Rural Community Gardens
I am a graduate student at the Tufts University School of Nutrition
Science and Policy, and the School of Public Health. As part of my course
work, I am conducting an independent study on community gardens for
the Center on Hunger and Poverty.
Specifically, I am interested in learning about community gardens in rural
settings to find out the types of "models" that work best in rural
areas. Through a survey of garden managers, I hope to determine how
various garden models are employed in rural areas throughout the United
States. Findings of this survey will enable both individuals and
organizations to effectively establish community gardens.
I have attached a copy of the survey (in both Word and in text format).
For those of you who work with community gardens and have a few minutes to
fill it out, I would really appreciate your input. Even if you do not
work in rural areas, please feel free to fill out a survey. Surveys can
either be returned by e-mail, fax, or regular mail (contact information
Also, please let me know if you are aware of any rural gardening
projects that might be willing to participate in this project.
Thank you, in advance, for your assistance.
Center on Hunger and Poverty
Medford, MA 02155
Survey for listserves.doc
COMMUNITY GARDEN MODELS SURVEY
Contact Information: (address) _________________________
Can I contact you for follow-up, if necessary?
1. How would you describe your community (check one):
1. Can you describe the structure of your gardening system? (community gardens with
individual plots, plots grown communally, individual gardens near personal residences,
school or community gardens with communal plots, etc.)
2. How large is your garden or network of gardens?
Number of gardens/ individual plots: _______
Average number of acres per garden: _______
Total acres: _____
3. How many gardeners participate in your program?
4. How many gardeners participated in your program the first year it was established?
5. Is there a waiting list of gardeners wanting to participate, or are there more available
land/resources than gardeners? If so, how many gardeners are wait listed or how many
unused acres are available?
6. What types of people participate in your program? (check all that apply)
? Not sure
1. How are gardeners recruited?
2. Who manages and oversees the gardens?
Is this person paid or a volunteer?
3. What policies are in place to ensure that the gardens are run as effectively as possible?
(If policies are in writing, please send a copy.)
4. Are there committees, groups, or a “board” that oversee operations?
5. Are there requirements to grow organically? How is this supported or enforced?
6. How are gardeners assigned plots?
7. Are gardeners charged an annual user fee?
If yes: How much is this fee? How is this money used?
If no: Is there an “in-kind” service requirement?
8. How was the land acquired for garden plots?
If land was purchased, who funded the purchase of land?
If land was donated, does it matter to gardeners whether or not the land will be a
permanent donation, that is, if they will receive the same plot the following year?
9. How are seeds acquired? (purchased, donated, discounted, grow own, etc.)
10. How is equipment acquired? (purchased, donated, discounted, etc.)
11. Does your organization have other sources of funding for its gardens?
a) Average annual amount?
b) What/Who are the funders?
c) How were these funds obtained?
1. Who does major periodic or seasonal garden labor like tilling? How much does this cost?
2. Does your organization organize or participate in educational programs associated with
If yes, what type of programs? (environmental education, nutrition education, harvest
3. How is the produce from community gardens distributed? (Each gardener independently
controls their own produce; an agreement for sharing produce or giving it away; etc.)
4. Does your garden/gardening system produce a surplus?
a) If yes:
Can you estimate how much surplus it yields (per month/per year)?
What do you do with the surplus?
? If produce is sold, who are the buyers?
? Where is produce sold?
? Who decides who will sell the produce?
? Who receives the money from produce sales? What is the procedure for
distributing monetary profits?
What is your best estimate of the minimum acreage needed to produce a surplus beyond the
needs of an individual family of four in your area?
b) If no:
What are your barriers to producing a surplus?
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF MODELS
23. What are the biggest operational challenges your gardens faced in the recent past?
24. How were each overcome?
25. What are the biggest advantages to the type of gardening model that you use?
26. Are their activities that you would like to be doing or doing more of? What are they?
What are your constraints?
27. If you could establish an ideal community garden system, what changes would have to
28. If you could give 1-2 tips to a community interested in starting community gardening, what
would they be?
Please return to Ashley Sullivan, Center on Hunger and Poverty, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155
PHONE 617/627-5952 FAX 617/627-3020 firstname.lastname@example.org