Not everyone has the space for their own garden. While you can do a little kitchen garden and grow some herbs and perhaps some tomatoes, it’s really hard to do a serious garden if you don’t have the space. You might be fortunate enough to have an option in some areas.
Some neighborhoods have community gardens set up. These may be many individual plots that you can sign up for or a single plot that anyone in the community can help with. It’s a chance for you to garden even if you don’t otherwise have the space. The American Community Gardening Association is a great place to start learning about community gardens.
If there’s a community garden already in your area, go find out how to join. There may be fees associated, as there are costs to running a community garden, from leasing or buying the land, to the cost of insurance, to the cost of water.
If you can’t find a community garden in your area, you might be able to start one with others in your area who would like to garden. Start talking about it in your neighborhood. Look for empty lots that could serve. Start talking to sponsors to help with the costs once you have enough people to get things going.
It can be challenging to start a community garden. You may not find the support you were hoping for. There may be some people flat out opposed to the idea. The only way you’re going to find out if things can work, however, is to give it a try.
It helps to remind people that a community garden isn’t just about giving people a place to grow flowers and vegetables. It’s a way to bring the community together. It’s a way to teach children about where food comes from and give them real experiences with growing food. It’s a way to make healthier foods more accessible.
Community gardens can even help to deter crime. They get people out into the neighborhood and helps them to get to know each other. There are more eyes outside, so to speak.
The people who participate in the community garden may even be interested in getting together on other topics of concern. You have one point of interest in common. You may be able to get members of the community garden group to work on other activities as well. It’s great for making needed changes in the community.
You will find being a part of a community garden to be a fair bit of work. That’s reasonable, as any sort of gardening takes significant effort. But you may have to add into those efforts the work needed to make the garden function for everyone, deal with disputes and cope with troublemakers. But you’ll be joining in efforts to really improve your community.