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However, because of the unique characteris- In addition to the typical neighborhood commu- tics of rural places, they often take on different formsnity garden where plots are subdivided and cared for and serve different functions. Research conducted byby individuals or families, community gardens exist Ashley F.

Sullivan from the Center on Hungerin a variety of other forms to serve a number of func- and Poverty at Tufts University identified a number oftions. A trained horticulture therapist classroom lessons with hands-on gardening activities. Gardens may be located Gardens may be located on school grounds, at a commu- at hospitals, senior centers, prisons or other places. Demonstration gardens located at working com- agencies to teach business or job skills to youth or other munity gardens are often open to the general public for groups.

They grow and sell the produce they raise. Pro- display and classes. They may be managed and main- ceeds from the sale of garden products are used to pay tained by garden members or a participating gardening the participants for their work. Programs typically rely on group such as extension Master Gardeners, community outside sources of funding to offset costs.

Plots are not subdivided for individual or family program, visit mg. Produce is distributed among group members. University of Missouri 5 Community Gardening Toolkit 6. Community Gardening toolkitways in which rural community gardens differ from Sullivan identified obstacles to community gar-their urban counterparts.

Her research uncovered dif- dening in rural areas as well. Obstacles include a highferent types of rural community gardens along with rate of gardener and volunteer turnover, animosityobstacles to community gardening in rural areas. The history of community gardening Community During World War gardens have been I, the government pro- used in American cit- moted community gar- ies since the s, dens to supplement and with the first gardens expand the domestic appearing in Detroit.

The federal During the initial government embarked phase of community on an unprecedented gardening, a variety effort to incorporate ag- of groups, including ricultural education and social and educational food production into reformers, along with the public school curric- those involved in the ulum through a Bureau civic beautification of Education programmovement, were responsible for promoting community gar- called the United States School Garden Army. According to thedening. Community gardens began as a way to provide land USSGA, several million children enlisted in the program, 50,and technical assistance to unemployed workers in large cities teachers received curriculum materials and several thousandand to teach civics and good work habits to youth.

During the Great Depression, community gardens provided a means for the unemployed to grow their own food. During thistime, private, state and local agencies provided individuals with garden plots and employment in cooperative gardening. MU Extension 6 MP 7. Common chal-lenges faced by most communitygarden groups include:Management — Community gar-dens are management intensive. They demand patience, time andthe capacity to work with and or-ganize people and projects. Theyalso typically require systems toenforce rules and resolve conflicts. Maintenance — Community gar- come and go from community adult activity and vandalism isdens are maintenance intensive.

Grass will need to be mowed, Because of this, it can be challeng- Gardening skills — Many newequipment will need to be re- ing to maintain a sense of commu- and some returning gardenerspaired, and plant debris will need nity and consistency at gardens. As a experiences may be more likely togardeners and garden leaders general rule, theft is the result of give up. The rebirth of community gar- dening in the s was a response to urban abandonment, rising inflation, environmental concerns and a desire to build neighborly connections. City- wide organizations assisted people with acquiring land, constructing gardens and developing educational programming.

Local residents, fac- ing a myriad of urban problems, used gardens to rebuild neighborhoods and expand green spaces. Although common themes of food production, income generation, recreation, edu- cation and beautification still provid The Victory Garden campaign ed a strong rationale for gardening, aduring World War II encouraged people new focus was placed on rebuildingto grow food for personal consumption, social networks and the infrastructurerecreation and to improve morale.

After of blighted urban communities.

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University of Missouri 7 Community Gardening Toolkit 8. Since , Joel Waxman and a group of dedicatedServices and supplies — Plowing, tilling and the de- volunteers have grown vegetables at a community gardenlivery of compost and mulch can be challenging ser- at Temple Israel to donate to the Ozarks Food Harvest.

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The group, comprised of Master Gardeners, members ofWater — Most gardens need some way to irrigate various congregations and other community members,fruits and vegetables during the summer. Finding has pooled its time, expertise and, above all, commitmenta source of water can be challenging. Also, because to increasing access to fresh vegetables. The group hasmost community gardens are located on borrowed donated thousands of pounds of garden-grown food toland, installing a water hydrant may not be feasible those struggling to make ends meet. The 4,square-foot garden holds an impressive arraySite permanency — Most community gardens are lo- of vegetables.

Eggplant, potatoes, winterfrastructure that can be added to a particular site. It squash, okra, yardlong beans and sweet potatoes growmay also create an atmosphere of instability among well in the southwest Missouri climate and soils. For mulch,gardeners since the garden could be lost at any mo- the gardeners use shredded paper, leaves and hay. Joel is always interested in spreading the word about the Temple Israel garden.

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Recently, two other congregations in the area expressed interest in starting their own gardens. Joel and his group intend to do whatever they can to help them get started. Community gar-that community gardens have perma- dens foster a sense of communitynent, long-term functions that provide a identity, ownership and stew-number of benefits to individuals, familiesand communities.

Those benefits include, ardship. Com- tions. Gardens provide a safe place for duce the heat-island effect in cities, in- quality fruits and vegetables for them- youth to explore gardening, nature and crease biodiversity, reduce rain runoff, selves, their families and their communi- community through formal program- recycle local organic materials and re- ties, possibly in places that lack grocery ming or informal participation. Some research indicates that offset food purchases from the grocery share knowledge related to gardening, community gardeners eat more fruits store.

Some and vegetables Bremer et al.

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Gardening requires physical duce crime. Some research indi- agement, leadership development and cal health. Interacting with plants surrounding property values Whitmire. Online at gardeningmatters. As the authorsfor the work at hand. When gardenersfood, flowers and herbs. For example, the people involved in yourdening, then how do we orient ourselves to the task project will likely come from different backgroundsof starting or enhancing a community garden?

They will bring their unique personali-lum Abi-Nader et al. They will have differ-from across the country. These sug- ent ideas about how to accomplish agestions, written in the form of project. Others willden and provide a be more optimistic. People should be given a plish the tasksgarden.

They chance to make their own unique contributions to the garden. University of Missouri 9 Community Gardening Toolkit Will space be dividedlowing two ways. Scenario one: One person or a and gardened by individuals and families, willsmall group of people has the idea to start a commu- it be gardened collectively by the group, or anity garden. Scenario two: An outside group or local combination of both? Will it take some otheragency has the idea and land available to start a com- form?

Can gardeners provide their ownof a local agency interested in starting a garden, see page 16 resources or will the group need to locate andfor more information. Will there be a sliding scale? If the answer isideas and to address some basic questions. This meet- yes, then ask for volunteers to work on Step 3ing can be informal or formal, but at the very least, and Step 4.

Rural Development. Online values and vision. This can achieve vision. The identified action at www. University, Curtiss Hall, ect purpose , the beliefs your garden startup process.

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MU Extension 10 MP Publicize the meet-ing to individuals, groups and rel-evant organizations using phonecalls, personal visits, e-mails orfliers posted around your com-munity. Some general questionsyou may want to address at aninitial meeting are included in thebox to the left.

Step Find and evaluate 3 potential garden sites. Q Get on your bike. Goout on foot. Tour the neighbor-hood with friends and family andtalk to your neighbors. Do you suspect that thecies and businesses as potential soil may be contaminated? Use the least six hours of direct sun- rubble. These sites may requirequestions in the box to the right to light per day during the spring, raised beds and fresh soil.

Does it heavy metals see sidebar,Soil testing have enough room to accom- left prior to entering into any modate the number of inter- agreement with a landowner? To search for who may want a garden plot? Con- Web site at www. In Missouri, the able to walk or drive a short the feasibility of altering the University of Missouri Soil and distance to the garden.

Often, if you know the offers nutrient and heavy metal soil tests for gardens and lawns neighborhood support. University of Missouri 11 Community Gardening Toolkit Community Gardening toolkit Q Questions to identify local resources Step Identify local resources needed for starting a needed: 4 garden. For other resources, it makes or can the soil be turned by hand? Is no-tillsense for the group to seek out and acquire materials gardening and option? Step Hold a second meeting. How will 5 The purpose of this meeting is to discuss trash, branches, etc.

At the very least, you will need to have agencies or businesses willing to sponsor theone or more garden co-leaders and two to three ad- garden, make donations or lend other typesditional people to handle important tasks such as of support? Kretzman and John L. McKnight from your local library. Also, visit the Asset-Basedsponsible if a gardener is injured on the property. See the Sample LeaseAgreement on page 23 for an example.

MU Extension 12 MP According to Christopher J. Starbuck, associate professor with the University of Missouri Division What started as a small program to the buildings and grounds staff, who of Plant Sciences, raised garden involve preschool students in growing received training in horticulture; the St.

Raised-bed gardening may also local food into the entire pre-kinder- In many ways, the Seed to Table pro- lead to higher yields and allow for garten through eighth-grade curricula. The an extended growing season. It supports one full-time dens are typically more expensive mote education, health and wellness and two part-time staff members.

It to build than in-ground gardens because of the cost of materials, by connecting children to the natural also has begun to incorporate local compost and soil. Also, where world. With all of this, summers are hot, the soil in raised from the enthusiasm of students, par- Gibson is hopeful about the future beds may have a tendency to dry ents, teachers and the commitment of of the program and the impact it can out faster. For more information, many others. To learn more, visit extension.

University of Missouri 13 Community Gardening Toolkit Here are five food-based ministries in the Denver metropolitan area seeking answers to that question. We could grow a lot of food here. There it was right in front of me. James Fouther, and he shared that he had been praying for 12 years to find a suitable use for the land that buffers nearby houses and the church parking lot.

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With his blessing, Garnett brought the idea of an expansive garden to the church leadership, and eventually, the plan was approved. The urban farm produces, on average, 10, pounds of food each growing season. In addition to this prolific garden, neighborhood residents may grow their own food in the 5 Loaves Community Garden at the church. Five of the partner schools now have their own dedicated space for gardening, and several neighbors help supply the ministry from gardens in their backyards. They grow so easily, but we have to teach people, one, to develop a taste for it, and two, how to prepare it.

The program intentionally seeks young people who are disconnected from the Jewish faith. Five hundred people have gone through the program, and they have created 25 farms and food programs around the country. She was so impressed with what she experienced that she wanted to start a farm on the vacant land next to the school. With the volunteer help of a school parents and funding from the Rose Community Foundation, Ekar Farm was born, with the mission of bringing to bear the resources of the Jewish community to address hunger.

The amount of land farmed and the harvest has varied over the years. At its peak in , a full acre yielded 17, pounds of food, Salinger said. Today, about a half an acre is being farmed and the goal is to raise 5, pounds. Many urban farms have faltered because land is so expensive to acquire and maintain in Denver. The land set aside by Denver Academy of Torah has restrictions on commercial development. Salinger knows this is an opportunity that must not be squandered.

What can a space like this represent and means as a commons? The farm provides some answers. There is a community garden with 40 active plots. A beekeeper has also taken up residence. The farm connects with the broader community by hosting innovative classes.

On the day that Salinger was interviewed, a local chef taught an evening class on cooking and making non-alcoholic drinks with edible flowers from the garden. Ekar Farm also works with Jewish schools and synagogues to train future gardeners. We found out that a lot of the food pantries are serving a lot of the same populations: aging Russian immigrants, East African and Southeast Asian refugees. On 10 acres of land on the northeastern edge of Aurora, Rev. Price grew up in Lisle, a dairy-farming community in upstate New York. She developed a love for the outdoors that receded when she moved to Broomfield during her high school years.

Price eventually decided to go into ministry while working at Urban Peak , an organization serving homeless youth in Denver. After seminary, Price became active with the United Methodist Church, and she was placed on a food and justice initiative that began in Instead of a food bank, is there a way that a congregation could turn it into a cooperative? Another aspect was using church land for farming.

Yet, using land at established churches proved challenging, and committee members considered the possibility of breaking ground on undeveloped land. Thus, The Land was born. The Land has been in development since , but worship services have taken place only within the last year and a half. The long-range plan for The Land is to create a 2-acre, edible labyrinth where 1 acre would be used to grow produce.

The bounty would be shared with community-supported agriculture and partner organizations, and there would be a food stand where anyone who wanted food could stop by and get some. Meanwhile, The Land relies on volunteers to help do the hard work. The day of my visit, a youth group from Oklahoma was doing various chores on the farm as part of a service trip. The outdoor worship services at The Land vary during the year. We have a minute worship service that is very simple. We have, usually, two to three songs in between communion, a message, an opening reading, and then we have a meal together.

We had a meatless barbecue a couple of weeks ago. Challenges certainly loom for The Land, but Price is hopeful for the real impact that this ministry could have. To be more reflective of this idea of discipleship.