Growing Your Garden Team
A garden team is central to the success of a community
garden. If the group is short on garden leaders at the first
few meetings, take time to look around for additional people in the
Invite garden members to do specific jobs or tasks and ask them
individually. A friendly personal
invitation is the most influential factor in whether a
person actively participates in the garden.
Welcome people who want to help get a garden launched but will not
be gardening as well as people who want to rent a garden space
after the garden construction is finished. There are people
everywhere who like to build things, happily write grant proposals
or complete paperwork if it will help make the neighbourhood a
Be specific on how your garden team makes decisions and how
gardeners can have input to make suggestions. Take a vote on
items where you need a decision and where there are differing
viewpoints amongst the gardeners.
have People on Our Garden Team who are
non-gardening residents who want to see a garden set up
because of the friendly neighbourhood it will encourage.
Garden Team Communicator with City
of Calgary: acts as communicator between the garden team and
the Parks Community Strategist Staff and works on the land site
Garden Team Communicator with the
Community Association: connects with the community
association board and keeps them informed on the progress of the
Garden Team Communicator with
Calgary Horticultural Society: contacts Community Garden
Resource Network for information, upcoming educational workshops,
seeks advice or problem solving help at any point in the life of
the community garden.
residents who will help plan the construction and act as crew
leads for volunteers on garden build days and may not be
interested in gardening.
Gardener Communicator Leads:
get the news to garden members and to the neighbourhood
residents. For garden members using the Internet, a garden
blog, Facebook page, online group, wiki or email is good for
information sharing. For members that do not have access to
the Internet it is important to keep in touch by phone or postal
mail. If it is important to get a message or sentiment
across, it is essential to do it in person or by telephone. A
regular column in the community newsletter or a section of the
community association web site are good ways for all neighbourhood
residents to find out about garden news.
Garden Financial Team:
prepares budget based on costs identified by and discussed with the
Garden Layout Team. Directs bookkeeping, grant applications,
pursuit of cash and in-kind donations. Collaborates
with community association for expenditures of funds in the
community garden account. Fundraising activities are usually
coordinated with Social Events Team Leads.
Garden Membership Assistant:
keeps track of gardener registration, the waitlist and fee
Garden Layout Team:
assembles a draft drawing of the garden based on the land site and
the garden elements desired by this community. Brings this
draft for discussion and editing to the gardeners. Arranges
an open house for all residents to drop-in and see the proposed
garden layout drawing and discuss its features.
Weekly Garden Angels / Garden
Heroes: all gardeners take one week in the growing season to
check the garden each day, coach new gardeners, check for abandoned
garden beds, let new gardeners know that their crops are ready to
pick, water garden beds of gardeners away on holiday etc.
Compost Team Leads: They
know how to manage and maintain a healthy composting system. They
educate all gardeners on how to contribute and care for the
Food Surplus Sharing Lead:
Plans food sharing. Community gardeners plan for sharing
surplus food and flowers grown by dedicating some growing space for
local donation or informally share surpluses with neighbourhood
people willing to drop by the garden at pre-arranged times to chat
with new gardeners and answer their questions. Invite
residents known to be experienced gardeners to act as a gardening
coaches even if they are not participating in the community garden.
In order to bring more residents in touch with the garden ask
some residents to act as a coach for planting days and others
for thinning sessions and harvest times.
Lead: Everyone needs to be acknowledged for their
contribution to the success of the garden on a daily basis, for
special projects and in formal, informal and fun ways.
Garden Talent Scout: Lives
change, people move. The talent scout keeps an eye on
knowledge transfer so that each garden leader has another person
who helps them in what they do (like an apprentice).
Then when a member of the garden team leaves the community garden,
there is another gardener who knows what they do and can pass this
on to others.
Garden Social Events Team
Leads: people who want to make the garden an informal,
relaxed, light hearted place for everyone to enjoy!