What is a community garden?
A place where people gather to grow something together, such as vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers (edible or pollination). Community gardens can be located in parks, play fields, schools, retirement communities, open fields, yards or churches, and can be planted on flat land, in raised beds or even containers. There are over 20,000 community gardens in the United States, and that number is increasing by 5-10% annually.
Why build a community garden?
- Grow your own food (38% of households grow some food)
- Save money (food gardening household spends $70 & produces $600 of food)
- Better tasting, higher quality, safe, fresh & nutritious food
- Physical exercise & health benefits
- Fresh air & sunshine
- Mental relaxation & psychological benefits
- Build community, improve neighborhoods & increase property values
- Help others in need
- Teach youths & other inexperienced gardeners
- Learn more about gardening
How can Master Gardeners help?
The mission of the WSU Master Gardener program includes teaching community members to manage their gardens, increase healthy living through gardening, helping citizens with limited financial resources to grow their own food and donating excess produce to food banks. We can:
- Lead community partners through a step by step process to develop a community garden
- Help to assess the suitability of a property for a community garden
- Help to design the garden, including layout of beds and common areas
- Provide assistance in acquiring funding and grants, including in-kind donations based on the value of volunteer hours
- Arrange for or leading workshops and seminars in the garden
- Give one on one or small group instruction on activities such as preparing soil, planting, cultivation, harvest, pest management, etc.
- Develop an ongoing master gardener mentor who is a neighborhood resident