Creating a Community Garden

A community garden is a collective place where local people grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers for local people.  There are many types of community gardens, ranging from neighborhood gardens to child care center gardens to food pantry gardens, and everything in between. The reason community gardeners garden is varied, with access to fresh food, building connections to the people in the community, rehabbing vacant lots, promoting learning, building gardening skills and a source of income being among them.

This country has a long history of community gardening, starting with the Native Americans who grew corn and squash, extending to Victory Gardens during World Wars I and II to today, where the number of community gardens is on the rise.

Beginning a community garden starts with networking with other like-minded people.  One person can certainly lead a community garden but it can soon result in burn-out, so a team approach is best.  Each person brings his or her own skill set to the team and will be invaluable in figuring out logistical problems, like who owns the vacant lot, how to get access to water and what kind of insurance is necessary.

More information about the Community Garden Toolkit can be found at: .   At , you’ll find a list of community gardens across the state.

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Kathleen Cue
Horticulture Educator at Nebraska Extension
Kathleen serves as the Horticulture Educator for Nebraska Extension in Dodge County. She educates people on making smart plant choices to reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides in their landscape which has a positive impact on air, water, soil and environmental quality, property values and people’s pocketbooks.

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