Build Community with a Community Garden

Loura K. Sanchez | Monday, December 30, 2013 | Community Associations Miscellaneous

 

Spring really is around the corner and now is the time to consider establishing a community garden in your association.  A community garden is a shared space where residents gather to garden and grow food. They can range in size from one small raised bed to hundreds of square feet.  Community gardens can create a place for connection and belonging, facilitate social activities, empower residents, encourage water conservation, waste reduction and recycling, beautify unused common area and increase values in a community.  We've put together a checklist of 10 steps in starting a community garden in your community based on the article by Carolyn Zezima, Esq. which recently appeared in the Associated Housing Management Insider.

Comments

While it sounds like a good idea--really "touchy-feely," I would never encourage this, based upon past experience as a manager. When the idea is floated, usually at at annual meeting in the winter, everybody is gung-ho. The discussions start concerning location, responsibility, etc., etc.--you know, the real "guts" of the project. There are logistical problems, such as how is the garden going to be watered. is there a spigot near-by? Who is going to do the watering? "We'll take turns." A schedule is drawn up, but, within a month, people have reneged, and the plants are already dying. What's worse, people are arguing about whose fault it is, and they end up not speaking to each other. Far from instilling a "sense of community," the attempts I have witnessed have ended in people at each other's throats. I hate to be the one to put the kabosh on good ideas, but good ideas do not always translate into good practice, I'm sad to say. it is the nature of our society today to be as antagonistic as possible. So, when a community comes up with its latest and greatest attempt, I just stand back and let it play out. I don't even say "I told you so" any more. The reality does leave me depressed and sad, however.

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