Choosing a Community Garden

garden 2

We love strolling by community gardens that we happen across in Denver.  I never put too much thought into getting a community garden plot.  Just find one near you and rent it, right?  They are brilliant models to assist with the cultivation of the local food system, and lower the need for therapy.

We checked out the plots by our apartment.  Just a half mile up the road, a whirring bicycle ride away, is the closest one.  They are $200 for a 5×10 space.  I thought this was really high but wanted to check around to make sure.  I also didn’t want to choose a plot just because it was cheap.  What a blessing that we have choice in community garden plots!  Now, this is the only one in walking distance.  That is a huge perk.  Convenience really is worth something.  I just wasn’t sure if it was worth $200 times however many plots I needed.  (I simply cannot go from a two-thirds of an acre plot to a 5×10.)

garden

I heard from folks at the sustainability fair that another garden plot, a big one at a park, is $100.  They thought it was pretty expensive for a 10×20.  Then comes along an angel in the form of Quentin, my fellow farmer at the local farmer’s markets.  In his hands was the application to the community garden in Elizabeth.  That is a 25 minute drive from my home but my shop is there.  $30 for an entire year (as opposed to May-September) for a 10×20.  Holy smokes.  But there is more to consider.

When choosing a garden plot write out the pros and cons-

How close is it to home or work?  How convenient is it?

Do they amend the soil for you?

Do they provide the water?  City water or well water?

Do all participants have to garden organically?

Well, so far the local, expensive gardens were winning the pros and cons war.

But Elizabeth offers some tools to use.  There is a bonus, I don’t have my tools anymore.

They also have a compost pile.  Which pleases me since I am loathing throwing out vegetable scraps!

What are the months of operation for the community garden?  If it is only May through September one can’t very well plant many root crops or pumpkins.

Then it came down to the simple question, “What do I want?”  Space to garden.  I want to plant everything I did before just on a slightly smaller scale.  I could have a 20×20 plot for $60 for the entire year.  So, I could also incorporate medicinal herbs without having to yank them out in the fall.  This could be my plot until we find our farm.

In the end, it was an obvious choice.  I did not realize how much there was to look at in a community garden.  So, write down your pros and cons, consider what you want, and then choose a community garden.  Now we start seed shopping!

 

 

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