Keeping the “Community” in Your Georgia Community Garden

A shaded seating area at Green Meadows Community Garden in Cobb County.
A shaded seating area at Green Meadows Community Garden in Cobb County.

Community Gardens are filled with gardeners.  And, although it is fun to sweat together as you work along side each other, it is also fun to fellowship and socialize.  You already have something important in common with these folks – you love the adventure of growing food.  Gardeners can layout the overall space to encourage some socializing.  Consider adding a simple table and chairs or just some chairs under a shade tree.  An old picnic table also works.  So, after the work is done you all can share some sweet tea and talk shop!

Seating for gardeners at the Carver Garden in Atlanta
Seating for gardeners at the Carver Garden in Atlanta

Some community gardens like to reach out to the non-gardeners in the area.  One garden in Atlanta hosts a First Fruits dinner each spring. They invite people outside the garden who have helped them throughout the year.  The person who donated mulch and the volunteer who assisted the senior gardeners weed get an invitation to a feast.  Most of the food prepared is grown in the garden and it is prepared mostly by older Southern women.  Those ladies can cook!

Healthy Life Garden Shaded Seating Area
Healthy Life Garden Shaded Seating Area

Another idea is to invite public servants, police officers or firefighters, out to the garden for an “open garden”.  You can show off your hard work while making people aware the garden is there.  Your local elected officials may enjoy a garden tour as well.  After all, your garden is an asset to the neighborhood.  You may be able to send these visitors home with some garden fresh vegetables!  Contact your local UGA Extension Agent for possible ideas here.

Watermelon cuttings, guest speakers, even book clubs in the garden are all ways to fellowship.  However  you decide to make sure you have “community” in your garden is a reflection of your unique neighborhood.  Just make sure it is not all work and no play!

Happy Gardening!

Becky Griffin
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