Our model for planting gardens is based off of the Roanoke, VA branch from which we have identified 5 points that we follow when considering and implementing a new garden.
1. Build up a community around a specific need.
It is important not to come into a community and tell them what they need. Instead we prefer to allow and ask for the community to identify its own need. This will open opportunities for ownership within the community naturally. Once the need is identified we work to build connections within the community to help support the need.
2. Plan out a community garden
Each garden is as different as each need is. So it is quite reasonable to have no two gardens look the same or growing the same plants. We leave room for flexibility in this area and think that limiting ourselves to one specific type of garden would be limiting our reach into the community.
3. Give education about the garden
The whole idea behind planting gardens is that people are given an opportunity to learn these skills for themselves and their families. We don’t want people dependent on us; we instead want to teach them to be self-sufficient. With this in mind we teach through the year on seasonal topics that match what is going on in the garden as its happening. This is hands on experiential learning that we provide for free to each garden we install.
4. Raise up a leader
This is a very important step to the process where we see what people’s strengths are and who has a heart to really keep this momentum going. It is vital to have the leader be from the community and committed to the cause. After all, this is food that will feed people who really need it.
5. Let go!
At this point we change our role to more of a supplemental one. We continue to build connections within the community and connect more people with current gardens. We work to continue offering education opportunities through the Hub Farm. The garden leaders and Seed2Seed Hub Farm workers act as resources to help with pest problems, garden planting plans, and ordering things such as seeds, and new equipment to take advantage of economies of scale. Then we look for the next seed to plant!
We hope that you will
on this journey!