Community Gardens « Archive

Posted on 05 February 2013 by

Looking Back at the History of Community Gardens and Learning from It

Photo Credit: Our Urban Eden Community Garden by Anna used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

How I love history.

I have come to realize that to move along life one needs to look at the past and understand it before we can move forward.

In my opinion, mistakes are made when we never look at the past and learn from it. The same goes with gardening.

A few years ago, I was enlightened with a saying, which at first shocked me. I am one of those individuals that is a habit keeper.

If it works why change it has in the past been my motto but this saying made a lot of sense so I decided to give it a try. Lo and behold, it worked; so today I live by this simple but complicated motto. The motto I refer to is “if you do things they way they have always been done, then you will get what you have always gotten. “

At this point, one may wonder what this has to do with community garden history. The answer will be clear to you soon after we take a walk down the garden lane past the community gardens of the past.

The first concept of community gardens Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 03 February 2013 by

Community Gardens – A Gathering Place for the Generations

Photo Credit: Kale by Clyde Robinson used under CC BY 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

This is the second year for The Charlestown Community Gardens and the first for The Maxwell Project.

While this year’s experience was different then last year’s, it is still a learning experience.

I have learned a lot through this experience and have been a little frustrated at times.

But communities were not built in a day nor will the gardens associated with them spring up over night.

The present research I am doing through a survey I created for my Masters degree has backed up several of my challenges I have faced this year. The first one is what exactly is a community garden. This term is very broad and depends on the end use or what you hope to get out of the garden. In my research I have found 7 different types of community gardens and each one is unique in itself.

While the term “land” is used in the description of each garden type, do not feel that you have to garden in the traditional manner. Today’s community gardens can be built right into the land or raised beds can be used.

Also, do not fret if your community garden falls into Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 21 June 2012 by

The Community that Changed Children’s Lives One Garden at a Time

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Last year, I started the Charlestown Community Gardens in Indiana.

It was a great experience that taught me a lot about human nature.

Our community garden space, not only, provided raised beds for gardening but also created an atmosphere by which like-minded people could gather.

By the end of the gardening season, we were all ready preparing for next year’s garden space.

The Charlestown Community Garden phase II occurred on April 1, 2012. The weather was not prefect, as a matter of fact it rained earlier in the day, but as every gardener knows the garden must go on so we went out anyway.

It seemed that Ceres, the Greek goddess of agriculture, shined down upon us and made the sun come out. We rolled out landscape cloth, move several tons of rock, laid beds, and filled them with well-seasoned horse manure. All this was accomplished in one day and as we looked at what we had completed, I realized that Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 13 October 2011 by

How to Keep Unwanted Guests Out of the Garden Space


By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The other day, I was out at the community garden and saw my first turkey.

I was told when I started the community garden project in my community that guard turkeys patrolled the area.

How I laughed at this thought.

Guard turkeys on military property. Poetic justice in action I suppose.

As I inspected the raised beds, I noticed the last bed I planted with donated tomatoes had been disturbed. How funny this was to me. The gardens are in the open and no cover is around for them to hide from predators. Who am I to question Mother Nature?

So I repaired the damage, placed some of my hair in t Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 01 July 2011 by

Gardening For The Generations

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Throughout my community garden project, I noticed a unique trend that I could not explain until recently.

My group consists of a majority of people who are under 30 years of age.

How wonderful I felt and still feel that the youth was getting involved in gardening.

I thought economics was a big factor and the organic food movement pushed these individuals to the community garden. But while my uneducated analysis of the situation was partly correct, it took a little research to find the “roots” of my community gardeners.

Personally, I am on the very backend of the baby-boomer generation. I was raised in an environment that I could do anything without any boundaries. For years, I have felt that I was raised this way because I was an only child but to my dismay that was not necessarily the case.

Baby-boomers were raised to think Read the rest of this entry »

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