FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I find a community garden?
How do I start a community garden, backyard or front yard?
What organizations can I contact for information about community gardeners?
How do I find a farmers market?
How do I volunteer?
How can I donate my garden Or market produce?
How can I test my soil?
Where can my garden find soil and compost?
To find a community garden, the best place to look is: http://www.oasisnyc.net/gardens/cenycmapsearch.asp. Once you have identified a community garden, go to the garden itself and look for a sign on the garden gates. Most gardens have a sign that identifies an organization or person to contact if you are interested in getting involved.
- Get permission of the landowner and make a clear agreement on the terms between the landowner and the group that will be gardening. What rules will the garden abide by? What does the group have permission to do? For how long is the agreement valid?
- Contact your Community Board. Many Community Boards have Open Space/Land Use Committees that directly address their area's public space issues. Let them know what you are planning.
- Get the community involved - Plan a meeting that brings together as many of your neighbors as possible to discuss the project. Publicize your meeting with posters, phone calls, and any local papers or newsletters. Use multi-lingual announcements to get the word out to the whole community. Together, make decisions about issues that are important for you, including the name of the garden.
- When you have written permission to use the land, contact GreenThumb, a program of the Parks Department. Listing your garden with GreenThumb will provide you with free materials such as soil, lumber, plants and garden tools, as well as workshops and other technical assistance to get your garden started. Being involved with GreenThumb can also give your garden legitimacy as a community resource and benefits such as permission to use hydrants.
- If your garden is in the Bronx, contact the New York Botanical Garden's Bronx GreenUp to let them know about your project. If your garden is in Brooklyn, contact the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's GreenBridge. Linking in with these organizations will help you to access resources and other community gardens that help you grow!
- Buy the City Farms Toolkit, which is a guide specifically geared towards community gardening, and useful for anyone looking to grow food in NYC (and beyond). The guide includes everything from planting calendars to soil care to season extension.
- Check out the current listing of Community-Run Farmers' Markets which is a list of volunteer-run, community based farmers market that sell both urban and rural produce.