Community gardens have been springing up all over the place since the recession hit in 2008. The idea behind them is that you team up with members of your community, and work together to keep the garden. You grow vegetables, fruits and herbs and the results are shared out between the people who help out. This way, you can get a wide range of vegetables and herbs all year round, simply by putting in a bit of work every now and again. For those who enjoy gardening his can be a no-brainer – why not do what you enjoy and get something out of it? If you’re unsure about whether something like this would be beneficial to you as you already have a garden, then why not consider the variety of fruits and vegetables you could get from a larger space with more pairs of hands working the land?
Community gardens can help those who are struggling with money and can help to provide focus and nutritious food for those who need it the most. Setting one up takes time, but it doesn’t have to cost you a penny if you can get funding. This can be easier than you may think and there are many places to approach about this. Charities, Lottery funding and your local council should be your first ports of call.
Before you look into setting up initial funding however, you’ll need to find out two things; is there an area that you can use for a community garden nearby and are the people in your area interested in starting one up? If you have some land or a very large outdoor space yourself, then you could offer this as a growing space for your interested neighbours. Alternatively, if your local area has a council-owned park or outdoor space, then you may be able to apply for permission to use it as a community garden. Your local council office should put you in touch with the right person.
Getting support from the community should be done before you begin applying for space from your local council, as a strong demand for the vegetable garden will help your case considerably. Speaking to your closest neighbours in order to determine whether there would be demand for the garden is important, and then talking to people in your general area either door-to-door or via a letter can help with further support.
Putting a notice up in a much-frequented area such as a shop, community notice board, or in the local pub can help to garner interest, and you could even get a garden centre nearby to help sponsor your cause. Once your garden is set up and ready to go, you could be making a huge saving on fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year. Planning what you’re going to grow in the garden and who is going to look after what is important if you want different types of vegetables all year round.