Community gardens are all the rage. A few years ago it was a novelty; now it seems that several community gardens are scattered across neighborhoods all over North America. Churches, neighborhood associations, and even individuals with extra yard to spare are using their skills and land as a way to bring people together while also providing food to families that might not otherwise have access to fresh produce.
If you’ve thought about starting a community garden, I will post some resources at the end of this article. However, perhaps you already have a garden that is doing much better than mine (a colder than usual summer means that my tomatoes and peppers didn’t do squat. Yes, that’s a technical gardening term).
If so, here are some ideas for using that produce for good:
- can it for later
- participate in a food swap
- donate it to a local food pantry
- in a public meeting place, such as a church or community center, put out extra produce “for donation” and allow people to donate what they wish towards hunger programs such as those by World Renew.
- hold a canning or food preservation class
- get to know your neighbors and personally ask them if they would like any of your extras
If you’d like to learn more about community gardening–get a head start on next year–here are some helpful articles:
10 Steps to Creating a Community Garden (American Community Garden Association)
Beyond Community Gardens: Start a Revolution (Mustard Seed Associates)
Community Garden Checklist (Let’s Move)
Community Gardening Toolkit (University of Missouri Extension)
Creating a Faith-Based Community Garden (Mustard Seed Associates)
Are you involved in community gardens? Share your stories and favorite resources below!