Community gardening is a wonderful way to engage with neighbors, feed the hungry, or teach young people life-long gardening skills. Before jumping headlong into a community garden it’s important to do your homework. Here are a few of my favorite resources to help community gardeners get organized before planting the first seed.
The University of Missouri Extension offers a Community Garden Toolkit to help new community gardens get off to a productive start. The section “ten steps to success” is particularly helpful. The document also offers downloadable templates that can be edited for your particular needs.
The Soil Science Society of America offers sage advice for new community gardeners particularly about soil, land use history and the pros and cons of building raised beds. While you are on the site, be sure to click on the “Discover Soils” tab to learn more about soil. The society offers lots of educational resources for teachers and home gardeners as well.
Finally, consider joining the American Community Gardening Association The mission of the American Community Gardening Association is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada. The group is hosting their 40th Annual Conference “Gardening at the Crossroads” on September 12-15th in Indianapolis, Indiana. Community gardeners will find registration information on their website.
Next week, I will highlight some horticulture-based resources for community gardeners specifically for gardening in South Carolina.