Gardening for Life!

Sustaining the Garden

Running a Community Garden: Sustaining and Sustainable

The Ingredients for a Lively Community Garden:

1.    Garden Leadership Team of 6 to 12 people.

2.    Location, date and time for spring sign-up meeting and social are given to all gardeners.

3.    Description of what garden rental fee covers is clear.

4.    Limit each gardener to one garden space so more people can join the garden.

5.   Each and every gardener renting a space signs up to carry out a specific role in garden maintenance when they pay the rental fee and sign the gardener's agreement.

6.  Neighbourhood-wide spring and fall communication is given to residents of all ages (including students, youth groups, seniors, home owners, renters, local businesses, condominium boards, local organizations).

7.  Garden Guidelines & Gardener's Agreement are reviewed yearly.

8.  List of Gardeners, email, phone, address, record of garden payment received is kept up-to-date.

9.  Weatherproof signs for the garden (garden name, contact, how to join, upcoming events) are posted and easy to read.

10. Waiting List method of welcoming people to join the garden is explained publicly and includes details on how it works with respect to re-assignment of abandoned plots.

11. On-call garden coaches for new gardeners' questions are available at publicized dates and times.

12. Rotating Garden Monitor / Garden Angel / Garden Hero/ Heroine is a role that all gardeners undertake for one week each growing season.

13.  Fall Wrap-up Meeting and Harvest Potluck Social is held annually.

14. Garden Winterizing Plan is known and understood by all gardeners.

15. Safety Guidelines are posted.



Our garden team:

  -  Makes it public how your garden team handles the waiting list for rental garden plots.

  -  Gives people on the waiting list a chance to join when garden plots are abandoned so they can grow some short season leafy greens or start enriching the soil in preparation for the next season.

  -  Offers a newly available garden plot to the next person on the waiting list according to the date that they contacted the garden.

  -  Expects that some people's life circumstances will change and there will be cancellations in garden bed rentals right up to mid-June.  This means that many people on the waiting list will likely be able to join the garden.

  -  Makes sure to invite people on the waiting list to all garden events, build days, potluck suppers and garden cleanup days so they can meet other gardeners even if there is no garden bed available this season for them to rent.

  -  Mentions other food gardening options such as sharing a group gardening space to people who are on the waiting list if it looks unlikely that there will be any individual garden plots available in the upcoming season.

  -  Checks to see if there is a role that people on the waiting list can carry out at the garden without renting a plot.  In exchange for produce they might be willing to care for the perennials and annuals that beautify the common areas of the garden.

  -  Contacts the Community Garden Resource Network at the Calgary Horticultural Society at if there are unrented garden spaces so that people on other garden waiting lists nearby could have the option of purchasing a community association membership and joining the garden.