How to Start a Community Garden
So you want to start a community garden! That's great!
Schedule a Community Garden Start-Up Workshop for your garden group!
Do you have a group of at least 8 people interested in starting a community garden? Let us know if your group is interested in our signature two-hour workshop! Participants do not have to be working on the same garden, although it's preferable if they are. If you have a smaller group (less than 8) and are interested in a workshop, call us and we will work with you to get into an existing workshop or assist with recruitment. Currently, we offer this workshop on a donation basis for community groups.
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.
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 Sustainsbility 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 inidivual garden needs.
Call or email to talk to Nadja about your workshop needs and schedule! (612-821-2358)
Here are some things to keep in mind as you get started:
- Read the Community Garden Start-Up Basics for more insight into the process and download the Community Garden Start-Up Guide, a step-by-step guide that will help get the garden started on a solid foundation.
- 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! Or set one up for the garden group!
- 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.
- Take time to plan. Give it about a year before breaking ground. The time spent planning is essential…the more planning, the more successful will be the garden. Involve neighbors.
- Learn from other community gardeners and visit their gardens. See the Garden Directory for gardens you'd like to contact.
- 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!
- When we hear about land available for community gardens, we keep a record of it at our office, and encourage the land owner to post it on Yards to Gardens.
- Found an open lot, but wondering who owns it? For Ramsey County, look it up on their online Property Finder (click "find a location" at the top). For Hennepin County, look it up from their online Property Information Search webpage.
Last but not least...
By all means, pick up the phone or send an email There's no need to go it alone. We're here to help and we can connect you to others interested in starting a garden too!
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!