Community Garden Planning!

Now is the time to let us know what you think!

Garden Design:
These designs include both plots for rent, and communally gardened beds where we share the bounty and the responsibility.

It starts with a fence: an 8′ wildlife fence to keep out rabbits, ungulates and other foragers.  From there, the idea is to start small and build on our successes – the size of the garden this year will depend on how many people want to be involved and how!

The total fenced area will be 25m x 43m – the images you see below are to scale.  This means that with 15 raised wicking beds and an approximately equivalent area for communal gardening, we will cultivate only about 1/3 of the whole space this year.

Garden Plan A:
Raised Wicking Beds along south west fence on high contour for water siphoning between beds.  Communal area mounded beds with swales for water catchment and pathways…any shape/design and size that we think is appropriate this year!
The green space along the interior of the fence allows space for climbing beans/peas etc.

 Garden Plan B:
Similar concept with the wicking beds, and communal garden space arranged differently.

Add to both of these designs a water cistern, elevated on a stand along the shorter length of the fence, at the shortest distance from the Hospital itself where we will draw water.  Add also a small tool shed, and perhaps a couple of small greenhouses, along the NE fence line.

Garden Access:
We are proposing 2 types of community garden membership:

1) Communal Garden Membership – $30/season with shared bounty/responsibility.  Must commit a minimum of time in the garden. This would include caring for the greenhouse/herb spiral/fence peas/Food Bank garden/communal beds, and participating in the workshop when the swales are dug and beds prepared for planting.

2) Plot Rental Membership– $50/season to rent an 8’x4′ raised wicking bed that you garden as you wish.  Renters will be required to participate in the assembly of their wicking beds by attending the workshop.

We Value Your Input!
Please take a few moments to answer these questions by commenting on this post!

1)  Which of the above designs do you prefer? What are your thoughts? Preferences? Insights?

2) How would you like to be involved?
    a) Rent a plot?
    b) Communal Garden?
To know how much space to allocate to each, we need to know how people prefer to be involved!

What is a wicking bed?
A raised bed in which the bottom half acts as a water resevoir both storing water, and slowly releasing it by “wicking” it up to the bottom of the roots.  Saves water by eliminating the evaporation that occurs when watering from the top,  encourages healthy root growth, and stores water.

What are swales?
essentially trenches that are designed to capture and store rainwater in between mounded garden beds, and then slowly release the water into the gardens.  If these trenches are filled with either gravel or wood mulch, they also act as pathways giving us access to our gardens while still holding and releasing water.

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