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Community Food Gardens that Last

Community Food Gardens that Last

“Build it and they will come!”  Not so fast when you are thinking about community gardening.  It is more like, “a community will come together as they plan and build it!”  This will take longer but will last a whole lot longer!  Just remember, it is as much about the process as it is about the final product.

Over the years, I have many phone calls from those that want to start a community or school garden project.  My first question is, “how many of those that will be gardening are at the table right now to plan it?  There is a way of seeing and navigating intangible aspects of community that are much more vital to the garden than the garden designs.

Want to know more about cultivating community?

On February 8-10, 2018, Anita Mills (see bio below) and I will be facilitating a workshop, Cultivating Community – Growing your Community Garden. This ten-hour workshop is designed for those wanting to start up community food gardens or re-energize existing gardens by using proven strategies for community organizing.  Benefits for attending the workshop are:

  • Networking among participants for future collaboration
  • Identifying community assets instead of focusing on needs.
  • Developing leadership within the community.
  • Facilitating opportunities for community members to experience themselves in their communities
  • Gaining skills applicable to all organizing efforts

Last summer, I joined the Urban Agriculture Action Team with the Dallas Coalition of Hunger Solutions.  We have presented at the Hunger Summit and Seeding Dallas: Good Food for the City where there was enough interest for a deeper dive into cultivating community.  Dallas Coalition of Hunger Solutions, along with GROW North Texas and State Fair of Texas are the sponsors.

cultivating community flyer

Amanda Vanhoozier is passionate about developing stronger communities through multiplying people’s capacity to work with others.  A long time community builder with over 30 years’ experience in school gardens and garden curriculum development, sustainable community gardening programs and farmers market development and assessing environmental management systems.  Projects: Founder of the Coppell Community Gardens and Coppell Farmers Market. Director of the Dallas Farmers Market and opened the Biodiversity Education Center.
Anita Mills is a lifelong gardener, and an organic gardener since the late 1960s.  She enjoys sharing her knowledge and gardening expertise with others. To that end, she founded Anita’s Arbor in 2014 to mentor and support the sustainable lifestyle. Anita serves as a community garden coach with GROW North Texas, where she is a part of a team working on encouraging urban agriculture/community garden success. She is also community garden contact for the Faith Team of Dallas Hunger Solutions, and previously served on the Dallas Hunger Initiative’s Market Garden Task Force.
Both Amanda and Anita have attended the American Community Garden Association “Growing Communities” train-the-trainer.