Community/Neighborhood Gardens Community or Neighborhood Gardens are garden areas shared by a number of people. Gardeners share tools, knowledge and labor to produce food for themselves and others. There are an estimated 18,000 community gardens throughout Canada and the United States.
We’ll use the term “Community Gardens” since it’s more commonly used. However “Neighborhood Garden” is more appropriate for those gardens that are within walking distance in your own neighborhood, and “Community Gardens” for those which are not so easy to walk to and likely require a bicycle, car or public transit to reach.
Join a community garden
To find an existing community garden, check with your city parks department or your county or local state agricultural advisor. If that doesn’t work, try the local school district. If that doesn’t work, start one yourself.
Start a community garden
Talk to the city parks department or your county agricultural advisor for advice and a possible location. If that doesn’t work, join up with some neighbors and search for a vacant lot or other suitable location.
If you find a location, contact the owner. You might have to go through the local planning department to find out who owns the lot. Tell the owner what you’d like to do. Tell him/her you’re offering to clean up the lot for free. If that’s not enough, promise the owner some of the produce you grow.
If you can’t find a vacant lot, maybe you can team up with the neighborhood school. For more assistance, check with your local Master Gardeners group (in the United States) or any other local gardening club.
Here are some resources that will tell you exactly the steps you need to take—based on successful community garden projects elsewhere.
Here are the basic initial steps from the American Community Garden Association’s document “Starting a Community Garden”.
OR at least…
Buy food from a community garden Many community gardens donate their food to local food banks or other organizations. They may also sell at farmers markets. Check with the community gardens in your area to see where they sell their food, or if you can buy vegetables directly from them.
Community Garden Resources
American Community Garden Association
Non-profit organization for rural and urban gardening.
Starting a Community Garden
Free fact sheet from the ACGA.
Garden Your City
Author: Barbara Hobens Feldt
How to start an urban garden.
Seattle P-Patch Community Gardens
Pioneer in city-sponsored community gardening.
A leader in organic community gardens.
American Horticultural Society guide to Master Gardeners throughout the United States. The gardeners provide free expert advice and training to home gardeners.