[The following is a guest post by Lauren Haire, Project Manager at Grow Community. Aside from being a wizard with numbers and graduate of local sustainable-design university, BGI, Lauren enjoys working on Grow Community’s community garden space and has been a leader in planning the community features being built at Grow Community. She also shoots a mean game of hoops.]
Urban agriculture. City farming. Community gardening. Whatever you prefer to call it, growing your own food has become increasingly popular. Whether it’s doing it yourself or as part of a community due to lack of space, this movement of growing your own food is becoming bigger. In fact, more people are taking up gardening as a hobby than ever before. If you’re wanting to do the same but you don’t know where to start, there’s no shame in getting some help to keep on top of things – especially if you have a large area to maintain. Look into local georgia lawn care companies to see who has the best services that can help you. Gardening and growing your own veg is easy, all you have to do is put in the time!
In the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to live in a region where several organizations have paved the way for others to follow. A great example is AlleyCat Acres in Seattle, who created their first garden on donated land in Beacon Hill. The effort brought together volunteers to build the garden, and over the last few years they have helped harvest over 1,600 pounds of produce, much of which is donated to local food banks. AlleyCat now has sites in the Central District and at MLK and Cherry.
Another great organization is The World in a Garden in Vancouver, BC. This program has built partnerships with schools, restaurants and Farmer’s Markets to create an educational program that attempts to cross cultural barriers with food. The garden has successfully built sustainable revenue streams through workshops, garden tours, sales of produce and garden products (honey, plants, etc).
At Grow Community, we have a vision of creating our own sustainable agriculture program right in the center of Bainbridge Island. We have designed multiple community garden spaces that will allow residents to grow their own food, grow food for others, build connections with their neighbors and be part of the Grow Community Garden Program.
The Grow Community Garden Program will use food as a tool for education. Gardening “how-to” workshops will be taught by members of the community and will be open to everyone. Cooking classes will bring our harvest from the gardens into the community center. Classes for youths will focus on garden ecosystems and healthy eating.
We are fortunate to have our very own Sustainable Food and Agriculture One Planet Principle champion, Scott MacGowan of Homegrown Organics partnering with us on the Grow Community gardens. Scott is implementing his vision in our first community garden, the Welcome Garden. This garden is full of edible fruits – blueberries, raspberries and huckleberries as well as vegetables in the raised beds. There are two higher raised bed gardens for those who prefer to sit or stand while gardening. Benches offer great spots for sitting and conversing with your neighbors. The Welcome Center office incorporates a rain barrel to provide for the garden’s irrigation.
The Welcome Garden is the first step in our Grow Community Garden project. There is so much more to come, and much of what we create with the gardens will be up to the residents of Grow Community. Whether you are interested in gardening, cooking or just eating, you can join us in helping to create the community gardens. We have laid the groundwork for something new and we are excited to see where it will GROW from here!
Scroll down for pictures of Grow Community’s Welcome Garden.
Let us know what you think about our first community garden at Grow Community in the comments. We would love to get as much feedback from all of you as possible so that we know we’re on the right track. You can follow us for regular updates and pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.