Things to Consider:
- Start with a group of ten interested people. It can be a board or it can turn into one. You will benefit from various strengths, skills & resources. (bookeeping, thank yous, legal matters, handyperson, carpenter, pr, fundraising…) This is not a lone wolf project.
- Who will be the garden mangager?
- Land & Land Tenure: where to look – churches, businesses, vacant land, private landowners, public park land.
- Sunlight – At least 8 hours per day
- Water – What will be the water source? Rainfall is not reliable.
- Tools – purchase the best ones you can afford as soon as you’re able. The more volunteers you have, the more important this is.
- Liability –
- Who will do machinery repair? (if you have tillers, mowers, etc)
- Soil Testing: Free in NC: http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/sthome.htm Call your county extension service in other states.
- General Community Garden Information: http://www.communitygarden.org/ (exhaustive information. Great place to start.)
- North Carolina Community Garden Partners:
- Tallahassee Food Gardens:
- http://maninoveralls.blogspot.com/ (Another incredible site full of information and inspiration. The man, who runs this singlehandedly, is a former Warren Wilson student. )
- If you’re in NC – Organic Grower’s School (OGS) and Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP)
- Your state agricultural college
- The best book on cover crops is available as a free download: http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Managing-Cover-Crops-Profitably-3rd-Edition
- For inspiration and to notice things you may need such as safety policies and volunteer training: Gaining Ground http://gainingground.org/; Oregon Food http://www.growingpower.org/
Non-Profit Status: You can umbrella under another non-profit (the easiest way to get started) or your garden can become a non-profit. One advantage is that donations are tax exempt. One place to get started: https://boardsource.org/initiatives/exploring-strategic-partnerships/
Either way, it’s best to have a standard tax letter as a document that you can print and fill in the blanks. We (TLA) then put this in a photo card and handwrite a thank you as well.