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Family Garden Initiative in Urban Settings

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Family Garden Initiative in Urban Settings

Dan Samms

The Biggest Obstacles to Community Gardens

For years, I have had consultations with churches and other non-profits that want to start community gardens.  They have grand visions of growing produce to feed families in the community and build relationships while growing.  Their motives are great, but so many don't make it past the first year.  Here are a few of the obstacles they run into that lead to their gardens running out of steam:

  • Lack of Volunteers.  It doesn't matter how many people say they are going to help, it always ends up being one or two people trying to do all the work.  Either the garden fails or those volunteers only make it that first year and then the garden is gone.
  • Limited or No Connection to Need.  Often churches and other organizations put community gardens on their property. The desire is good (using land to grow food), but if it isn't in proximity to need the food won't go where it is needed.  
  • Lack of Good Soil.  Many urban settings are contaminated with heavy metals or are simply not rich in nutrients.  
  • Lack of access to water.  Sometimes the empty plot available for your garden doesn't have access to running water.  
  • Lack of knowledge.  Sometimes the best volunteers are the least equipped.  Large-scale gardens sometimes require special skills for growing good produce.  

Solutions Provided by FGI

FGI is a great solution to urban gardening issues.  The use of local compost and creative gardening tools allows you to grow on any surface and engage a wide variety of volunteers in their own living settings.  

  • Recipient engagement.  FGI uses square foot gardening techniques to maximize produce in a small area.  This allows FGI to give gardens to urban families to grow in their living space.  Volunteerism is never an issue.
  • Direct Connection to Need.  Giving the gardens to individual families not only ensures that the produce is directly provided to the people who need it most, the growing process engages people of all ages, encouraging them to use the food they grow.  
  • Good soil.  We use local, organic compost that is professionally prepared to ensure optimal growing media.  
  • Water Access.  Each garden needs 2 watering cans full of water per day.  We provide the watering can, so that the family can water exactly according to need.  
  • Educational Materials.  Every garden comes with everything needed for growing success, including a growing guide and recipe book!  Every recipient will know not only how to grow produce but how to prepare it.  

FGI Gardens provide the perfect opportunity to empower families to grow food for themselves.