“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.