Community gardens are great for bringing people together to share knowledge, stories and even some fresh, community-grown kai. Labour and food are two common languages we all share that can help cross cultural boundaries.
Some of the green-thumbed tribe from Awapuni Community Garden.
Community gardens are an amazing way for neighbours of all ages and backgrounds to work on a project together. Community gardens can be created anywhere so long as you have the landowner's permission.
Community gardens can be used in several ways including planting flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs. They also:
There are some important considerations to make when starting a community garden.
As the name suggests, a community garden requires just that, a community. It's important to remember that you can't do it all. We recommend finding two or three other likeminded community members who can help put in the mahi to get your garden up and running, and most importantly maintain it over time.
It's critical to the success of your community garden that you've got a plan for upkeep.
First, decide on a purpose for your garden. Will you be growing produce for your community? How much? Will you be looking to donate your crop to a local food rescue? Your purpose will determine how big your garden will be.
Then consider how much time and attention your garden will need and how you'll go about providing that.
Once that's been decided you can start planning – where will your garden be? What will you grow? What tools and facilities will you need? What other considerations are there?
Download our community garden guide from the bottom of this page for detailed info about starting a community garden on Council land.
No doubt there will be some green thumbs in your community, it's just a matter of finding them. Start by presenting at local community meetings, create a Facebook page, join Environment Network Manawatū's community garden directory and make a club listing on Club Sandwich Palmy.
A community garden doesn't require a farm or even large plot, in fact some of the best community gardens are in the most unexpected places. Don't be afraid to get creative but there are some things to consider.
You'll need the landowner's permission to set up your garden. Try reaching out to your local community hall, school, church, playgroup or even us! If you spy a piece of Council land, download our community garden guide from the bottom of this page for detailed instructions about what to do next.
Once you have a piece land agreed upon, make sure you get written confirmation of the landowner's permission.
Finding a spot for your community garden is much like buying a house – there are some non-negotiables.
Make sure you run through your checklist of requirements before putting up the sold sign.
Overall, thanks to your volunteer army you can run a community garden relatively cheaply, however there will likely be an upfront cost to get going.
Some cost considerations include:
A fundraiser will get you started and you can also apply to Environment Network Manawatū's Environmental Initiatives Fund.
We can support your community garden by helping you with: