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RE: organizing a communal space

  • Subject: RE: [cg] organizing a communal space
  • From: Sharon Gordon gordonse@one.net
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 15:17:35 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

If you could tell us a bit more about how the garden and produce will be
used, we could probably help you more.  In the meanwhile a few starter

If the people are going to divide up the produce and take it home to cook
separately, I'd work out a good harvesting and distribution system.  Bins
with people's names on them where the produce is divided equally among
people who are putting fairly equal amounts of work into the garden each
year would work as long as people could empty their bin at least once a day
and have it kept cool and shady in the meanwhile.

If the gardening people will be cooking/eating together such as for a
shelter for homeless families, I would grow some specific theme gardens such
Herbs--edible and medicinal, but avoiding the really toxic ones
Flowers (perhaps two gardens, one for edible flowers and one for table
Pizza garden--sauce tomatoes, onions, sweet and hot peppers, basil, oregano,
Salad garden
Bean soup garden
Potato bar garden
Salsa garden
Bread garden (if you don't have a lot of space, grow the expensive add ins
to the bread and buy the grain)
Taco/burrito garden
Stir fry garden
Halloween garden
Christmas food or decoration garden
Fruit salad
Sunflower bean teepee

In either case if there is room, I'd start a small orchard, and also grow
something that does well in your area for stakes/arbors, and basketry

If you have more land than you need for all the people's food and garden
utility needs of the people who want to garden (ok, I can dream), some other
fun things might be
Soup kitchen donation garden, senior service project
Regional Native Plants
Food and nonfood plants used by a specific local native tribe
Craft garden such as for paper or soap making
Butterfly and catapillar garden

If one of the purposes is to be able to add another educational theme, you
could have an around the world theme where each plot represents the favorite
foods and flowers of each country or region.  It would be important if you
did something like this to have multiethnic teams that rotated among the
plots, so that you didn't have ethnic groups increasing their segregation
through focusing on one plot.  I would suggest starting with ethnic groups
of your volunteers plus major groups in your area to draw more people in.
And then seeing what other foodways they are interested in.

If you would like to use it as a trial garden to determine varieties that
grow well in your area, it might work best for each team to be responsible
for a particular fruit or vegetable and have plots devoted to particular
vegetables.  The plots could vary in size according to the likes of the
group (more tomatoes than eggplant probably), but it would help to have them
in some sort of standardized unit to make rotation easier.

In any case, it would be important for someone to keep up with a map of the
garden, so there is a good history of what was grown where for the annual
crops each year.


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