Thursday, July 30, 2009

Community Garden Ethics and Interactions

I know I just posted on here, but I have a question for you all. I'd love to start a discussion about community garden ethics.. I'll post the discussion over on homegrown.org, but if you want to send me a comment through Twitter or post something here, that's fine too.

My question has to do with neighbor-community gardener relations. I spent yesterday at the Remington garden, where I go about once every two weeks to lend a hand weeding, watering, and picking vegetables in exchange for whatever produce is ready that day.

While digging up red potatoes and snapping off green beans with one of the main gardeners, one of the neighborhood women came over to see what we were doing. In the interest of connecting with the community, I began explaining to the woman which plants were what, how to harvest the potatoes, etc. I noticed that my friend was being very strange and curt with the woman, which made me curious, since we are all obviously for community interaction and all.

As the neighbor wandered away to look at some plants, my friend told me that she was notorious for taking things from the garden without ever coming by to help.

After the woman took a few yellow peppers right in front of us, I mentioned to her that we usually appreciate it if people help out with weeding and watering tasks before taking things from the garden. My friend has supposedly been telling her this since last year, so I don't know if it made any difference.

So, what do you urban gardeners do about these types of situations?

Do you find that only a certain type of person is interested in working in the garden, or do you have a mix of neighbors helping out?

Have you had an event that opens up the garden to the neighborhood and lets them know how to get involved?

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