The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not

A Sense of Community

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I’m excited to discover several families in my neighborhood who are interested in pooling together to develop a community garden. Ours is what you called a “mixed-use community,” which basically means there are traditional houses, bungalows and townhouses within shouting distance. It’s nice because there’s a myriad of folks here: single, married, LGBT, retired, just starting out, kids, no kids; you get the picture.

My first research into community gardens came while I was the daily gardening blogger for WRAL.com. During the summer of 2007, I visited a community garden or farmers market across the Piedmont Region once a week–it was a lot of fun and I learned so much about sustainable gardening, and the WIC program. It was a great series. One community garden, in particular, that has always stayed at the forefront of my mind is the SEEDS Garden in downtown Durham, NC.

So as a small group of us begin to brainstorm how to move forward with lobbying the Developer and the Town for access to the plot of land (which is overgrown and forgotten), here are points that seem relevant:

  • Can the community garden be under the supervision of the community gardeners, or do we need to try to purchase it (or would the Developer donate it as a tax write-off)?
  • Can anyone come into the garden to harvest, or is it just the families who participate in its tending?
  • Does it need a fence?
  • Do the families in closest geographical proximity provide water and community garden members split the bill to offset the costs (that is, if we amend rain by watering)?
  • Do we need to start a separate bank account for the community garden and have a “treasurer,” or would we be better off seeing if any local stores would offer small grants?
  • Do you think the NCSU Agricultural Extension Office would be a good resource for our flora?

Here are a couple of links I found in a quickie 3-minute search on the Google machine:

Have you ever started a community garden, or do you participate in one … and do you have any advice to share?

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Author: Dolly R. Sickles

Writer, mother, wife, adventurer, agent of change, advocate, ally, volunteer, instructor ... I'm never bored. I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense under the name Becky Moore, and children’s literature under the name Dolly Dozier. You can also check me out at MacMillan Publishing’s Heroes & Heartbreakers, where I’m a romance blogger. During the fall and spring, you can find me in the classroom teaching other folks how to follow their dreams or how to fund their community outreach at Wake Technical Community College, and Central Carolina Community College. During the summer and at random times during the year, I'm out adventuring with my family.

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