The Community Garden
Community Gardens started initially in areas where people lived in flats or high-rise and did not have their own land to grow a garden. The Government provided some public Land where an organizer was able to set up a Garden owned by the Community, hence the Community Garden.
The original plan was for people to grow vegetables and herbs and create edible sources as well as creating bonds and links with other neighbors for communication, friendship and the working together and sharing together of a group with a common bond…the garden.
In some communities this was very successful and small closely linked groups shared the garden. In other communities, there were dissenters who either monopolized the garden, helped themselves to any produce, or simply complained and grumbled members out of the garden which then became their garden, or simply went back to weeds and being overgrown and neglected as people stopped attending.
I do not know enough about other gardens to make comments about their success, but I do believe the person who heads or leads the garden is influential in whether the garden becomes a success or not. The leader has to be able to manage people conflicts and this does not always come from the group in the garden. There are outside people who come into the garden and cause problems. They have to be managed as well as those who have plots.
The other issue is that each gardener or family having one plot keeps a number of members active, and one person taking multiple plots changes the concept of the garden being for all, as then the garden gets dominated by one person and eventually they take over. You also get the non-gardening person who rolls along trying to take command because of inactivity. The leader has to keep control for the garden to work as a team, which is what it really is…a Community garden.
The Russell Island Community is a small 9 plot garden with each member having a small plot which they grew herbs and vegetables in. The leader did not have a garden plot, but chose to work the paths and surrounds and help members with their garden plots if needed. There are plans to extend and create another garden in the near future with more plots.
You must be logged in to post a comment.