April 10, 2017

Community Gardening Handbook

The Community Gardening Handbook, The Guide to Organizing, Planting, and Caring for a Community Garden

In The Community Gardening Handbook, horticulture and community-supported agriculture (CSA) specialist Ben Raskin shares his expertise and experience with those interested in joining an existing community garden or starting a new one.

This book brings a wealth of important information to any group wishing to organize and construct a community garden. While initially the amount of information seems daunting, the book is carefully and logically organized in a chronological way to enable the reader to engage at any point in the process.

“Gardening nourishes our minds as well as our bodies,” says Raskin. “It is part physical workout and part therapy and meditation.” The author’s insights throughout the book give the feel of having a personal conversation with him as you survey the proposed garden project. 

The author draws on community gardens from around the world, demonstrating the techniques that work for any particular situation. Basic sections of the book include brainstorming and planning, the needs and resources for funding such a project, and finding land on which to build the garden. Once the planning groundwork is complete, the book delves into the essentials for growing a successful garden: site exposure, soil health, water needs, maintenance, and crop choices. The final section of the book includes detailed information on 45 varieties of crops that are suitable for a community garden. 

The 7” x 9” book is a good size, and photographs, a casual page layout, and an index enhance the content. For this reviewer, however, the typeface is too small and printed in gray on tinted backgrounds.

For any group or organization thinking about launching a community garden, this book has everything needed to do the job right.

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