The following is an excerpt from NYC Foodscape‘s recent article for a national affordable housing publication, Assisted Housing Management Insider, about creating successful gardens for residents of affordable housing sites. The Insider is a plain English “how-to” publication, giving advice to owners and managers of low-income/federally-
Take 10 Steps to Create a Successful Community Garden for Residents
The popularity of community gardens has exploded in recent years to over 5,000 community gardens nationwide. Many assisted and public housing sites see the benefits of having community gardening programs for residents and have started these programs at their sites. For example, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has over 600 gardens at its housing sites, and even has an in-house “Garden & Greening” program that supports NYCHA residents who want to create a community garden at their sites. And HUD has several programs, such as its Neighborhood Networks program, that encourage assisted sites to start community gardens for residents.
We’ll give you the basics about community gardens, describe the benefits you’ll reap, and explain the steps to take to start and manage a community garden program at your assisted site.
What Are Resident Community Gardens?
Resident community gardens are shared spaces at assisted sites where residents gather to garden and grow food. They can range in size from one communal raised bed, to hundreds or thousands of square feet of individual plots, to several acres. They can serve just a few residents or as many as 50 or more, and can serve special populations of residents, such as seniors, youth, or residents with disabilities. Some sites have gardens that generate income to benefit the garden program or for residents themselves, and grow a diverse array of vegetables, flowers, and herbs for sale. Many sites use their gardens to teach classes, empower disabled residents, and train residents for employment.
TEN STEPS FOR STARTING AND MANAGING A COMMUNITY GARDEN
The Insider consulted experts around the country who have started and managed resident community gardens at assisted sites. They gave us a list of 10 steps to take to start and manage a successful community garden program at your site:
For the rest of the article, click here.
Excerpt reprinted with permission of Vendome Group, LLC., the publisher of the Insider.