading patterns. Select low maintenance plants and start planting.

How big is a plot in a community garden? ›

A community garden is any piece of land gardened by a group of people. The majority of gardens in community gardening programs are collections of individual garden plots, frequently between 3 m × 3 m (9.8 ft × 9.8 ft) and 6 m × 6 m (20 ft × 20 ft).

Videos

1. How to Start a Community Garden with Morag Gamble : Masterclass 27
(Morag Gamble : Our Permaculture Life)
2. The Aboriginal community garden creating connection through food | Discovery | Gardening Australia
(Gardening Australia)
3. How to Start a Community Garden - Eden Project Communities
(Eden Project Communities)
4. How to Create a Community Garden: Model Authenticity
(FormLA Landscaping)
5. How-to Create a Community Garden: Authentic Foothill Gardens
(FormLA Landscaping)
6. How to Start a Community Garden
(Howcast)

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