Community Garden

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Kasalia, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member

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    We have been donated $500 wholesale worth of fruit trees. Still waiting on actual criteria and being in charge of garden, have formed a committee. When first we found out mumbles were none of those stone fruit too hard to look after.

    Me I dont mind as already have them. I am asking for your thoughts on this. Basically don't think unusual fruit will go over well. Excess fruit can be donated or sold so think will stick with the common lot of trees.
    Today though I wondered how several rows of espalier trellis would go. We have lots of tall star pickets. Thinking each row could hold citrus, stone, maybe olive and keep avocadoes, mulberry, paw paw free standing. Of course 2 trees at least maybe more considering small height. Also maybe a walk in blueberry cage. We are sub tropical and dealing with fruit fly, and netting.

    Have a monthly meeting this Sunday and thinking of calling for fruit tree group to come together afterwards. I know one fellow will want a food forest, but as good as this sounds, who is going to look after it. Looking at space of about 1/3 acre.

    J and I are now president, treasurer Secretary, public officer and garden Co ordinator. 50 members and seen about 15. Get the picture. Some one complained it was becoming "kasalias garden" hello!!

    How would you do an orchard? First picture back is area from gate r8ght across as in 2nd picture. Sorry haven't better picture on this tablet. Thinking using from middle to RHS allowing space near gate for deliveries in future.
    Garden 3.jpg Garden 4.jpg Garden 3.jpg Garden 4.jpg
     
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  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Community gardens are a minefield of whinging people who either feel its their way or the highway or feel left out because no one understands the right way to do things! So the few people do most of the work while the balance takes the credit.:D
    I wish you luck Kasalia!

    But what I have found is that to get people to come & help, they must have grazing.
    That means things like green beans, peas, cherry tomatoes, gem lettuce, silverbeet, capsicums & strawberries in high rotation, along with mulberries, mandarins, Joppa, Washington or Navel oranges & berry vines (although half the m'ship will whinge about the prickles).

    I would plant at least 1 grumichama because when it fruits it goes berserk & everyone gets an ice cream container of fruit that the kids can eat asap.
    Dealing with fruit fly is thankless work because if you aren't there all the time to check & refill the baits or bag the fruit, you loose the lot which will cause even more whinging. Also the baits are expensive & drain meagre resources.

    There are also a heap of other native Aussie fruits that will grow down your way such as midgim berry which is a small bush that prefers a well drained sandy soil, but you can plant a whole row & get a great feed. You might need to make a long row mound of sandy soil to plant them on.

    Planting some sort of fruit or flower tree like Elderberry that can be made into alcohol can encourage some members to keep turning up too.

    If you decide on citrus, pick both early & late fruiting varieties so there are always some fruit coming on to keep people coming to working bees. 2 different passionfruit will also be enjoyed & usually they don't require much input other than a heap of fertilizer. Olives take years to fruit & everyone will have lost interest by then & the council will have taken the land back for some other use.

    This is a thing to bear in mind that this land is only 'currently' unused. It is crown land waiting for someone to come along with some 'better' use at which point you loose it. Maybe it floods or is at a dead end road that is yet to get more development so these things need to be considered when thinking what to plant.

    Mulberries can be trained along a 6ft high strong long trellis. You start with 2 good plants at one end then every second month you take a cutting & plant it 2m from the last one which keeps fruit coming for most of the year. The Italians plant them progressively down a sloping boundary until they have a thick long hedge that has fruit on some part of it at any time of year.

    Another way to get people along to working bees these days is a sausage sizzle. Snag & soft drink as well as cheap coffee & tea with the proceeds being split between the garden group & variety of other groups is a good way to get people coming along. $4 for snag & drink is a really good value that I have never heard anyone complain about. I know you are growing a (usually) organic community garden to promote better eating & exercise etc, but it never brings the people in.

    Then every few months when the bulk of the garden produce is ready to pick you have a huge party arvo bbq & make lots of salads & fruit bowls for everyone to share.

    Good luck;):thumbsup:
     
  3. Bea

    Bea Member Premium Member GOLD

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    what is the purpose of the community garden. Seems to me you need to be starting there, with basic rules/duties/etc/ and kicking people out who dont comply. Pretty easy. I belonged to a community garden in Vancouver that worked extremely well. Each member 'owned" a plot for which we paid some ridiculously low fee each year - and ignored the people who couldnt afford that. Our duties, in rotation, were to turn the compost, mow the grass, and keep our own plots tidy. That was it. We had a rule about the height of plants/structures in our own plots and the emphasis was certainly being kind to our nieghbours and being totally organic, and you must have lived within a 35 minute walk to the gardens. Once a year we had a huge work party, with emphasis on the PARTY to put in some new feature. We were also asked to donate produce, if we could (think single mom families) and I once made chive blossom vinegar, from my own and others' bunches to sell at a local bazaar, proceeds to the gardens. We had herb beds that were common to all and grew espaliered fruits on the fences to feed the homeless. It's where I learned about no-dig gardening, which i still implement to this day, and how creative gardeners can be. In Canada, as far as I can tell, the idea of individual plots is what comes to mind for community gardens, always in cities, where people dont always have room of any kind to grow food. It is much easier to manage - done by the whole group with a co-ordinator - and it is easy then to throw someone out with no excuse for not maintaining the place. There were waiting lists from the time of the first mention and first group of ten. When I left I had been part of a second group of ten. There a lot of these 'communities' in Vancouver and they are usually gorgeous to look at. You have a large enough plot to implement individual plots - which really is the only thing that works to get people out just for the privilege - plus a lot of common land in between for fruit trees and herb beds, etc. BTW the idea was that not everyone wanted to use up the plots for perennials. We were allowed to harvest at will remembering the respect and kindness for other members. We also had the assistance of one young couple who, for the price of a plot, used their old van to scrounge used materials from around the city. The gardens definitely got the best of that deal. it was, overall, a great experience.
     
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  4. Sherry Robitson

    Sherry Robitson Texas Bluebonnets Premium Member GOLD

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    I don’t know if this qualifies but I volunteer in a garden that provides fresh organic produce to a food bank. It is a project of the Texas Master Gardeners of which I am a member. None of the produce is sold or taken for personal use but all iss given to the food bank. It is a wonderful project! Volunteers become like family. We work hard but we have a great time and we learn so much from each other. We also use this garden to hold gardening education and demonstrations. We love children in the garden and we host church groups, school children etc. I love being a part of this project!
     

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  5. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Community gardens in Australia are very differently set up to those in Europe, US, Canada & Britain.
    It is supposed to be a co-operative effort on the part of many volunteers to grow a display garden that the community can access & also to give quality produce to various charity groups.
    The land usually is supplied by the local council, being unsuitable for other uses.
    The members have to beg, borrow & maybe even steal to populate the garden with plants & tools.
    Local businesses generally do a good community minded job of donating various items while individual members often hand over unused tools of their own or bring tools on the working bee days.
    Some community gardens work better than others. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why.
    I've done my time in that volunteer stream sometimes with joy & other times with sheer dread! lol
     
  6. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Sherry, your garden would be considered a charity here, with associated raft of regulations to adhere to.
    Looks a fine garden though & I'm sure those who eat the meals cooked from it would enjoy them thoroughly.
    Its a very altruistic endeavour & I'm sure, very rewarding for you all.
    Lovely that you can use it as a teaching tools as well.
     
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  7. Bea

    Bea Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Well it is a community and it is a garden! LOL Maybe you could offer suggestions about how and why it works since the members dont 'profit' from the produce. beautiful pics
     
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  8. Sherry Robitson

    Sherry Robitson Texas Bluebonnets Premium Member GOLD

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    To maintain certification as a Master Gardener a certain amount of volunteer hours Is required. The Helping Center Garden is just project among many. We work on Monday, Wednesday’s and Fridays. One man is the coordinator and then there is a lead on each day. I am theFriday lead. Most are retired and want to give back to the community. Volunteers come and work as many hours as they want , when they want and there is no commitment unless you are the lead. Master Gardeners come as well as people off the street who want to learn about gardening. We also allow people who need community service hours. A man has been coming for a year or so who has PTSD. He was completely shut down when he first started and now participates and has become part of the family.
    Here are a few more pictures.
     
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  9. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member

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    20171203_101635.jpg This is our main part at the moment, flat ground last May.
     
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  10. Sherry Robitson

    Sherry Robitson Texas Bluebonnets Premium Member GOLD

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    Kasalia that looks great! Love the flowers in the middle. Y’all have accomplished a lot in one season
     
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  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Wow, that takes some commitment to create, be part of, and keep a community garden flourishing. I take my hat off to you all!
    There are some wonderful images in this thread - really impressive - thanks for sharing them :heart:

    I'm not part of any community garden group although that doesn't mean I don't support them because I think they are a great idea and there should be more of them - particularly, the produce growing ones.

    I can imagine there would be many spin-offs from community gardens such as cooking groups, friendships, charity work, donations to other causes, and even making some money selling produce at local markets.

    Kudos to you guys :)
     
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  12. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member

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    Certainly is a lot of commitment Mark, you got that right. Did a go fund me type thing raised nearly $3000.00 for a pavilion, which then seeded a grant for same. Jolly hard work keeping it up when members are iffy about it. Waiting now to see if we got the grant this month. Fingers and toes are crossed.
     
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  13. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Well done!

    I organised a grant to get new lighting at our local tennis centre (Caboolture Tennis) the installation is nearly finished but just to get to this stage took about 2 years of, at times, frustrating work dealing with contractors and govt paperwork. Volunteer work is rewarding but it can suck up a lot of spare time! :)
     
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