Community gardens are fast becoming a popular choice among people who want a natural, organic alternative to supermarket produce that's travelled many miles to get on the shelves. If you are one of those people, and you live in an area that doesn't already have one, you can start a community garden yourself. Be forewarned – you are going to need plenty of patience, perseverance and determination – but it CAN be done! It is a project that has many more pros than cons, and the challenges you might face will seem insignificant when you see how it brings the community together. To ensure a successful start to your venture, you will need to follow these steps:
Rally Your Troops
You won't be able to do this on your own. Talk to your friends, family and neighbours and let them know about your idea. Get them excited and make sure they understand the benefits they'll be getting out of this. Make sure they understand that once on board, they will need to volunteer their time (and possibly make some donations along the way.)
Find a Location
This is one of the most important steps and may take several months of scouting. Try to find a patch of land that gets direct sun for a good portion of the day. This is where your communication skills come in – you'll need to talk to (and convince) the owner of the land that creating a community garden is the best use for the property. Don't get discouraged if the owner isn't as enthusiastic as you are – just keep trying, or find another location. Don't give up!
Approach Your Local Council
Once you have your volunteer committee and you've scouted a good location, it's time to approach your local council to get them on board. Make sure you have all of your paperwork, necessary applications and other requirements at the ready. Be prepared for the meeting, and you will have a better chance of success.
The first step after getting approval from council is to prepare the land. You will likely need an earthmoving hire company to help with the soil preparation. At this stage, you should already have an idea of what vegetables you will be growing, and have set a schedule for volunteers and their duties.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it will give you a start on what you need to do in order to prepare your community garden. The more you plan ahead, the better chance you have of making it a success for years to come.