Looking into Community Gardening Where You Are

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Looking into Community Gardening Where You Are

No matter where you live, chances are there’s a Community Garden near you.

In Seattle Washington, Interbay P-Patch is known as the garden between the bays. It’s one of the largest and most involved community gardens in the country and a shining example of resourcefulness and sustainability.

But what if you don’t live near Seattle, or any major city for that matter. Well thankfully, the American Community Gardening Association is there to help. They’re a great online resource with plenty of information if you want to start your own or simply locate one already up and growing near you at this site: http://acga.localharvest.org/. The main site is a wealth of information and chock full of links to other related resources. In my small North Carolina town, I was pleasantly surprised to find several community garden sites within a reasonable distance. The database is fairly young but growing all the time and many more community gardens exist than are listed on this database for various reasons. So just because you may not find a garden near you using this link, don’t assume there aren’t any.

Another source to locate a community garden in your area is to contact your local county extension office. Staffed with Master Gardener volunteers, they are the in-the-know gardeners with a finger on the pulse of everything gardening in your community. They’re a wealth of information and a likely good source of referring you to area community gardening sites. If you’d like a convenient link to locating the county extension service where you live, here’s the link

And if you want some quick results along with a personal recommendation, be sure to check your social media friends online. Between Facebook and Twitter, finding a community garden where you live is sure to elicit some quick responses from people that share your enthusiasm. It’s the community gardening experience already playing out online before you even get there.

Twitter is the most responsive networking avenue I know for this sort of search. If you want some answers fast, put it out on twitter. The search function is simple. In our case, simply type your search term such as “community gardening” as follows: http://www.twitter.com/search/community_gardening. From there, browse the tweets and see if any strike your fancy. Or, you can send that person a tweet for more information and you’re off to the races. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook really are incredible resources.

If you think about it, social media really is a pretty good precursor to the social aspects taking place in a community gardening setting. Just as I enjoy my time in social networking, I relish the opportunity to experience the joys of gardening with others. There is a certain excitement and energy in sharing such a wonderful activity. Community gardening is the perfect way to scratch that gardening itch. And I love it for even more than simply the social interaction of a shared passion. Gardens do bring out the best in people and community gardens are a great place to bring it all together.
Strangers become friends and neighborhoods come together in a community garden. It often becomes the catalyst to stimulate social interaction and community development. Quality of life improves and neighborhoods are beautified. And now you have all the tools you need to find a garden near you or even better, start a new one.