The role of the neighborhood host is to initiate the 350 Garden Challenge on your block. You can decide if you would like to take one or more blocks. Below are suggested steps to include. You may have other ideas. Please contact Jeannine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734.971.5870 if you would like to become a host.
Contact some or all of your neighbors in person, by phone, or paper message. (See sample note.) Invite them to a gathering in your yard or house to hear more about the 350 Garden Challenge and to plan how your block will participate. Think about how to involve all ages.
At the gathering you could include the following items:
- Discuss goals of the project. (see www.aa350.org )
- View the 2 minute “No-dig Gardening” method video* www.no-dig-gardening.org
- Folks who already have a food garden can share their experiences.
- Discuss why start gardens in the fall: It gives all the layers a chance to become rich soil and gives you time during the winter to dream about and plan for the delicious food that will grow in your front yard. Nature does the work while you dream!
- Plan a neighborhood walk to see who already has food gardens. Create a list of them. Ask owners to register them.
- Determine who would like to start a garden in their yard**.
- Discuss type of garden, size, location (Encourage folks to choose a publically visible location.)
- Decide on an installation date: before 10/10/10, on the weekend of 10/10/10, or later.
- Discuss how you can help each other: designing the gardens, gathering materials***, installation.
- Create and install signs that say: “350 GARDEN” for each garden site. (Include already existing gardens as well.) Signs could be installed earlier than installation time with a removable note: “Future site of”
- Notify others on the block who were not at the meeting. Let them know the plan and invite them to participate.
- Other ideas: designate a photographer, make a photo journal of the project, write up the story, make drawings of the project…
- Register your neighborhood 350 Garden plan on the website: www.aa350.org
- Facilitate implementation of the action items.
- Facilitate an inventory of already existing gardens and encourage owners to register them and participate in the Challenge in other ways.
- Invite everyone to the celebration party on 10/10/10. Details TBA.
*There are many approaches to no till gardening. Use this approach or research others. Limited numbers of workshops on the method may be available. Contact Jeannine to find out more.
**Expanding existing gardens is encouraged. Other options for plantings besides a vegetable garden include planting food producing perennials, including fruit and nut trees and shrubs, and plants such as strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb… See website for a plant list of possibilities. Starting potted food producing plants on a porch or balcony or with potted herbs on a windowsill is another option.
* ** Edging is an option. If some folks want to use edging, there are a number of options including a kit from Growing Hope. Contact Monica at: email@example.com or 734.761.3186 ext. 118 with any orders by September 24th.