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Re: Request for help (help!) on community garden project

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Request for help (help!) on community garden project
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 15:57:21 EDT


You "play community garden" as well as anybody in this country and edited the 
ACGA book.  That should be exhibit one.  If you need letters of support from 
all the ACGA board and coordinators, write your request now and send it out as 
an APB (all point bulletin.) 

You know your people, you are local, you know your plants, and unlike the 
landscape architects who know their CAD program but not necessarily community 
gardening, you have community gardening under your dirty fingernails. Community 
gardening is people first, blueprints second - and you know your people and 
have done this for years. You also write well and if you haven't left the writing 
of the proposal to the last moment, should have something , in the words of 
TS Elliot, " in language that cats and dogs can understand." If not, write like 
hell! Bring garden pictures, stories and that piece from Organic Gardening 
(reproduced several times - yeah jump for color.) 

Resources: Dan Winterbottom is a landscape architect, if you have your ideas, 
you should contact him ASAP.  I hope he is still answering his University 

Daniel Winterbottom
University of Washington
Department of Landscape Architecture
3931 Woodlawn Ave N
Seattle WA 98103-8206
phone: (206) 616-1876 fax: (206) 685-4486
email: nina@u.washington.edu

Be honest - can a community garden that can only be reached by car be 
successful?  Maybe, if it is turned into a community garden/food security project 
that folks will regularly show up at to raise food for the poor, seniors and 
kids.  I think that the CASA garden in Huntsville may be that model.  Contact Jim 
Call.  He is also a professional computer guy (his e-mails:  
jim.call@dynetics.com, jimcall@casagarden.com) and may have some pre-written boilerplate that 
you can use or customize for your proposal. 

Write a good letter to the mayor, and try to do a face-to-face if possible.  

If the politics are such that they want to give this to the landscape 
architects, OK.  Make your proposal read in such a way that "if you build it, they 
will come" is a good start, but coordination and working with people is key to 
making a field with a fence, soil, water and plants work.  Tell them the 
reasons why community gardens fail and the things that make them work.  Believe me, 
even if the architects get the planning contract, if you're honest, they 
should have you there as project coordinator - they'll want to move on to the next 
job - maybe a rich person's house or a golf course.  They ain't gonna want to 
deal with the people issues that are the community garden's lifeblood and 

What should you charge?  For planning and layout - what a professional gets 
an hour in your area...($20 - $ 40  an hour plus clerical and travel 

And I think you need to budget for a secretary/admin to field calls, run a 
day-to-day project office and the cost of telephone, fax, e-mail, paper, etc.  
And all construction and planting expenses, insurance, etc .needs to be laid 
out and budgeted - or at least explained in the broad stokes that a committee 
will swallow.  

I hate last minute requests, but have all the respect in the world for you.  
Please let us know how it works out for you!

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman 
 <A HREF="http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/";>Clinton Community Garden</A>

<< Subj:     [cg] Request for help (help!) on community garden project
 Date:  6/9/03 2:30:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time
 From:  dboekelheide@yahoo.com (Don Boekelheide)
 Sender:    community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
 To:    community_garden@mallorn.com
 Hi, all,
 My second post of the day - again, this is a copy of a
 post to the community gardening 101 workshop I'm
 taking. I thought I'd call on the collective wisdom of
 the list on this one. Here's the deal:
 A small city near Charlotte is asking me to design and
 organize a community garden (honest! I'm not
 kidding!). I have to make 
 a presentation on Wednesday, in just 2 days. I'll
 describe the garden 
 after asking my my three questions:
 First, any suggestions for a garden sited in a
 farmer's field 2 
 kilometers from town, accessable only by car? No, they
 won't change the site 
 (see below).
 Second, are there any graphics tools that translate
 drawings readily to 
 an online format, so people can see what I'm talking
 about online? What do you folks use?
 Third, and I know this is a delicate question, but
 what in the world 
 should I charge them? Alternatively, how does one
 determine that? I'm 
 delighted to be offered a paid gig doing good work I
 love doing, but this is moving 
 into uncharted waters for me. My competitors seem to
 be big architecture firms, who want to put a tennis
 court there surrounded by privet and junipers.
 Thanks in advance. 
 Here is a brief project description:
 The town of C., NC, near Charlotte, has a mayor who is
 very pro 
 community gardening. The Parks District of the town
 purchased a large farm as 
 part of open space aquisition. The mayor wants a
 community garden on 
 the site - NOW. The Parks staff, lead by a very nice
 progressive director, would prefer a site closer in,
 but that simply isn't 
 possible now. Either way, the town heard about the
 other gardens I work with in Charlotte, and 
 called me up.
 The garden site itself is a blank slate, about 5
 of barley at the moment, bordering a wooded creek
 corridor on one side. 
 The area is classic urban/rural fringe, with
 development sweeping 
 across farmlands. For the present, though, the site is
 pretty isolated. 
 There are very expensive condos within walking
 distance, by a large 
 lake. A house sits back in the woods beside the site.
 No one knows exactly 
 what to do with the house - a 'food coop' has appeared
 out of nowhere asking 
 to 'use' the building, but it is hard to get a handle
 on exactly what 
 the coop is - it is very new, and apparently organized
 by two well-to-do 
 women from an upscale community on the lake.
 The Parks Dept. held an 'organizing meeting and design
 charette' last 
 week, but the only people who showed (on a rainy
 night) were the two 
 'food coop' folks and myself. But the mayor is
 'pushing' the project, 
 anyway...And I don't think the meeting was very well
 Clearly, if this goes forward, it will be a case of
 'gardening lead' 
 rather than 'organizing lead' strategy. See my other
 As for my job, I think they want me to simply 'make it
 happen' - design the 
 garden, supervise the installation and soil prep, do
 the organizing and 
 publicity, coordinate the rules - do everything an
 advisor needs to do to 
 move a garden from hope to sustainable reality, with a
 group of people 
 from the garden in charge.
 So, let me know what you think.
 Don Boekelheide
 Charlotte NC >>

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