Com­mu­nity gar­dens grow in pop­u­lar­ity

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Apart­ment living in big­ger cities is on the in­crease and first home buy­ers are choos­ing con­ve­nience and price over wide open spa­ces as room runs out.

Else­where busy life­styles, work de­mands and fam­ily com­mit­ments mean many of us have less time to spend at home do­ing what our fore­bears pos­si­bly did be­fore us.

The hum­ble vege gar­den out the back is be­com­ing less of a re­al­ity as a re­sult, prompt­ing peo­ple to ex­plore an­other op­tion.

Com­mu­nity gar­dens are crop­ping up all over the coun­try – giv­ing peo­ple who don’t have the space or knowhow a chance to grow pro­duce in communal or al­lot­ted public plant­ing spots.

And it’s not just about sav­ing space.

Or­gan­is­ers and ex­pe­ri­enced gar­den­ers also teach am­a­teurs the ba­sics of plant­ing, grow­ing and even cooking af­ford­able al­terna- tives to veges bought where.

Set­ting up a com­mu­nity gar­den isn’t just a case of com­ing up with an idea. It needs a lot of work and com­mu­nity buy-in.

Bud­ding com­mu­nity gar­den groups all over New Zealand are us­ing so­cial me­dia

else- plat­forms like Neigh­bourly. to get the word out – brain­storm­ing and seek­ing sup­port from lo­cal busi­nesses to find land and fund­ing.

If they can do it, so can you. Here are a few things you should think about when set­ting up your own com­mu­nity gar­den. Lo­ca­tion: A com­mu­nity gar­den needs to be big enough to sup­port mul­ti­ple gar­den­ers and their pro­duce and handy enough that peo­ple will ac­tu­ally use it. Maybe some­one you know would be happy to lend space to the idea?

Or maybe the coun­cil has a spot it would be happy for your group to use? Fund­ing: How are you go­ing to fund the project? Con­sider ap­proach­ing lo­cal busi­nesses in­clud­ing plant stores who might be in­ter­ested in mak­ing fi­nan­cial or prod­uct dona­tions. Think about monthly or an­nual main­te­nance fees or dona­tions for mem­bers too. Mem­bers: You’ll be sur­prised at how many peo­ple in your neigh­bour­hood will be in­ter­ested in join­ing a com­mu­nity gar­den. Advertise your gar­den on Neigh­bourly to raise aware­ness and gather sup­port. En­cour­age other com­mu­nity groups like Girl Guides and or even rest homes to get in­volved, par­tic­u­larly if your gar­den gives a por­tion of its pro­duce to char­ity. Rights: Part of be­ing a mem­ber in­cludes cer­tain rights around the use of the com­mu­nity gar­den. Es­tab­lish ground rules to avoid dis­agree­ments over who owns what and how much each mem­ber can take.

Sur­plus pro­duce could be do­nated to char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions or sold at a farm­ers’ mar­ket to raise more money for your gar­den. Avoid your berms: Coun­cils around New Zealand will have dif­fer­ent rules about if and how you can use the berm. In Auck­land, berms are man­aged by Auck­land Trans­port and AT does not per­mit res­i­dents to plant on berms.

On rare oc­ca­sions per­mis­sion may be given but this re­quires an ap­pli­ca­tion to Auck­land Trans­port for a li­cence.

Phone 355 3553 or see for more in­for­ma­tion.

Communal gar­den­ing on a shared space makes good sense – no mat­ter where you live.

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