DCG have tried to list some of the useful resources that may help you to organise your existing community garden or to plan the creation of a new community garden. The links below contain a wealth of information about how to start a community project like a community garden or even a cooperative. The resources cover everything from how to form a committee, apply for grants, biodiversity audits, health and safety advice and more. There are many more resources out there and if you find some great ones that you think we should have links to then please let us know. In most cases these links will take you to an external website. If for some reason you cannot find the resource that we have referenced do a keyword search and if you still cannot find the document please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a number of documents on the internet which explain how to create a community garden. In general it’s important to remember that it can be a time consuming and long term project but that it can also be very rewarding. You’re first step should be to try to find out if there are any other people in your area who are similarly interested in starting a community garden, you might be surprised at how many people share your vision. Your local community worker may know of interested groups or individuals who have already contacted the council with suggestions or proposals. It’s also important to have the local community on-board and involved with you from the start, we suggest carrying out a simple survey asking people whether they are in favour of the proposal. It can be a good idea to get local groups involved also i.e. schools, senior citizens. Once you have formed a group, have identified a site and have support from the landowner and local residents the next step will be to formally set up your group. The most popular way of doing this is to adopt a constitution and elect committee officers. Once you have this step completed you can open a bank account and start applying for funds. An Taisce can provide insurance to groups who become an Taisce members.
Also don’t forget that there are already community gardens out there and they may require volunteers to help them with growing and harvesting their produce, you can find some of them here (link to listed community gardens). What are you waiting for? Get stuck in!
Community Garden Resources
Dublin City Council guide to community gardens written by Robert Moss is our favourite. http://dublincommunitygrowers.ie/resources/
Another useful document is Growing in Confidence prepared by the Organic Centre in Leitrim.
The Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens has produced a Community Garden Starter Pack (Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens UK)
Healthy Food for All
Healthy Food for all have produced a number of excellent publications including:
A Good Practice Guide for Community Food Initiatives
A Good Practice Guide for School Food Initiatives
Healthy Food for All have also produced a very useful self-evaluation toolkit and also a media training resource and a section on volunteers and these can be accessed here.
An Taisce are a key supporter and have produced some excellent resources for community gardens and they can also provide insurance which is sometimes required before landowners will consider allowing their site to be used as a community garden.
An Taisce’s Green Communities project have produced a large number of excellent publications which deal with biodiversity, health and safety.
Publications include Health and Safety Information, Community Gardens/Allotments, Community Composting, Birds and Bats, Biodiversity and Habitat Conservation, Invasive Species Removal and how to Contribute to Biodiversity Data. All these resources and more can be found at the following link:
The Wheel. www.thewheel.ie On their website they state that they are a support and representative body connecting community and voluntary organisations and charities across Ireland. Their website is an excellent resource for community groups providing links to training, their website provides information on how to open a bank account, apply for charitable status, insurance information and organisations that join the wheel have access to best practice guides and a database of funding opportunities. This is a must for any group thinking about setting up a community garden and considering opening a bank account etc.
The national magazine of the local and national community development programme (http://www.changingireland.ie/) has some excellent and wide ranging community development resources. Some of the ones we like include the following:
Including Immigrants http://www.changingireland.ie/includingimmigrants.html#tips
If you’re interested in learning more about workers cooperatives and how to form and run one:
For those interested in co-operative approaches to food production sustain UK have produced a Food Coop Toolkit:
You can read for free and download for a small fee an article by Faith Thomas and Russ Grayson a useful article called ‘A Participatory Approach to a Community Garden’ here:
Sources of Funding
The main sources of funding that DCG are aware of include:
The Community Foundation – www.foundation.ie
Local Authority Grant – check with your local authority.
Agenda 21 Funding – details can be obtained from the environmental awareness officer with your local authority and also at www.environ.ie
An Taisce will provide insurance for community gardens who become members of an Taisce.
Community Garden and Allotment Sites
St. Annes Allotments
South Dublin Allotments Association
Greenhills Community Garden
Dublin Allotments Association
National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners Ltd
Cork Food Web
Food Growing Projects
Resources Summary Information