Garden Team Culture
Cultivate a Thriving Garden Team Culture
This is very important! A garden is a project to gather
around for joy, relaxation, and adventure. Bringing a garden
to life is not an extension of everyday work, office politics,
chores, power plays, solitary ambition or conflict!
If these elements creep into garden planning, take a moment and
say: "Wait a minute, hold everything, we're all on the same side
here creating a great garden space! There's no need for
stress, pressure or tension!"
At each Garden Team meeting try one of these activities and post
the results on the garden's web page.
January: Gardeners define
their experience by how they are treated at the beginning, how
their needs and interests are met and how follow-up takes
Activity: List 3 ways to improve a gardeners first contact with a
February: Many people join a
community garden to learn how to garden for the very first
Activity: List 3 ways you can welcome and encourage gardeners new
to food growing.
March: Identify the
strengths of the gardeners and work with them.
Activity: List 3 ways to get to know the strengths of the
April: Explain a lot. When
gardeners know why, they can accept the how and the what.
Activity: List 3 issues that could need explanation and list how
these could be clearly communicated to gardeners and to members of
May: Find out what
gardeners want to learn.
Contact residents who are experienced gardeners and
invite them to be in the garden for an hour during planting days,
garden maintenance days and harvest days to answer questions
and give friendly advice. If you cannot identify a neighbour
willing to act as a gardening coach contact the Community Garden
Resource Network of the Calgary Horticultural Society.
Activity: List what kind of learning opportunities will be
meaningful to your gardeners this year.
positive behavior to make the garden a good place for everyone. If
a conflict situation arises, mention that the garden is a place
where everyone can use calmer ways of being and acting.
Activity: List the words and phrases that can be used to transform
a heated argument into a constructive debate or discussion.
first to understand the issue a person is concerned about.
Then listen further to understand the person's feelings connected
to the concern. Listen to people with opinions differing from yours
until they feel understood before negotiating a solution.
People may not be able to hear, take in, understand, consider, and
be influenced by what you are saying until they feel
Activity: List 3 ways you can check whether you understand a
person's comment / opinion / concern.
negotiation in order to address any conflict.
Activity: List 3 steps in effective negotiation. For
example, find a third alternative solution that is better than the
two solutions that have divided people into two opposing
September: Teach what you
learn and do what you teach others.
Activity: List 3 things you have learned and describe how you
could share them with others.
October: Realize and
understand the abundance of the garden. There will always be more
to harvest than you expect. Share the harvest surpluses
Activity: List 3 ways to identify groups in your neighbourhood who
may not have a lot of access to fresh produce and who might really
appreciate a gift of fresh produce from a community garden.
trust from gardeners and visitors to the garden by being completely
Activity: List 3 ways your garden team can inspire trust from
gardeners, neighbourhood residents and garden visitors.
December: Focus on
garden goals. The moment a gardener makes a garden issue a personal
issue, bring back the discussion to the garden issue and separate
it from anything personal.
Activity: List words and phrases to use to re-focus a garden issue
that has become mixed with a personal reaction.