How to Start a Community Garden in Philadelphia
by Libby J. Goldstein
There's a weedy, nasty vacant lot in your neighborhood. You meet with your neighbors. You've all seen community gardens around town and decide you want one. What do you do next?
- Call Neighborhood Gardens Association/ A Philadelphia Land Trust 215-988-8800. Ask for "How to Obtain Permission to Garden on a Neighborhood Vacant Lot". NGA can also help you negotiate a lease with the owner (if necessary) or even acquire the land for yourselves (if you're interested).
- Figure out the street address(-es) of the lot by looking at the addresses of the houses around it. You'll need the exact address of the to get on with the process.
- Get the owner's permission.
- Call Philadelphia Green 215-988-8800. They may be able to help you with things like fencing, soil and tools.
- Call Penn State's Urban Gardening Program 215-471-2224. Garden Advisors and Master Gardeners bring you great advice and publications on everything from organizing your gardeners to building fences with recycled lumber.
- Write some rules so everyone knows what's expected.
- Add organic matter:
free compost Fairmount Park Recycling Center 215-685-0109,
mushroom compost (not free) Joe Leo, Inc. 610-444-3892,
manure: "Carriages-Horse, Riding Academies" in the Yellow Pages
Go back to Urban Agriculture in Philadelphia