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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Community Gardening Issues

You bet your garden this week (5 May 2012) has a fascinating interview with Mark Birdsall, who is involved with setting up community gardens for under privileged people who are used to receiving food from food banks. (The interview starts around the 14min mark).

Some interesting points, that reflect on the UCSB garden:
They will have master gardeners on hand to help with people's questions. This is one of our biggest issues. When I give away plots to new garden members I try to point out the plots of gardeners with alot of knowledge that people can seek advice from. I also give some basic advice about what grows well for me. But we are pretty far from being master gardeners. Producing a document of gardening tips for new garden members is something I've thought about and I definitely think we should do it; by pooling our info I think we could help alot of people.

Teaching people to grow food can be difficult, but it is as important to teach people how to cook what they grow. We've put some recipes on the garden blog, I think I'll put more of a focus on that.

Some gardens (i.e. school gardens) suffer because the school year doesn't match up with the growing season... "good intentions do not manage a garden." This is more of an issue back east than in California, but plots that are unattended in the summer do suffer. And that's also when many of the fruit trees produce, so people gone for the summer don't experience that benefit.  

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