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Building Community Gardens in Montana - How to Mannual

Building Community Gardens in Montana - How to Mannual

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Published by: Royal Forest and Bird Protecton Society on Nov 30, 2010
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02/03/2012

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BUILDING COMMUNITY GARDENS IN MONTANA
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Published by: Alternative EnergyResources OrganizationThank you to our funders,the High Stakes Foundationand the Fanwood Foundationfor making this publicationpossible.Special thanks to: Working for Equality and EconomicLiberation (WEEL).Thanks to the following for your vision, guidance, andsupport as the founding Growing Community ProjectSteering Committee: Jim Barngrover,
 AERO Ag  Program Manager;
AlanPeura,
City Commissioner;
 Maureen Shaughnessy,
 Landscape Designer;
SelenaHeld, C
ommunity Organizer;
 WEEL Staff: Mary Caferro,Rachael Conn, Brian Coplin,Layna George, Olivia Riutta;Renee Driesen,
 Project for  Alternative Learning 
,
 Executive Director;
 Jeri Rittel, P
roject for  Alternative Learning;
Mary EllenHalverson,
 Nutritionist;
RichardThieltges,
Technical Garden Advisor;
Bethany Flint,
 ExplorationWorks! Museum;
 Randy Lilje,
 Helena Parks Department;
Ann Waickman,
 Helena Food Share;
JondaCrosby,
 AERO Executive Director;
Montana Legal Services andthe Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) programHelena Citizens CouncilHelena Food ShareSuzanne Wilcox andBecca Leaphart of 
 ExplorationWorks! Museum
Tim Hall and Josh Slotnick,of Missouala’s communitygarden network, Garden CityHarvestThank you to all those whowith their time, positiveenergy, and generosity havecontributed to the HelenaGrowing Community Projectand to this communitygardening manual.
 A 
lternAtive
e
nergy
esources
o
rgAnizAtion
432 North Last Chance GulchHelena, Montana 59601
(406) 443-7272 • fax: (406) 442-9120
email aero@aeromt.org www.aeromt.org 
by
K
AThryN
G
rEAr
h
uTChiSON
In Montana
BUILDING COMMUNITY GARDENS
 
BUILDING COMMUNITY GARDENS IN MONTANA
Introduction .......................................................................................1Chapter 1: Starting a Garden ...............................................................3
Start a steering committee .............................................................................................3Identify stakeholders .....................................................................................................4Get community feedback and support ..........................................................................4Hold an informational meeting .....................................................................................4Approach a Sponsor ......................................................................................................6Publicity/Outreach ........................................................................................................6
Chapter 2: Finding the Right Site for Your Garden ..................................7
Evaluating Land ............................................................................................................7Soil Testing ....................................................................................................................8Choosing your site .........................................................................................................9Talking to the landowner ...............................................................................................9Lease agreements and use-agreements ..........................................................................9Buying Land ................................................................................................................10Using public land .........................................................................................................10Water ...........................................................................................................................11Liability Insurance ......................................................................................................12
Chapter 3 Designing Your Garden .......................................................13
Designing your garden with community in mind .......................................................13Incorporating food assistance programs ......................................................................16
Chapter 4: Building Your Garden........................................................17
Gathering Supplies ......................................................................................................17Volunteer work days ....................................................................................................18
Chapter 5: Garden Organization .........................................................19
Managing Your Garden ...............................................................................................19Membership Dues ......................................................................................................19Garden guidelines ........................................................................................................19Additional Ideas ...........................................................................................................20
Chapter 6: Success! ...........................................................................21
Montana’s Community Gardens: ...............................................................................21Garden City Harvest ..................................................................................................21Helena Community Garden Project ...........................................................................23
 Appendices
A. Garden Designs..................................................................................................A-25B. Sample Letters of Support .................................................................................B-29C. Land Assessment Checklist ................................................................................C-33D. Sample Lease agreement ...................................................................................D-34E. Sample Outreach Material .................................................................................E-37F. Sample Garden Guidelines .................................................................................F-43G. Sample Gardeners Contracts .............................................................................G-48H. Garden City Harvest Surveys ............................................................................H-50I. Master Event Planning Schedule .........................................................................I-53
J. Applying for Non-Prot Status
............................................................................J-55K. Resources ...........................................................................................................K-57
CONTENTS
ii
 
1BUILDING COMMUNITY GARDENS IN MONTANA
INTRODUCTION
Community gardens have grown inpopularity across Montana, and the timehas never been better to start a communitygarden in your own community. Commu-nity gardens are an equitable, ecological,and healthy contribution to communities.
They benet whole communities by restor
-ing vibrancy to often vacant land and bybringing neighbors together. Communitygardens improve the quality of life, socialinteractions, and self-reliance of urbanand semi-urban neighborhoods in Mon-tana by creating safe public space, conserv-ing energy and resources, and preserving green space.or those who choose active involve-
ment in community gardens, the benets
are nnumerae. ommunty garensllow people to provide themselves withhealthy, nutritious, delicious, and afford-ble food. They encourage an activelifestyle and bring families, friends, andneighbors together in a positive and safeenvironment. They give access to land forpeople who wouldnÕt otherwise grow theirown food. Community gardens can saveindividuals and families money on theirgrocery bills and save energy in the cost of food transportation.n the last several decades, Montansfood system has drastically changed theway Montanans get their food. WhereasMontana produced 70% of its own food inthe 1940s it produces less than 10% today.porton o te ormer percentage wascomprised of backyard and community
World War I S poster by Ja Montgomery Fl 1918, lithograph, c56 x 36 cm. Coluurges civilians toheir own food to f resources for the war 
 rowing your own food incommunity gardens isa practical,affordabletep toward ahealthy, vibrant  Montana food system and ecology.
Victory garden poster, World War II 

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