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Ideas for... Finding money for tools. . .

  • Subject: Ideas for...[cg] Finding money for tools. . .
  • From: "Ben Sommers" bens@cacscw.org
  • Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 14:38:25 -0600
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcZOyUPULc3GSn6fS0WAy/ixRQvnWgABgoLgACwo0BA=
  • Thread-topic: Ideas for...[cg] Finding money for tools. . .

Hello All,



Here are some ways our program gets tools...



1)  Fiskars, located here in Madison, WI has Orange Thumb grants they
give away each year...money and/or high-quality Fiskars-brand tools.
Application is fairly short and easy, and they love community gardens,
and/or kids gardens.



2)  Solicit demonstration and/or "test" tools from various tool
manufacturers, garden supply stores, hardware stores, etc.  For example,
we have gotten large boxes of various brand-name tools (hoes, pruners,
shears, shovels, etc.) from Fiskars.  They are tools that Fiskars buys
to test and compare against the products they make, in order to assure
they produce higher quality, more effective tools.  Other companies
probably do the same.  We have received smaller donations from other
local manufacturers...Always begin local!!



3)  Make real friendly-like with your local Landscape Contractor's
Association (or individual company), Construction companies, University,
greenhouses/nurseries, etc.  They like to use sharp and shiny
tools...and don't always like to repair or mess with old tools.  Make
sure that you stress things like "community use", "will give you
recognition", i.e. in your newsletter, sign at garden, or other public
props to them, "will not be re-sold", and the BIG ONE..."tax write-off
for you".  When they realize a donation will increase their own
visibility, help the community, and get them a tax break while allowing
for their own shiny new shovels, they will be much more likely to donate
to you.  We've gotten numerous roto-tillers, lawn mowers, etc. for our
city-wide program over the years.



4)  Look for estate sales, auctions, etc...get there early or call ahead
and try to cut a good deal for a package...again, stress what a benefit
your garden is to the community, etc. as above.



All of these will work best if you stay local...people are inherently
more apt to be generous to their own community, as it builds pride for
them, and gives them great, local publicity they can use to their
advantage...hope this helps y'all.



Be well->benny



Benjamin Sommers

Agency & Garden Technician

Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, Inc.

1717 N. Stoughton Rd.

Madison, WI 53704-2605

(608) 246-4730 ext. 238

mailto:bens@cacscw.org

www.cacscw.org/food_gardens/index.htm

Check out our Community Garden Organizer's Handbook for useful
information on keeping your garden running smoothly!
www.cacscw.org/gardens/handbook/index.htm





-----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
[mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com] On Behalf Of Alliums
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 5:29 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] Finding money for tools. . .



Hi, Folks!



Ryan wrote:



<<There is very little funding for this garden>>



Heh, heh, heh -- welcome to community gardening, where we all learn to

scrounge for whatever we can! ;-D



<<(just enough to pay the water bill)>>



That's your most important bill -- do look into rainwater collection --

Texas Department of Agriculture has some great rainwater collection
plans!



<<and we are in desperate need of new tools and repairs to the fence.>>



Don't we all!  Here was my plea to Fiskars earlier this year, which

apparently fell on deaf ears:



*************************



St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and
Labyrinth,

including our program of teaching adjudicated youth four times a week in
the

spring, summer and fall, is completely volunteer-run - there is no paid

staff or fees for any of our services.  While most of our plants come

through contacts with Seed Savers Exchange, tools are hard to come by -
and

teenage boys are very, very hard on tools!



Most of our adjudicated youth, whether from inner-city Philadelphia via
St.

Gabriel's Hall or from surrounding towns via Chester County Juvenile

Probation have never gardened before.  A significant number of these
youth

suffer from ADHD or ADD; therefore, they tend to drop or otherwise lose

tools on days their disability is giving them problems.



While we find it extremely rewarding to teach these youth new skills
(and

most of them do enjoy learning how to care for plants), most of them
have a

"learn by doing" style which means that they tend to try both the
"right"

and "wrong because it either won't work that way or it's going to break
the

tool" way to use any particular tool before they truly understand why
the

"right" way is "right."  Although once these youth understand why the

"right" way is "right." (their tool use is perfect afterwards), getting
the

youth to that point usually means at least one tool gets broken
(fiberglass

handle or not!).



Since we do not have a dedicated funding source for tools, we are forced

into a hodgepodge of borrowed tools, good tools purchased from local
stores

and poor tools picked up from yard sales, all of which break as new
youth

are added, especially with the Mitchell Program's 4 month cycle.



We would love to be able to teach our youth how to use and care for
proper

tools - and have enough left over both to reward our low-income
gardeners

who also do not have the funds to buy high-quality tools and to replace
the

tools our youth break or lose (totally without meaning to!) as they
struggle

to master a completely new and foreign set of skills.



*************************



You can get plants, you can get seeds, you can even find old piles of
manure

laying around someone's back 40, but I have to say, after 16 years in
this

"activity" that is it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get tools -- especially good

tools.  The only way I've EVER been able to get a new tool for my
community

garden is when I wrote the grant for the labyrinth and added the costs
of as

many tools as I figured I could get away with.



Of course, now that I've complained and made poor Phillip wonder just
where

he went wrong, wandering into an abandoned garden and thinking that
fixing

it up would be a socially acceptable enterprise (welcome to the
fraternity,

Phillip! :-)), somebody show me that I'm completely wrong and where
Phillip

(and I) can completely restock our tool sheds! :-D



Dorene



Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator

St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and
Labyrinth



A mission of

St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA
19460





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______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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