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Backyard AND community garden plots?

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Backyard AND community garden plots?

Post  JustMe on 6/10/2012, 7:14 pm

Our SFG has already gone from 30 squares to 67 this season. We have the space at home to build more boxes, but DH threw out the idea of renting a community garden plot. I'd prefer having more SFGs at home for the convenience, because some days I'm out at "The Farm" 2x/day. I thought I'd pick brains here about having both home and community garden spaces.

If you have both a backyard garden and a plot in a community garden...

- why do you garden in both places?

- how often do you visit your community garden plot?

- how do you decide what you will plant in the home garden and the community garden? Do you plant the same things in both gardens?

- do you SFG at the community garden? Was the garden coordinator okay with it or did you have to 'sell' the idea?

- if you don't SFG at the community garden, then do you plant rows?

Thanks.

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Re: Backyard AND community garden plots?

Post  rowena___. on 6/10/2012, 8:32 pm

If you have both a backyard garden and a plot in a community garden...

- why do you garden in both places?


i have a home garden to feed my own family. i participate in more than one community garden, invited to help other gardeners by my presence, my advice, and my example. the food i grow in the community plots gets donated--for example, the food i grow at plot at the base in clarksville is given to families there--the food i grow in the plot at the housing project is given to the residents on a first come-first serve basis--the food i grow at the neighborhood community project goes to a local organization for distribution to alleviate the effects of poverty.

- how often do you visit your community garden plot?

the local ones i visit at least weekly, or more often if i happen to be in that part of town. the out of town ones i visit when able, usually twice a month but sometimes more often, sometimes less.


- how do you decide what you will plant in the home garden and the community garden? Do you plant the same things in both gardens?


in my home garden i plant what we'll eat. for my community garden spots i plant what will grow best in the location or what the recipients are likely to be most willing to eat (for example, in the housing project gardens i don't grow anything "exotic" because most of the folks there want food they know how to prepare and know their children will eat).

- do you SFG at the community garden? Was the garden coordinator okay with it or did you have to 'sell' the idea?

i do, but i participate at the gardens based on my position as a certified instructor. it was not a hard sell--i promised to keep my area neat and to take it down at the end of the season if it proved to be an intrusion or a nuisance. since SFG is by it's very nature a neat way to garden, it was not a problem and many people have since converted to SFG on their own plots.

- if you don't SFG at the community garden, then do you plant rows?

the point of participating in a community garden, from my perspective, is not just to grow food but to build community. being rigid in my position would defeat that purpose. as mel proved in his early years and wrote about in his first book, SFG can be done quite successfully in ground, although it is more work. if i were not permitted to do SFG, i would plant in rows, using my knowledge of SFG as a basis for planning how to effectively use the room i was given.
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backyard and community gardens

Post  memart1 on 6/10/2012, 8:57 pm

Rowena, your reply was perfect! I don't know of any community gardens in my area, but I do have a few acres of land. My daughter lives just four miles away and has almost no land for gardening. This is my first year and not only am I addicted, but she and her husband are, too. I am on a fixed income, but I hope to build a pyramid strawberry garden in time to plant it this year yet. And with all the land I have, I am inviting them to put in some boxes, too. So in a sense that will be a community garden! My strawberry bed will be 4' x 6' and on the southern end of my house, so it should have full sun all day. My birthday is in March, and I already know what I want -- More SFG boxes !!!
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Re: Backyard AND community garden plots?

Post  CharlesB on 6/10/2012, 9:14 pm

- why do you garden in both places?

Space, great chatting with other gardeners, learning.

- how often do you visit your community garden plot?

Usually 5 days a week.

-
how do you decide what you will plant in the home garden and the
community garden? Do you plant the same things in both gardens?

For the community gardens it depends on the pest's, maintenance, theft, critter situations. Home is stuff I want to grab often for cooking. Tomatoes, turnip greens, peppers, etc.

- do you SFG at the community garden? Was the garden coordinator okay with it or did you have to 'sell' the idea?

One I can one I can't. One doesn't allow any permanent structures. The one I can they were quite excited I would be doing it.

- if you don't SFG at the community garden, then do you plant rows?

No. Primarily Bio-intensive or French Method. I do plant corn and amaranth in rows sometimes though.
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Re: Backyard AND community garden plots?

Post  JustMe on 6/11/2012, 3:43 pm

Thanks for these responses. We have two in our town. They are both close to us, though I've only visited one.

We thought if we did a community plot, then we could raise more and then give more to the food pantry.

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Re: Backyard AND community garden plots?

Post  quiltbea on 6/12/2012, 10:03 am

I've got both and love them both but the community garden is a lot more work because its mostly rows and not raised beds, though I hill my rows with a hoe for better drainage and so no one walks across it and compacts the soil. In one section we are experimenting with raising beds (without lumber) which will NOT be tilled. A form of SFG.

I have both gardens so I can grow different things in the comm garden, like the trailing vines of pumpkin, watermelon and winter squashes. There's also more room for corn and cutting flowers. Its also a home for extra transplants that I've started and have no room for in my home boxes, like tomatoes. Extra space means extra crops.

Its part of the library's land which they donate to us (thru the town) so we have good parking beside the library. Its built over an old golf course so the underlying levels are sand making for quick water drainage. That means visiting to water our beds every other day, it dries out so quickly even with 3 years of tilling and adding cow manures spring and fall. We have water barrels which are filled as needed from the libary spigot with hoses, but we water our rows with watering cans.

Above: Two of my four personal rows.



Above: Only a few of our Sharecropper Rows, here with sugar peas, lettuce, carrots, radishes, onions. We'll share everything from these rows, having specific rows assigned to our care but all sharing the harvest after harvesting for Food Pantry twice a month.

And on Sat June 9th, during our annual plant sale at the library (white bldg on left) which was busy with buyers, we had a visitor stroll thru our Sharecropper Rows. Luckily Miss Moose did no damage, just left a few hoof prints here and there.
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Re: Backyard AND community garden plots?

Post  GWN on 6/12/2012, 10:15 am

Luckily Miss Moose did no damage, just left a few hoof prints here and there.
NO MOOSE POOP?
This really is an interesting thread. thanks for starting it.
I guess I live in the country on an acreage and so never really had much of a thought about community gardens, but it DOES seem like a great idea socially, as well as getting older people out.
I have been looking at a grant that is available for the elderly and suddenly this strikes me as yet another great idea for helping the elderly.
We could created a community garden that is all tabletops.

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