Summertime is the time for planting, nurturing, and harvesting, both when it comes to delicious fruits and vegetables, and when it comes to your community. Warmer weather encourages neighbors to get out of doors, meet one another, have picnics and barbeques, and socialize in ways that they cannot during the winter months. One of the ways that a community can come together during the summer is to invest in a community garden. If you have never had one before, now is the time to bring the idea to the board. Here are a few tips for setting up a community garden in your HOA.
Get Permission From the Board
Before you really get started with your idea to set up a community garden, it will be necessary to get the backing and permission of the board. Set aside a time during a meeting where you can discuss ideas and vote on the idea as a board.
Get Help From the Community
Once your board has approved the idea, it is time to get the community involved. Try to get volunteers from both the board and around the community to help with construction and planning. Make sure to use as much community talent as you can before hiring anyone to do the job for you.
Make it Look Attractive
A community garden should be a place where anyone from the community can come to enjoy the beauty and the peace that the garden affords. Spend time and resources planning the space to be not only a place to grow plants, but a place to sit and enjoy a chat with a neighbor. Consider placing inviting benches and a table to encourage repose.
Make it Functional
Equally as important as the beauty of the space is the functionality of the space. The best community gardens are those that are sectioned out into specific plots that homeowners can rent out for the summer. These plots should be raised both to accommodate older residents, and to keep weeds from taking root in the gardens.
Protect the Plants and Plots
Even a small bunny can cause havoc in a garden. To prevent them, and other critters, from munching on the plants, install a fence around the area. To help further protect the plants, it will also be necessary to establish a few basic ground rules and posting them near the entrance to the garden.
Not everyone has a green thumb, and many people travel during the summer season. To help everyone in the community out, it may be helpful to install a sprinkler or soaking system to ensure that each plot is getting the moisture that it needs even if the owner of the plot is out of town or forgets to visit the garden.
Set up a Sharing Page
There is nothing more neighborly than sharing the bounty of a harvest. One excellent idea is to set up a sharing page on Facebook where owners of the plots in the community garden can go to find or share produce that has been grown in the garden. That way, if one plot has a bounty of squash or cucumbers, they can be shared with the whole community.
Having a community garden is a great way to beautify your neighborhood and bring people together during the summer. Use these tips to get started, and you will be well on your way to a community garden.