Community Gardens FAQ's

What do you mean by “Community Garden”?

Community gardens are a place to come together to grow food, flowers and herbs.  A fun way to garden—and it’s not just plants that grow, it’s a great place to make friends, learn new skills and work together in a caring community.

In some community gardens, everyone works together and the produce is either distributed between the gardeners, or given away to organisations such as food banks. Let’s Get Growing Community Gardens are a Kiwi version of the English allotment gardens where people rent a garden space and get to eat the produce they grow there. While some of our gardeners do indeed give to Food Rescue, acheivable gardening for everyday people is our main aim...helping people develop skills to increase their own (and therefore their communities) food security.

What sort of people rent a garden?

A wide range of people.  Some come to learn how to garden; some, to help others by passing on gardening knowledge; some, to keep their food bill down, or to ensure they are eating organic produce; and some, to simply enjoy company as they garden.  Many of the gardeners have no space or are unable to make a garden at home.

How much does it cost to rent a garden?

How much does it cost to rent a garden?

$20 per month for a 1.5m x 4.5m raised, self watering garden space all ready for planting. Also includes a start up kit and entry to gardening workshops, etc. Experience has taught us that people value what has cost them.... and that it's very possible to gain more than $5 per week ‘value’ from a rented garden space.

What happens to the money?

This is a non-profit, self sustaining initiative. Any money that is collected from garden rental or donations is used for maintenance, supplies, administration and, just like everyone else, we pay water rates.  We also employ a lawn mowing contractor to ensure our gardeners do not get ‘Volunteer burn out’ - and  to ensure the garden surrounds are always tidy.

How much does it cost to create a Community Garden - and where do you get the money from?

Each garden is different of course so it is impossible to give an easy answer here..but we do know that the individual 4.5m x 1.5m raised gardens we are building for the Bethlehem site will cost about $450.00 each. Thats per raised garden, all filled and ready to go. These gardens are self watering, and are carefully filled with layers of organic matter and top quality growing medium. Better quality than most home gardeners can source.

Years ago, Lets Get Growing was blessed by the generous support of the folk at Mount Mosaic Church, who donated $5,000 as 'Pay-it-forward' seed capital. This 'seed' enabled us as a fledgling organisation to then attract further funding to build the Otumoetai Gardens. This seed capital has since been paid forward again by Otumoetai; and added to by further is now being used to partially fund the Bethlehem gardens, who will pay it forward again over time to help establish future gardens in other communities. 

Are visitors allowed to take anything from the gardens?

No. We ask that you please respect the hard work that our gardeners have put into their own gardens, so please don’t take anything from the numbered gardens without the owners permission. However, gardeners are on the whole generous folk and we often give away surplus produce, so please do ask if you are desperate for some greens! A donation to cover our costs is always appreciated.

What about stealing or vandalism?

This is one of the most common questions we are asked.…Our answer is to work at involving our community. A community that is proud of what they have achieved together is the best deterrent we know. The gardens are not gated and locked. (Experience of other community gardens is that attempting to keep people out just increases the 'break-ins' and makes the problem worse - short of landmines and 10 foot barbed wire fences we would never suceed anyway) Our experience has been that damage and pilfering are the exception rather than the rule - but we always tell prospective gardeners that is is possible - and that if it is going to REALLY upset them, perhaps Community Gardening is not for them.

We refuse to lower our expectations because we are afraid of somebody damaging our efforts, and so far our faith in humanity & community pride has  proved sound…lets aim to bring out the best in our communities instead of focusing on whats wrong with them!  

Do you own the land?

No. We negotiate with the landowner (or with Tauranga City Council if on  a public Reserve) to achieve a “Licence to Occupy”, for which we pay an annual fee. Additionally, we submit a plan, each year, to show our goals for the year ahead.   We have undertaken to be kaitiaki (guardians) of the garden space. 

How can I become part of the Let's Get Growing community?

You can contact us via this website click here to e-mail or phone Anne on 552 4529 / 027 552 4529; or you can ask any of our gardeners for more details. If there are no gardens available, then you can go onto our waiting list.  We have a Gardeners' Handbook to read, and a Gardeners’ Agreement to sign before joining.  It’s that simple! 

Thank you to our major sponsors