RE: Volunteer Gardeners
Excellent suggestions! Accountablilty and visibility, especially in unpaid
volunteer situations is hard to create if you're not using the usual
business "stick and carrot." These guidelines and suggestions are a gem and
should be expanded upon and linked to the "how to" section of the ACGA
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sharon Gordon [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 2:21 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [cg] Volunteer Gardeners
> An important strategy to get and retain gardeners is to have some way
> to help the volunteers be/feel responsible for certain parts of the
> Otherwise you can have the problem known as "social loafing" where
> people work less hard when individual outcomes cannot be determined.
> A severe example of this is Russia's collectively owned farms vs people's
> personal tiny country plots. The tiny plots significantly out produce the
> farms on a per space basis.
> It also helps to have a specific quantifiable goal. This could be
> in terms of time or quantity--such as 127 pounds of potatoes, or
> enough food to feed 75 people for the week of August 1-7.
> You may want to divide the garden up into 12 parts and have 12 teams
> grow food equal to one month's worth of the food needed.
> Another option is to divide the garden up into beds for small teams
> and have them compete to see who can grow the most food in
> their beds given the same amount of seeds/starts/transplants.
> Or you may want to have people/teams each responsible for certain
> crops...the potato, pepper, tomato or cabbage teams for instance.
> If the area has particular ethnic favorites in terms of food, you could
> groups growing combinations with certain meals in mind such as teams for
> potato bar
> 4th of July supper
> or local and regional specialities.
> This sort of personal twist not only makes it more fun but also
> helps people focus on what they are accomplishing. It also makes
> it easier to talk about which spreads the publicity at a grass roots
> level. Depending on what you choose, it also may be good for a number
> of local newspaper/TV photo ops. This can also get more people
> community_garden maillist - firstname.lastname@example.org
community_garden maillist - email@example.com