With the growing conversation about processed, chemical-infused foods, individuals seeking healthy options are often left discouraged and confused. It seems as though even the health food items are laced with unnatural additives, muddying a clear answer on what food is really best to eat.
In order to be completely sure of what goes into the food you eat, there’s one simple solution: grow it yourself. This answer isn’t easy for everyone though, especially those in a rental home or apartment, giving property managers a great opportunity to build a culture of health by allotting land for a community garden.
What makes a community garden worthwhile?
The first answer is right in the name: community. Having a common area for tenants to grow their own food and share with others nurtures a tight-knit community centered on hard work and healthy habits. This is a simple way to promote interaction between residents and encourage people to step away from their TV screens and step into the sunlight.
Community gardens are especially beneficial to a property with young children. Gardening can be a great educational tool for youngsters and encourages them to eat the food they grow. Since they have a hand in growing the food, the children will be more likely to partake at mealtime. Property managers provide swing sets and swimming pools for families’ enjoyment, why not a communal garden too?
How do I start a community garden?
Since property managers already own the plot of land on which they wish to garden, the process of starting one is much easier. A big first step is to gather support from your tenants. Fire up residents by emphasizing the benefits listed above. The economic benefit of quality produce for relatively cheap should rally support by itself.
Once you have identified your key supporters in the endeavor, get organized. Start a community garden committee and allow the tenants to self-organize and take ownership of the garden; after all, they will be the driving force behind the plots.
Next, choose your style of garden. Raised garden beds offer a cleaner look and can be easier to maintain, while a traditional garden can provide more space to grow. Choose which option is best for your property, roll up your sleeves, and start digging.
Once the garden is built, plowed, or fenced off, however you’ve decided to approach it, it’s time to host a planting party! Gather your tenants to divide up the plots and allow them time to plant alongside each other and begin the garden bonding.
What’s in it for property managers?
So why would a property manager go through all this trouble for a garden? It’s simple: resident retention. One of the best ways to get residents to renew their lease is by building a relationship with them. By offering a community garden, property managers can engage with the tenants on a weekly basis. Also, the time and effort you put forth for the garden is a great way to show tenants you not only care about their home, but also their well-being.
Another bonus, being part of the shared garden means you can participate as well! And you should. Once the seeds have been planted, nature does most of the hard work. Keeping an eye on the garden can be added into your routine walk around your grounds, meaning your time will not be jeopardized.
Consider building a community garden in your property and watch your community, produce, and tenant retention organically grow this gardening season.