Although we had some initial difficulties, after some refocusing, we have gained some new insights and generated more relevant questions to be used during interviews with our stakeholders. Our main idea with these set of questions was to figure out what practices were being implemented at partner gardens and to draw some more insights about what makes community gardens sustainable.
- How often do you meet as a group?
- Do you have meetings? Who comes to them? How do they work?
- If not, why? How do you communicate and make decisions?
- How do you assign responsibilities for the garden? Who makes important decisions (like what?) Are there multiple leaders or just one?
- If not, how do you delegate work?
- How do you communicate with gardeners (ie. bulletin board, email)? What do you communicate (responsibilities, updates)? How often?
- If not, why?
- How many gardeners do you have?
- How did they get involved?
- Would you like more gardeners?
- Do you recruit gardeners? How?
- Do you have events? What kind of events (purpose of events?)? How often? How do you promote these events? Do other community members, besides gardeners come to the garden events?
- If not, have you considered having events? What has stopped you?
We also met with an experienced professor about the impact of community gardens on their communities and what it takes for a community garden to be successful and sustainable. From that meeting, we were able to draw some new possible insights and ideas about the structure of community gardens and what drives successful gardens.
- Before establishing a community garden, it is best to communicate with the community and find if there is a good number of passionate potential users and participants
- The structure and leadership of gardens should be bottom-up; people should participate and work because they are passionate and driven by themselves
- The garden should be self-regulated and run with input from the gardeners themselves and the surrounding community
Stay tuned for our reframe and consolidation of all our interviews and immersion in community gardens!