Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Community Gardens

We are not all blessed with having the space to have a garden at home. Container gardening only takes keeps you satisfied for so long and that is where the community gardens step in to help.

Community gardens vary by state, city, or even neighborhoods and no 2 are alike but the idea is all the same. They unite residents and provide a place to grow our own produce. Fees, rules, and regulations will differ from garden to garden. Most gardens require a fee, and some also require community service hours. Gardening is growing in popularity and space at the community gardens is limited. Many, if not all, have a waiting list.

The difference in community gardens does not end there. Plot size from garden to garden will vary but should not be an issue. Most plants don't require tons of space and should coexist without any issues.  Some plants will need trellises or cages to help control growth but it should not be a problem. Of course, gardens should be planned out.

Once the plot is all planned out, the soil may need to be amended with compost and other organic material. A great benefit to having a plot in a community garden is that most, not all, will have compost and/or mulch for its gardeners. Some gardens may also have manure that can be added to plots to encourage growth.  These "extras" may be free or come at a fee. Along with these extras, the garden may have a stand that sells seeds or seedlings that can be purchased but these can also be bought elsewhere.

After you have seeds or seedlings planted, you need to know how to keep them growing. Gardening does not come easy to anybody and books can only explain things so much. Some books and online resources are so broad sometimes that we are left to figure it out on our own. This is a perfect excuse to talk to your fellow gardeners and see what has worked for them. Your new friends may be full of useful information, tips and ideas that may have worked for them. I am all for making our own mistakes and learning from them, but what is wrong with getting some help along the way? Meet your plot neighbors and as many people as you can and form new friendships.

Forming new friendships is part of life and helps us enjoy it. Once these friendships have been formed there is a feeling of community. Different people garden for different reasons, but getting out of the house and interacting with other people has its own rewards. Technology has put most people behind a computer screen and avatars are the only way we interact with the world.

So, hop on the web and look up the community gardens that may be in your area. You may be shocked to find that you may have one nearby and you never knew about it.

Luis

p.s.: Here are some in my area:

1. City of Long Beach Community Gardens
2. Long Beach Community Garden
3. Long Beach Organic
4. Wrigley Garden
5. City of Lakewood Community Gardens

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