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Start a Community Food Garden
Cover of Start a Community Food Garden
Start a Community Food Garden
The Essential Handbook
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Recommended by the American Community Gardening Association
Community gardening enhances the fabric of towns and cities through social interactions and accessibility to fresh food, creating an enormously positive effect in the lives of everyone it touches. LaManda Joy, the founder of Chicago's Peterson Garden Project and a board member of the American Community Gardening Association, has worked in the community gardening trenches for years and brings her knowledge to the wider world in Start a Community Food Garden. This hardworking guide covers every step of the process: fundraising, community organizing, site sourcing, garden design and planning, finding and managing volunteers, and managing the garden through all four seasons. A section dedicated to the basics of growing was designed to be used by community garden leaders as an educational tool for teaching new members how to successfully garden.

Recommended by the American Community Gardening Association
Community gardening enhances the fabric of towns and cities through social interactions and accessibility to fresh food, creating an enormously positive effect in the lives of everyone it touches. LaManda Joy, the founder of Chicago's Peterson Garden Project and a board member of the American Community Gardening Association, has worked in the community gardening trenches for years and brings her knowledge to the wider world in Start a Community Food Garden. This hardworking guide covers every step of the process: fundraising, community organizing, site sourcing, garden design and planning, finding and managing volunteers, and managing the garden through all four seasons. A section dedicated to the basics of growing was designed to be used by community garden leaders as an educational tool for teaching new members how to successfully garden.

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About the Author-
  • LaManda Joy is an award-winning Master Gardener and the founder and executive director of Peterson Garden Project, which manages seven community gardens and nearly three thousand gardeners in Chicago, Illinois. A nationally recognized expert, lecturer, and writer on urban edible gardening, she is the author (with Theresa Gale) of Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland, and creator of the acclaimed blog The Yarden. LaManda also serves on the board of directors of the American Community Gardening Association, was the recipient of the Robert Mondavi Growing through Giving award, and featured in the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Grow Inspired film series. She has lectured on historical Victory Gardens at the Library of Congress, the Field Museum, the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, and the Seed Savers Exchange Annual Conference.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 3, 2014
    This delightful “handbook” by Joy, a master gardener, offers equal parts sociology skills, organizational principles, business management tips, and illustrated guides for (among other things) planting seeds with the tip of a finger. All these disparate areas of knowledge and skill are relevant to developing a community garden. As the book shows, it is a place so complex that understanding human personalities—as noted in a section called “How to Get Along”—becomes as critical as garden essentials like “How to Read a Seed Packet.” The section titled “How to Hold a Community Meeting” includes reminders about oft-overlooked logistical details as securing a venue with sufficient parking and a children’s play area. Meeting agendas, Joy says, must be precise and comprehensive and include actions items. Fund-raising, work days, group rules, and registration are all elements that must be in place before planting even starts. The section “Teaching New Gardeners” flows naturally into the helpful tips about plants’ growth habits, sun needs, and seasonal characteristics. An excellent tool that cultivates human communities as much as it grows vegetables in group gardens.

  • Library Journal

    February 1, 2015

    Master gardener and Peterson Garden Project executive director Joy (coauthor, Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland) provides a step-by-step how-to on creating a community garden from nothing but a vision. Using worksheets to form a mission statement and detailed meeting agendas, with advice on managing volunteers and creating partnerships, and tips on gardener education and seed planting, Joy offers experienced guidance and best practices for the ongoing process of community gardening. The final section of the book contains several pages of useful resources to aid the community in furthering its goals. Aimed at those who are completely unfamiliar with this type of work, the text still has plenty of suggestions for those with a little more experience. Joy has laid out the content so that it is easy for readers to skip to relevant sections. While the author stresses frequently that community gardening is full of challenging tasks and not without group conflict, the author is upbeat and encouraging about overcoming obstacles. Sometimes this comes across as being simplistic and overly optimistic. VERDICT A valuable reference for building a strong foundation for anyone new to organizing or community gardening.--Stefanie Hollmichel, Univ. of St. Thomas Law Lib., Minneapolis

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Essential Handbook
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