Community gardens are more than exercises in sustainability. They are educational opportunities, recreational outlets, and centers of community building. For these reasons, community gardens are excellent projects for Neighborhood Councils.
An excellent place to start for information on community gardens is the Community Garden Start-Up Guide from UC Cooperative Extension, LA County Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. A summary of their tips is as follows:
- Find a potential plot of land for the garden.
- Determine who owns the land. See the LA County Property Tax Portal or use a private service like Property Shark.
- Determine if potential site has water.
- Test the soil using a private lab.
- Sign a lease.
- Purchase inexpensive liability insurance, if necessary.
- Hold meetings to plan, design, and build the garden.
The Guide also offer suggestions on fencing, storage, seating, signage, composting, trash, security, and more. The piece ends with a sample community gardener contract that goes over the rules and conditions for participation in the garden. The embedded piece is here:community-garden-ucdavis
- DONE’s helpful two-pager on Best Practices for Community Gardens
- LA Garden Council: “Start a New Community Garden”