At the first meeting of HGNC’s Gardening Collective on March 26, 2022, 10 people who have decided to collaborate in the cultivation of 10 garden beds established a few guidelines for the Collective’s operation and listed plants they want to grow in 2022.
Shielded from an intermittent March rain by a couple of pop-up tents, the group addressed topics such as members’ voting rights, the dates and times of work days, harvesting and distribution of produce, communication channels, and how to acquire tools and materials. Members compiled lists of crops they’d like to grow. Planting Coordinator Lakesha Ferguson, an experienced and successful gardener at Hansberry Garden, collected the lists to help guide a planting plan for the group’s 10 raised beds; she also recorded minutes of the meeting.
Decisions about what is planted in each bed will take into account the popularity of various crops among the Collective’s members, the amount of sun or shade each bed typically receives, and what has previously been planted in each bed. One goal of the Collective is to enable its members to practice crop rotation, an important principle of organic agriculture that is difficult to achieve in a single 4 -x 8-foot raised bed.
The group has established a schedule of regular work hours, with two weekend days (Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.) to accommodate most members’ schedules, and the possibility of further hours during the week. Since its initial meeting, the group welcomed an eleventh member, cleared and planted several of its beds, and made plans to tend Hansberry Garden’s community herb bed this year.