Joining a community garden project is a way to grow vegetables and flowers without owning land. Members are assigned raised beds or plots within the garden and allowed to grow whatever they wish in their assigned spot. Unexpected things also grow in community gardens, like friendships and a sense of community.
Grow Fresh, Organic Vegetables
Generally speaking, a raised bed garden plot in a community garden is about four feet wide and 15-20 feet long. That is enough ground space to a grow a wide variety of fresh organic vegetables that will help feed the family all summer and provide extra to share or preserve. Tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, radishes, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, beans, peas and potatoes can all be grown in a standard sized community garden raised bed plot and still have room to tuck in a few herbs to grow around the edges of the garden spot.
Gardeners can be absolutely certain that their vegetables are 100% organic when they grow the vegetables themselves. It also helps eliminate the risks of E. coli and other potentially harmful bacteria caused by unsanitary handling of the vegetables during harvest and transport.
Fresh vegetables are not the only thing that can be planted and grown in a community garden. Flowering annuals can be grown to provide a steady supply of fresh cut flowers for home décor all summer. Plant a few sunflowers and dry the seed heads at harvest time and have a good supply of bird food for the fall and winter.
Meeting and getting to know other people from the neighborhood is another benefit of community gardening. Gardening is the common denominator that brings people together and that can be built upon for lasting friendships.
Master Gardener Advice
For people interested in saving money by planting and growing a garden, but have never done it before, most community gardens have a local Master Gardener available at times to answer new gardener questions. Experienced gardeners that have garden plots within the community garden will usually be glad to answer questions or lend a helping hand to a first time gardener. Even long time gardeners occasionally run into a plant problem they’ve never seen before and need a little advice from fellow gardeners.
Being a member of a community garden is a valuable summer experience, one which people walk away from with baskets of fresh vegetables and flowers, plus friendships and gardening knowledge that lasts a lifetime.