Community gardens are more than just gardens. They are transformative spaces where neighbors grow food, collaborate on projects with people they might not otherwise have met, and benefit from time in nature in the middle of the city.
But what makes a community garden thrive? Here are four essential ingredients of a successful community garden.
1) A place to gather. A comfortable, shaded seating area provides space for shared meals, meetings, classes, performances, and casual conversations. The seating area can become the heart of the community garden.
2) A place for children. Many community gardens create spaces specially designated as children’s areas. A safe space at the garden for kids to explore nature means whole family can spend time at the community garden.
3) A communication kiosk. Community gardens need a way to visually communicate messages. When is the next meeting? How can passersby sign up for a plot? When is the next work day or potluck? It helps for this information to be posted clearly and prominently.
4) Ample signage. What is this place? Can I take this produce? How can I get involved? Clear signage means clear communication, and this helps community gardens serve as true community resources, since it provides the opportunity to announce loud and clear to all who pass by that that is what the garden is intended to be.
Want to start a community garden in your neighborhood? Find out how at our Community Garden Leadership Training this Saturday, November 15th, from 9am-1pm at SFC!
In this workshop, we will cover: community organizing, how to secure land, garden organization structures, and fundraising & community outreach. There is a high interest in community gardening in Austin, and very limited spaces available at the current community gardens. Come learn about how we can work together to start more gardens. To register, click here.