Community gradens?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by muddstopper, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I really couldnt figure out where the best place to post this, but decided this section would give me the best responses.

    I have been thinking about doing a gardening venture where I supply the space and tillage and rent out areas for a garden spot. Now days, it seems everybody is stuck on a small lot in an area with all kinds of silly restrictions and not enough room to grow a garden. I figure I have the land thats not being used for anything except growing grass. We bushog it everyyear and dont even sell the hay. I could do 20-30 or more acres in small plots and rent out each spot for a garden. I just havent figured out how to market this concept so i am looking for ideals and suggestions. Like, how big a spot would be considers acceptable for a one family garden. How much can I charge in rent. Should I consider planting the garden for the person renting the plot, for a fee, or just till and prep the soil so its ready to plant.
    How far apart should I seperate each individual garden spot. Maybe make a tiller and hand tools available. I dont want to till, plant, weed and harvest for the customers, I cant be there all the time. I need a game plan, so shoot me you ideals and suggestions.
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I would think a thirty by fifty spot would be reasonable size, and you could rent out an adjacent second spot for a discount for the double lot.

    I wouldn't know where to begin on pricing though. Might want to figure any cost you would have in it such as time, insurance, etc....

    I would offer to till each plot each year, and to have a community compost pile that you would add each time you till.

    Generally, most people want to do they're own gardening, so I wouldn't think they would want you to weed or anything like that. I also wouldn't suggest letting them use a tiller or any other power equipment. Big red Liability flag.

    I would set up some sort of grid system so if people want a double plot then it's right there. But, if you you've got 20 acres, you could do plots of varying size.
  3. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,827

    Take a look at this from the University of Missouri Extension. It looks like it covers a lot of your questions.

    Community Garden Toolkit

    You might contact any local garden clubs and let them know you have space available.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Great link, Thanks.
    I havent read all of it yet, but did look at the garden rules part as well as the insurance section. WhiteGardens, you brought out a good point about the liability issues.

    My thoughts are to furnish the land and prepwork for planting. Renters supply the seeds, soil amendments and labor. My motive being to make money, not more work.

    I think the 30'x50' plot size might be a little small as my own veggie garden is 30x60 and it seems to small to plant spreading crops like squash and cukes aong with everything else. Its long enough but a little narrow. Maybe 40x40 or 40x50. Anyways, a square plot is easier to irrigate with a pedestal mounted irrigation head, one head per plot. I currently use one head located in the middle of my garden and it reaches the ends just fine, but since it rotates it sprays past the sides.
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Great idea Mudd and you get to stay in touch with all of the neighbors

    All of my cukes grow straight up on a trellis, tomatoes too just 4x4's with nylon string running back and forth. I don't have much room for veggies, too much shade with 100 foot poplars blocking the east, I don't get sun until 1 in the afternoon this time of year

    Hide the tools, people will "borrow" them unintentionally for a minute and be left in the plot to be found next year when rototilling
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

  7. Grohorganic

    Grohorganic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Been away for a few days and had to stopby and check my thread.
    Another good link, thanks Kiril. Altho I think the 250sqft plot size is considerably small for my vision. I am considering advertiseing in the local paper to find out just how much demand there might be and maybe arrange a meeting of minds with those interested in participating. I think the rules and guidelines at this site "Community Garden Toolkit " provided by 44DCNF will provide a great starting point. It wont be long until its time to startup the plow to get the plots ready for next year. The site has at least 50yrs worth of untilled and ungrazed pasture grass to get rid of first.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    When our soils sit for any length of time, we see that, the OM becomes localized near the suface, the sands shift downwards, and the clay rises with the OM.

    It would be interesting to know how this new ground compares to nearby the tilled soils.
  10. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,827

    I'm used to seing smaller individual plots in the suburban towns community gardens around here. You were talking about larger plots, but you might do well to offer a variety of sizes for people with different goals in mind.

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