How to Start a Community Garden

So, you want to start a community garden?

Here are some things to keep in mind as you get started:

  1. Download Gardening Matters' Community Garden Start-Up Guide, a step-by-step guide that will help get the garden started on a solid foundation.If you are starting a garden on public land, also download the Eat, Dig and Be Healthy Guide, a comprehensive guide to gardening on public property, from Changelab Solutions. 
  2. Ground Rules: A Legal Toolkit for Community Gardens is a great resource for those legal questions. 
  3. Also check out the American Community Gardening Association Resources!
  4. Looking for land? Download this handout! It was written with residents of Minneapolis in mind,but most of the information is the same no matter where you live! 
  5. Let us know that you're starting -- the earlier the better! We can let you know of upcoming workshops that can help the garden get started! 
  6. Starting a garden cannot be a one-person show. Work towards a group of ten people who are committed to establishing the garden. In this way, no one person is being tapped out.
  7. Take time to plan. Ideally, plan for a year before breaking ground. The time spent planning is essential…the more planning, the more successful will be the garden. Involve neighbors.
  8. Learn from other community gardeners and visit their gardens. See the Garden Directory for gardens you'd like to contact.

Garden Start-Up Workshop

If you have a group of at least 8 people interested in starting a community garden, please contact us about a start-up workshop. Workshops are interactive and participatory, with a focus on exercises that garden groups can replicate in their own communities. We can tailor workshops to specific audiences, depending on the group’s needs. Participants will explore their visions for their gardens, learn consensus-building and outreach principles, and walk through planning exercises. Everyone should leave with concrete next steps for getting their garden off the ground.

Currently, we offer this workshop on a donation basis for community groups.

The How-To-Start-A-Community-Garden workshop is designed for groups who are planning a new garden, or who are within their first year of a garden start up.

Garden Sustainability Workshop

Do you already have a garden but still need some assistance? We also offer a Garden Sustainability Workshop, designed to help existing gardens tackle your unique challenges and plan for greater sustainability. Also two hours, this workshop is a more tailored workshop that will look at your individual garden needs.

Call or email to talk to Nadja about your workshop needs and schedule! (612-821-2358)

Gardening on Rental Property

If you are a property owner or renter, we have developed resources to help facilitate positive gardening relationships. Take a look at our Gardening on Rental Property Resources!

Last but not least...

By all means, contact us! There's no need to go it alone. We're here to help.

Join COMGAR, the community gardeners listserv and tap into the experience and insight of hundreds of community gardeners! Get timely information on resources and educational opportunities.

Visit the Resource Pages, our virtual library, on this website for factsheets and tips. 

We're looking forward to hearing from you!