These tips for building a garden in your community come from Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, home to the only well-known, documented Colonial community garden in the country.
1. Create a written contractual agreement that each gardener must sign, spelling out guidelines for use of the site.
2. Be up front with potential gardeners about the amount of “sweat equity” it requires to be successful.
3. Appoint a person who will be responsible for contacting gardeners that are not following stated guidelines.
4. Deal with theft issues.
5. Develop garden leadership – secure a key gardener who will help inexperienced gardeners and enable them to achieve success.
6. Build a sense of community among gardeners:
- Hold an Annual Community Garden meeting at the beginning of each season.
- Host a social event for the gardeners, i.e. a Community Garden Potluck
- Develop a confidential Community Garden Directory with contact information which is distributed to all gardeners
7. Have one person assume responsibility for each plot rather than groups.
8. Provide what is needed on site, i.e. mulch, water source, tools, etc.
9. Encourage gardeners to rotate crops when planting in small spaces.
10. Work with agents from the local Agricultural Extension Service whenever possible.
11. Engage local Boy Scouts in soil preparation and the construction of raised beds – Eagle Scouts built the tool and tiller sheds for the Bethabara Community Garden.
Provided by Ellen Kutcher, Director of Historic Bethabara Park
Click here for Historic Bethabara Park website
2147 Bethabara Road
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27106
Click to read a recent OurState.com story about Community Gardens by online gardening contributor Toby Bost.