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St. Louis’ community gardens

Community gardening provides a rich experience. People who join their local garden group learn about plants or share their own knowledge and gain through both. They grow better tasting food and save money on groceries. Best of all, they enjoy the fellowship of working cooperatively  on a shared passion. The gardens themselves become a beautiful community focal point, inspiring pride in the participants.

Growing a garden city : how farmers, first graders, counselors, troubled teens, foodies, a homeless shelter chef, single mothers, and more are transforming themselves and their neighborhoods through the intersection of local agriculture and community--and how you can, too
Jeremy N. Smith ; foreword by Bill McKibben ; photographs by Chad Harder and Sepp Jannotta.
New York : Skyhorse Pub., c2010.
Fifteen people-plus a class of first graders-tell how local food, farms, and gardens changed their lives and their community...and how they can change yours, too. Growing a Garden City includes: Fifteen first-person stories of personal and civic transformation from a range of individuals, including farmers and community garden members, a low-income senior and troubled teen, a foodie, a food bank officer, and many more Seven in-depth “How It Works” sections on student farms, community gardens, community supported agriculture (CSA), community education, farm work therapy, community outreach, and more Detailed information on dozens of additional resources from relevant books and websites to government programs and national non-profit organizations Over 80 full-color photographs showing a diverse local food community at home, work, and play Read Growing a Garden City to: Learn how people like you, with busy lives like yours, can and do enjoy the many benefits of local food without having to become full-time organic farmers Gain the information you need to organize or get involved in your own "growing community” anywhere across the country and around the world
     
Greening cities, growing communities : learning from Seattle's urban community gardens
Jeffrey Hou, Julie M. Johnson, and Laura J. Lawson.
Washington, D.C. : Landscape Architecture Foundation in association with University of Washington Press, c2009.
Although there are thousands of community gardens all across North America, only a few cities, such as Seattle, include them in their urban planning process. This book reports on the making of Seattles community gardens and the multiple roles they play in the citys life. It touches on such issues as planning and design strategies; stewardship; community, professional, and government participation; and programs built around the gardens, especially those aimed at low-income and minority communities, immigrants, and seniors. It will appeal to a broad audience of professionals, educators, community organizers, citizens, and policy makers interested in improving the quality of life in their own communities.
     
On guerrilla gardening : a handbook for gardening without boundaries
Richard Reynolds.
New York : Bloomsbury, c2008.
Includes index.
     

St. Louis gardeners have organized many gardens throughout the city. Some are formalized efforts with boards, budgets, regular funding and permanent locations. Others are informal groups of people who meet only when necessary to get the work done, chipping in from their pockets to buy needed supplies for their adopted plot of land. All share a vision of their garden space, and all work together to reach their goals.

This non-profit organization provides leadership and funding to the many community gardens in the St. Louis region. There are more than 150 gardens operating today, created with their help.

Gateway Greening

In a community garden with many small plots, one plot is assigned to one person for the season. The “owner” decides which favorite food or flower to grown. It’s always fun to see the variety of plants people choose for their beds, plants that reflect individual tastes. Some gardeners specialize in one kind of plant, another will pack in as many types as possible over a season. Still others will try a mix of edibles and ornamentals.

The City of St. Louis has been generous in donating land for community gardens. Most gardens have resources available to all such as compost, mulch, fertilizers, and a watering system. These readily available supplies make gardening easy!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff