Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to start a garden group

Some time ago now I start a small three family garden group. The initial goal of the group, to simply provide free labour and knowledge sharing for our joint gardens, has well be surpassed. We share seeds, seedlings, produce, materials, tools and ideas. But it has become even more than that. The relationships between the three families has grown immensely. We all feel a strong level of trust and support within the group, and the open honest conversations are a testament to this. Debbie, one of the members, once said “You can trust those you dig in the dirt with”. I now couldn't agree with her more.

What amazes me is that when I first had the idea of starting a garden group I was highly reluctant. Fear of “What if I don’t like the people that join?” or “What if there is confrontation?” nearly prevented me from going through with it. Phew! I am so glad I did, as I now have some wonderful friends, and a thriving garden to boot.

However I don’t believe that it was just blind luck that I got two other wonderful families to join. After many years of life coaching I have come to learn that we get what we ask for. Looking back at the goal I set, I made it very clear that everyone was going to get along, be valued members, and feel part of a community. This goal and my self sufficiency goal were both made public so those looking to join knew exactly what my intentions were.

My goal set back in Mid 2010:

It is Sunday the 26th of September 2010, we have all gathered here in my garden for our monthly gardeners group meeting. I have been involved with the group for over a month now and I love it. I am getting along with everyone and have become a valued member of this little group, and feel a sense of community. I am excited and thirsty for the abundance of knowledge about gardening that they all poses. This is helping immensely towards my vegetable self sufficiency goal.

So how did I get this garden group started? I simply advertised my intentions on a local online network, in my case food4all. Online networks are a good tool for establishing real world networks. The online network does have to be local to your area though. If you are unable to find one,  I do think it would have worked just as well putting up a poster at some place like an organic store where similar minded people will pass.

Here is what an example poster might look like, remember be clear with what and who you want:

Would you like some help growing vegetables?
I know I would.
I am looking for 2 local families to start a small 3 family gardening group. Each month we will meet at one of the homes and help out in the garden for a couple of hours. Followed by a chat over a cup of tea and maybe a bite to eat. Each month we will rotate so everyone's garden gets a turn. Must live in the local area; have a passion for sustainable food; have a willingness to share, learn and grow; and enjoy getting your hands dirty. Children welcome.
Contact me@email

Go on be brave start a garden group.


  1. Hmmm! Food for thought. Sounds great but but I'm still at the early stages of lots of reservation! When would I fit it in? What if I wasn't available one month?

  2. By default we meet the first Sunday of every month. But we are flexible, if someone can't make it that day, we shift it around. If someone can't make it at all for a whole month, they miss a turn.


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