Many community and school gardens face similar challenges and, even though each garden is unique, there is much that we can learn from each other regarding how we build solutions.
Gardens are great teachers of resiliency–they demonstrate the capacity to adapt and respond to change and challenges. As garden leaders there are questions we can ask to address needs and challenges in a way that builds responsive, sustainable and resilient gardens and programs.
- Building Resilient Solutions
- Building Resilient Solutions webinar recording, New England Grassroots Environment Fund & Vermont Community Garden Network
Below are tips for reducing food safety risks related to gardening and garden grown produce. These tips are particularly important for gardens working with youth and seniors, and produce going to the school cafeteria, donated to a local food shelf, or sold to the public.
- Food Safety: School & Community Garden Handbook, North Carolina Cooperative Extension
- Donating Food Safely, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources & Department of Health
- School Sharing Tables Fact Sheet, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Health & Agency of Education
Keep yourself and fellow gardeners safe by following basic rules, practicing tool safety, and reporting criminal activity.
- Safety in the Garden, P-Patch, Seattle, WA, 2014
- School Garden Safety Rules & Tips, Cat Buxton, Grow More Waste Less
Vandalism & Theft
Unfortunately, due to the public nature of these community-based spaces, vandalism and theft are familiar occurrences for many gardens. When addressing this issue avoid jumping to conclusions and pick solutions in keeping with the positive, welcoming nature of your garden community.
Any time people share a space there will be interpersonal issues to address–be they positive or challenging. Starting with common agreements for use of and behavior in your garden will help to keep everyone on the same page. Visit “Get Organized” for some tips and samples for developing your own garden guidelines. If these agreements are broken there must be protocols in place to deal with infringements.
- Sample Conflict Resolution & Grievance Procedures, P-Patch, Seattle, WA