I have just recently moved to a military base
on Cape Cod, MA and am interested in starting a community garden here on the
base. I have been doing some research via the internet and have found
some very helpful information such as tips from your organization on
starting a community garden, but have been unable to find any information
about community gardens on military bases.
At this base we are allowed to plant a garden
in our own yard, however, many houses, particularly enlisted housing, lack
adequate space and/or sunlight to support a garden. Also, the families
here are fairly transient, usually moving on to a new assignment within two
to four years. If we do plant gardens, we are required to submit
a request and have it approved; to reseed the plot prior to moving or are
charged for sodding the area; and any fence that is placed around the
garden to protect it from animals has to be according to the specifications
set by the housing office. So... because of all the rules and regulations,
many people are discouraged to plant anything more than a couple of tomato
plants in pots.
The cost of living here on the Cape is very
high. Contrary to popular belief, soldiers do not make a lot of money
and there are many families here (and elsewhere in the country) who rely on
government subsistence programs to help feed there families. A community
garden would enable many families to grow their own food and reduce
their food budget.
I was also interested in really involving
"the community". This base is not a closed base, so it may
be possible to invite schools, boy/girl scout groups, elderly care programs
etc., to maintain plots in the garden. I would also be interested in
growing extra plots so that the food could be donated to area shelters/food
Because this is a military facility, I am
looking at dealing with a lot of beaureacratic red tape/politics and to top
things off, beyond flower gardens, I do not have any experience with
vegetable gardening. Where do I start? I would appreciate any
help you could give me. Thanks!