starting a community garden but have no idea where to start

david - BronxFebruary 12, 2001

hello i need help, i live in a cumminity with about 12 different buildings with surrounding gardens i want to start a community garden but have no idea on how to start. should i try to do one big garden or small individual areas, i have gotten the ok to start one from the building managers, but they have basically washed their hands and gave me full controll so now i am lost and i need some direction. id be greatful for any extra advice or help ....thank you .....david

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Marshall freezing - 9/10

David,

I had going a very long post of recommendation when the electricity went blip and I lost it all...damn.

Well, here goes again...start with a "business plan" outlining all the important parts of the project and a timeline for completing steps to completion. Some questions for you to consider:

Who is doing the work? The site has to be cleared of trash, the soil tested for heavy metals and toxins, and the garden units laid out and generally prepped with available potable water for garden plots and gardeners.

Who are your gardeners? Have you polled the neighbors, local religious and ethnic centers? Will you be charging them for their plots? What are their responsibilities to the garden and to each other?

How will you get liability insurance (Your property owner probably won't let you run a community garden without insurance unless you can get the city park's department or public works to sponsor the project). An association with a local agency might give you more for the invested buck.

What are your security needs for the garden and the gardeners? Fencing is a minimum.

Have you got sponsors to help pay for preparation, layout, tools and other expenses? The garden ought to have sets of simple tools and a safe storage place.

Try to interest local houses of worship, ethnic clubs, ethnic grocers, local botanical and garden clubs (check with Brooklyn Botanical Garden and New York Botanic Garden -- the first publishes little gardening books including one I think on community gardens. There are already a large number of community gardens in the NY Metropolitan area for you to visit and talk about your vision.

Good luck, hope this helps,

Marshall

    Bookmark   February 13, 2001 at 7:51PM
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Alex - 6 in W NJ

Get in contact with Green Guerillas. Great project! Good luck!
http://www.greenguerillas.org/

    Bookmark   February 26, 2001 at 7:28PM
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