We added 10 more garden level plots and 5 raised beds that helped bring in more gardeners in our neighborhood. We built a beautiful entryway with a brick patio and pergola that accents the front of our garden, a breeze pathway from parking lot to that entryway and the street side of our garden has plants and mulch, and rock landscaping that gives it a great presentation for the neighborhood. With our SeedMoney we were able to buy needed tools for our shed, tools racks, hose reels that help keep garden hoses out of other gardeners plots, and plot number markers for each garden bed.
What challenges did or does your project face?
The biggest challenge to us was getting volunteers to come out on work days because we had a lot of hard days of work to do to accomplish all we did. We had to be creative to find other groups to help us but we accomplished so much with their help. We also had tasks this year that we did not know how to accomplish with our own knowledge base, so we had to rely on contractors to help with a couple of things which used part of our funds.
How are you working to overcome them?
We are going to take a year off from trying to expand the garden and in that year run the general operations of the garden and get grounded in doing a thorough job of that. With that in mind, we will try to engage our gardeners and the neighbors in regular potlucks and discussions about where we are going with the garden to get further feedback from them. We will also use this time to be more prepared for the projects in coming years with better projections of cost, work involved and time, and amount of workers needed to complete.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
We learned that a lot of planning goes into making good sound decisions, a lot more than we anticipated.
We learned that it is important to have solid proposals and estimates for work being done so that you aren't taken by surprise after the job is done.
We learned that the people you bring in to perform jobs that are outside of your group need to know what the agreed upon vision of the garden is, through meetings with those involved.
Communication is key with everything you do.