An idea that is becoming increasingly popular among housing society members is creating and maintaining a community garden. Many city based communities are now turning to community gardens to become self-sufficient and also to deal with ecological issues by adding a tinge of green to the surroundings.

Maintaining the community Garden

If you happen to live in a housing society that has a large space for gardens, your task will be easier. You can take up the lead and work towards creating a thriving space of greenery along with your neighbors and other residents.

Organizing a Community Garden in a Housing Society

First, make sure that the available space is not allocated for other purposes. Once you get that cleared and discuss your plan with the other residents, you can get down to business.

Get together a band of people who share your enthusiasm for gardening and farming. Hold a meeting that outlines the benefits of a garden within your housing society that can be more than just pleasing to the eye. You can grow vegetables and fruits in your garden if need be.

If you have just a small patch of land at hand, decide on what you can grow in it. You can choose from among growing vegetables, one or two fruit trees and some beautiful flowering plants. If you have a large plot of land, you can divide it into a vegetable patch, a fruit trees section, an herb garden and a flower garden.

Forming a Formal Association

Form a group or association for your community garden and enlist interested members. Draft a set of rules and by-laws for the group. Make it clear at the outset that each member will have to contribute towards the garden in terms of money, work and in other ways if you aim to make it a success.

Remember that in any community activity, it is good to have a legal agreement in place to avoid future complications. You can have a legal agreement drawn up listing the rules and regulations of membership. Include also a limitation of liability draft that will list what situations will be covered by the community and what will not be covered. Take out community insurance if possible.

Raising Funds

Decide how you are going to raise funds for your garden, for it will certainly involve some expense in terms of buying seeds, equipment etc. Decide if you are going to collect membership fees to make sure everyone contributes or whether the association should do the same. You can also hold fund-raising activities like cook-offs and yard sales to collect money.

Delegate Tasks

Divide the work among the members. Find out who is willing to be in charge of administration activities, fund-raising activities and who is willing to get down and dirty, doing the actual work in the garden.

Among those who are willing to do the garden work, divide the responsibility on the basis of looking after certain types of plants or, if you have a big enough plot, responsibility for small parts of the overall land.

Plan Your Garden

Take care while creating the proper infrastructure for your garden. Irrigation facilities, garden/farm equipment, seeds, fertilizers, manure, and pest control options need to be finalized.

If you have access to natural fertilizers and manure, go in for an organic garden that does not use any chemicals. This will be an added incentive to the community, to raise food uncontaminated by chemical fertilizers and other pollutants. Use waste products from the garden and kitchen waste to make your own fertilizers.

Plan the community garden for all seasons. Grow fruits and vegetables during the summer and monsoon seasons. During the winter months, grow plants that will re-fertilize the soil. Make your own compost heaps and manure to replace the nutrients in the soil that have been lost in the last growth cycle.

Plan your community garden and maintain it well and you will have an oasis in the middle of the city that not only provides a pleasant patch of green for the eye to feast on, but can provide your housing society with many food items that are naturally grown in your own community, by members of your own housing society.

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