shared garden space
From: Sandy Thomson (sandyheartwoodcohousing.com)
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 15:57:11 -0700 (PDT)
It sounds like you have a really good start. There are many ways to do a community garden depending on who is there and how much time they have and how much community interest there is in the project. Over the years we have:

All worked together to plant, harvest and care for the plants. This was the most fun but was done when it was one of the few things we did together. So most people participated.

We have had a system similar to yours where teams of 2-3 take on growing a certain crop and all who participate share in the harvest of all of it.

We have had the option of individuals taking a certain part of the garden and growing whatever they wanted.

There always seems to be a lot of interest at the start, and harvest time and sometime one or two people end up doing all the work in the middle, Like weeding and watering. If you can make it fun and you have someone able and willing to organized community planting and harvesting with 3-4 dedicated people who are willing to do the lion's share of the work and still share the harvest I think that is the best, most community oriented way to have a community garden. The other ways work too. But be aware of the excitement factor that happens to most gardeners this time of year, that seems to where off for many people as the summer rolls on and they get busy with other things.

One thing that really helps to have a successful garden is to have all the manure and straw you will need for the summer on hand at all times and to use it! It will keep weeds down and the soil enriched. I believe the key to healthy plants and a fun productive garden is all in the soil. Start there.

Frequent updates to the community if you want them involved also helps, Notes about what is planted ,what is ready to harvest, what needs to be done all help to keep people involved. Also organizing work days where a fun atmosphere with food and or beverages are provided is worth the investment. It builds community and helps to get the job done.

Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions.

Sandy
at Heartwood Cohousing/Heartwood Farms








Currently here in Ashland OR, we are creating a garden (second year)
with the intention to share the work and the harvests. We are focusing on getting a core group of 3-4 committed gardeners working together with
others (who have less time) on teams.  We are "adopting beds" to these
teams who will be responsible for caring for these beds.

We plan to create a kids' bed which will they can help build, care for &
harvest easily.  We have a small shed with tools & a white board for
communicating what is planted where & what needs to be done.  We also
have a book for recording what was done when & how much was harvested by who.

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