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Book to help start and nurture community gardens

Book to help start and nurture community gardens

HOT, that’s what it was in Adelaide that Sunday afternoon as claire nettle of the South Australian Community Gardens Network and Tim Marshall launched a new book on community gardening, aptly named Growing Community — starting and nurturing community gardens.

Despite the temperature, over 70 people made themselves comfortable under the shade of the spreading canopy of a tree in the spacious grounds of Glandore Community Centre as claire (who prefers the lower case), who has been largely responsible for the greatly updated and improved edition of the earlier, more-modest guidebook, discussed the process and purpose of the book.

claire nettle and Tim Marshall launch Growing Community.

claire is the right woman for the job. Active in both the national community gardens network as the South Australian Community Gardens Network, she has researched community gardening and community food systems for her PhD. Tim Marshall works in the organic food industry and writes on the topic for Acres Australia and Gardening Australia and is a well known author of books on organic growing.

Filling a need

Growing Community fills the need for a comprehensive guidebook to starting community gardens. Although written in South Australia, the contents are applicable in other places. In it, you find information on managing community gardens. This is important, as important as knowing how to grow food, because without effective and participatory management, gardens can become unstuck, socially and physically. The book is also about sustaining community gardens.

Together with its companion website, the booklet covers the latest evidence for the benefits of community gardening, tips for getting started, avoiding common pitfalls, sustainable and creative garden design, gardening in schools, integrating community gardens into health and community programs and more. There are model forms that new community garden groups will find useful.

The edition was funded by the South Australian Department of Health and acknowledges the support of the Community and Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association and the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network.

Around 70 people attended the launch of the new book, Community Gardening, at Glandore Community Centre on a hot Adelaide afternoon.

Comments (8)

  • Jason John
    18/03/2010 at 4:10 am Reply

    Hi Claire & Tim,
    Great job, and great timing for an update! Can’t wait to grab it online.

  • Jason John
    18/03/2010 at 4:14 am Reply

    Wow- online already, fabulous (maybe update the story to reflect that).
    It would be great to have a single file to download as well though, since then you can print it as a booklet and all tehpages come out right, instead of ending up with 4 booklets. (its really not that big in this age of adsl).
    That said- woo hoo!!!! great job and I’ll be using it this month with the congregation in Bellingen, and passing it on to the State UnitingEarthWeb coordinator, who is putting somethign together which is church specific to encourage people to start gardens.

  • claire
    26/04/2011 at 7:22 am Reply

    Community Centres SA are unable to put the whole Growing Community booklet on their website as a single document, but I’m happy to send the pdf file to anyone who is interested – an has room for 6MB in their inbox. Just send me an email at It’s also available in full at Google Books.

  • adam
    17/04/2012 at 6:37 pm Reply

    the new link doesn’t work now!
    quite frustrating to find but i found it here

    24/04/2012 at 4:53 pm Reply

    Thanks Adam, all updated now. Sorry for the broken link.

  • Adrian James
    18/06/2012 at 3:29 pm Reply

    Hi Claire interested in a copy of Growing Communities to assist us with our community garden process, couldn’t access the link,
    Adrian James

  • Cr. Stephen Lynch
    29/01/2016 at 4:52 am Reply

    Hi , i am an Areau Councillor for the BerriBarmera Council, i am trying to start a community garden project comprising an adle bodied garden plus a dedivcated disabled garden using tanks,i would appreciate any help – advice i could get. I have a decommissioned bowling rink and an inline skating rink, that would be perfect for this project in the centre of Barmera.

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