Where to Plant Your Vegetable Garden: Consider Joining a Local Community Garden

Community Garden Workshops
Community Garden
Image courtesy Flick – M.Gifford

If you are really new to gardening, or have very limited space, live in an apartment or condominium or if you simply want to find others in your local area interested in gardening, for friendship and support, you may want to start by looking up a local community garden.

Finding a Community Garden

To find a local community garden near you, start by visiting the American Community Gardens Association where you can search their US and Canadian database of community gardens.

Public community garden programs are generally administered by the community development or parks department, city neighborhood departments or similar organizations.  In some counties there are also community gardens sponsored by the county.  In any event, a call to the local community government should lead you to the nearest community gardens if you do not find what you are looking for at the American Community Garden Association.

While some community gardens do have waiting lists for plots, many have smaller plots open for new gardeners and most have an area that is tended to by volunteers from among the members, so you can learn meet and learn from other gardeners even if you cannot immediately get a plot of your own.

Additionally, many community gardens offer workshops and classes, often free of charge. Community gardens are a great place to find lots of helpful information about your local growing climate, planting zones, growing season, as well as information on which crops are well suited to your local area.

If you have not explored or considered a Community garden plot, you might want to take another look. Most community gardens are open to the public, although some are for specifically defined communities (schools, etc.) but even these are most often open for people to visit.  Strolling through a community garden is a pleasant and easy way to learn more about local gardening in your own community.

Community Garden Workshops
Image courtesy Flickr – USFS Region 5

Community Gardens: Connect to Others, Share, and Learn

For most people, the allure of the community garden is not just the space to garden but the opportunity to meet new and interesting people in your own community.

The shared sense of caring for a garden and working out of doors together can create great and lasting friendships among all sorts of diverse members of a community. This added dimension can be a great gift in a modern world where people often feel isolated and alone. Finally, learning and growing vegetables in a community garden with others offers a sure-fire way to learn more about vegetable gardening for everyone as gardeners share their tips, successes and challenges and can gain expertise from each other’s experiences.

Resources

American Community Garden Association: http://communitygarden.org/

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