Virginia Bruce Portland February 8, 2010

We are beginning to organize a community garden in a neighborhood of mixed housing: smaller, older houses on larger lots with lots of infill subdivisions of large houses with small yards. We have a one-acre centrally-located space and we're planning to begin permaculture development of orchard, and some crops that are more suited to a large space (corn, squashes).

The challenge is to engage some of the neighbors in the subdivisions: busy people with no perceived need for food gardening; perhaps some awareness of "local food" but little contact with neighbors. Some of the subdivision residents are Asian immigrant families.

We're already planning to bring in school groups, and try to appeal to neighbors to get involved for the sake of their kids. We're also offering it as a way to learn about food gardening.

Any other suggestions or reports of similar experiences would be welcome. Our goals are primarily community-building along with learning more about permaculture.

Virginia Bruce
Citizens' Participation Organization #1
United States