The project is devoted to making sure that people from underserved and under-represented environments can positively engage with their community. I believe that our community and gardening outreach is a service learning that tends to inspire and educate members of the public about feeding the community (Chabot College, 2019). The outreach tends to address some of the community issues through sustainable community gardening. It will solve the issues such as lack of food in the neighborhoods by engaging people to work and grow their foods.
The garden will include service learning where students are involved in not only improving themselves but enhancing the communities they live promoting unity. The project will instill in people a greater understanding of how food is grown, what type of crops to grow in different seasons, and how farming can assist serve themselves and the community. The project tends to bring people together by allowing them to participate in creating and running a community garden project.
People are not only going to get fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs from the garden but also fresh ideas on aspects to do with farming. “There is a great opportunity to work over a period of time, in one place, close to campus, in the heart of one community with a large percentage of families in need,” Berle said (University of Georgia, 2013). Most of the families around Hayward are need hence will benefit a lot from the outreach project. Therefore, outreach is important to individual members and the community.
What exactly is your community garden project?
A community garden means many things to many people. For some, it is a place to grow food, flowers, and herbs in the company of interested parties. For other people, it is a place to reconnect with nature or get physical exercise. Grace Lee Boggs says, “we can begin by doing the small things at the local level, like planting community gardens or looking out for our neighbors.” (Adrian and Tom, 2009). Our project revolves around the proposed solutions to neighborhood problems, such as food access. The project will supply the neighborhood with various kinds of vegetables, fruits and herbs.
The project presents a unique partnership with community members, the local government of Hayward as well as students in offering service to the people. The garden grows edible plants such as vegetables, fruits, and herbs, among others. The project is set to strengthen the community in activities that are beneficial and can improve the living standards of the people. Through engaging people in the community garden, the project is all about motivating and supporting community members to grow, collect as well as share food together.
To support this, Margaret Mead says, “never doubt that a small group, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that has ever had.” It allows the community to come together, work, and share the product with people around. In addition, it is an inspiration for people to eat healthily, especially by eating more vegetables and fruits as they grow them on their own. Ultimately, the project seeks to increase the number of productive and viable gardens around Hayward. Through this, people will learn and understand the value of growing crops to offer a solution to the scarcity of food.
What will you be growing? And Why?
In this community garden, we will be growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs. During winter are less inclined to think about making the most in farming. We tend to grow crops like Alliums, leafy vegetables, legumes, Asian green, and carrots. The rationale for selecting these types of crops are;
Alliums comprising of garlic and onions are great for overwintering as they can survive winter freezes. Alliums are very easy to grow, low maintenance, and perform well in most climates. Most alliums can be planted in all the seasons. In addition, the Allium bulbs require less maintenance, have dazzling flowers, and seem to deter pests, making them a great addition to most gardens. The crop is also used on a daily basis when preparing vegetable meals.
We selected legumes as one of the crops to be grown in the community garden for various reasons. First, beans are very easy to grow. It is usually tasty and full of protein. Second, it can be harvested as young pods to eat whole or when they are more mature for the common beans even when the winter is severe. Third, the legume is a nitrogen-fixing plant that increases the fertility of the soil. Therefore, it is an important crop to the soil as well as to people as a source of food.
There is not winter garden is complete without various hardy kales. As the temperature drops, the flavor of kale improves. We will grow kales in two ways, first as a mature crop for soups and as baby green for winter salads. In addition, it is among the most important vegetable that is commonly used in our diets. Thus, having such crops in the garden will assist the community since it is essential. The following is a winterbor kale, a cold superstar that can be harvested throughout winter.
Asian green is one of the plants that perform well in winter. They are very easy to grow like kale. Various types of Asian green exist to all gardeners through seed catalogs. The best types for winter are Pac Choi, mizuna, Tatsoi, and mustard. They are very fast to grow and provide a range of foliage textures and flavors. For example, Tatsoi is among the crops that will be grown during winter because it can go down to less than 12 degrees Celsius. The following is an image of the Tatsoi plant.
Cabbage is a winter crop. A hardy crop is adaptable to winter growing as well as quantity and quality during harvest. It is very easy to plant and maintain the crop because it does not require much attention and focus. Since it can survive in winter, it becomes one of the favorite crops to be grown in the garden. In addition, it is a commonly used vegetable in people’s diets as an alternative to kale and spinach. The following figure is an image of cabbage for winter harvest that can sit under a blanket of snow without an issue.
Spinach is one of the winter crops to be grown in the community garden. Winter spinach is too sweet because it builds up sugars as a response factor to cold, which protects its cells from bursting when freezing. The crop is also easy to grow for all skill levels making it a good first choice when starting with winter planting. In addition, the crop is essential because it can be used as an alternative to kale, and cabbage, among other vegetables. The following is a figure showing spinach growing during winter.
What are the main visual and interactive features of your garden?
The main visuals and interactive features of our community garden have a unifying theme. They all use conservation of resources such as water, soil, and building materials, among others. To begin with, our community garden will have interactive features such as a fence with a lock to eliminate vandalism, animals, and theft. It will have a sitting area with a shade shelter. The sitting area will be able to accommodate about 100 people. There will be a shade with a lock for storing tools used in the garden and seeds. The tools will be stored in the safe around the shade to avoid theft.
In addition, it will have a water source consisting of a water tank for collecting rainwater, and an irrigation system. To act as a learning platform, the garden will have educational signage and hands-on learning tools. The garden will be divided into different blocks. Each of the blocks, as shown below, will have different crops. For instance, spinach will be grown in a separate block. In between the blocks, there will be paths to allow people to move around the garden. The spaces around the blocks will allow people to tend to the plants.
In addition, a shade will be constructed where people can rest after working in the garden. At the end of the shade, there will be a store for keeping the tools and seeds used in the garden. The garden will have a lockable gate to control the people entering the garden. We will paint the gate green to reflect on the majority of crops being grown in the garden. Only the members of the project are allowed to enter the garden anytime. However, other community members can access the garden with the help from a member.
In conclusion, the community garden project will assist many people in the neighborhood. People will learn the importance of growing their crops. Our project tends to educate the people, inspire, and bring them together in learning important aspects such as being socially responsible. In this community garden, we will grow different groups of crops ranging from vegetables, fruits, and herbs. For example, to be specific, we will grow crops like kale, cabbage, spinach, Asian green, and legumes, among others. The design of the garden will be an interactive one with everything placed at its rightful place.
Adrian Harewood and Tom Keefer (2009). Revolution as a New Beginning
; An Interview with Grace Lee Boggs. Retrieved from; https://uppingtheanti.org/journal/article/02-revolution-as-a-new-beginning
Chabot College. (2019) How Hayward, California, Engaged a Diverse Community. Retrieved from; http://www.chabotcollege.edu/news/2019-09-01-how-hayward-engaged-a-diverse-community.php
Mead, M. (2005). The world ahead: An anthropologist anticipates the future (Vol. 6). Berghahn Books.
The University of Georgia. (2013). Students learn nutrition, horticulture in the community garden project. Retrieved from; https://outreach.uga.edu/policies/appointment-and-promotion-guidelines/