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cg] Selling the Garden

  • Subject: [cg] cg] Selling the Garden
  • From: "Jon Rowley" rowley@nwlink.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 14:59:45 -0800

The "big hang-up" you describe, describes the history of nearly every
community garden. It's a not very enjoyable part of the process. Keep at it.
Believe in, and above all, be enthusiastic about your vision.  Enthusiasm is
contagious.  And "know your product". First of all convince yourself that
this community garden would be a good thing for the community. Who agrees
with you? Line up your ducks as they say. Form a steering committee that
represents a wide range of community interests. Try to get at least one City
Council member on board as an advocate. It comes down, as you have already
figured out,  to "selling". Find a resident in your desired neighborhood to
represent the garden to the neighborhood. You'll likely need a lawyer.
Who will garden there?  Can you line up some would-be gardeners to speak for
the need/desirability for a garden?  Keep adding to your list of supporters.
When the list is long enough, the garden, as if by magic, will happen.

Here's an idea.  Build a couple of compost bins and throw a well-advertised
party.  Invite guests to bring browns or greens  for your garden-to-be's
first compost even if you haven't got a location yet. What people bring for
the compost will be an important psychological investment in the future of
your garden.  Have a donations jar for $$$. Sign people up on a mailing
lest.  Have sheet for those who would like to volunteer or support the
garden in other ways.
It's a long road but once you've got some momentum gong it gets easier. And
above all be enthusiastic. People love enthusiasm.
Good luck,
Jon Rowley
Interbay P-Patch

Hey everyone,
I'd first like to send a thank-you to everyone who sent me resources on
starting up a garden.  While planning has gone well, the garden project that
City Year is working on in Columbia, SC is experiencing a big hang-up.
We've managed to talk to potential sponsors and received some positive
feedback, but finding an actual location has been difficult.  Both
low-income housing developments we've called are quite reluctant to give up
the space, and the neighborhood we've focused on has community members that
are, for one reason or another, resistant.
We've scheduled a speaking time at one community meeting.  I've also put in
some calls to city council.  Does anyone have good tips on selling the idea
of a garden?

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