Build Solutions

Many community and school gardens face similar challenges and, even though each garden is unique, there is much that we can learn from each other regarding how we build solutions.


Gardens are great teachers of resiliency–they demonstrate the capacity to adapt and respond to change and challenges.  As garden leaders there are questions we can ask to address needs and challenges in a way that builds responsive, sustainable and resilient gardens and programs.

Food Safety

Below are tips for reducing food safety risks related to gardening and garden grown produce.  These tips are particularly important for gardens working with youth and seniors, and produce going to the school cafeteria, donated to a local food shelf, or sold to the public.

Personal Safety

Keep yourself and fellow gardeners safe by following basic rules, practicing tool safety, and reporting criminal activity.


How your garden will cover liability (in case of injury in the garden) will depend on who’s using your site, the activities that take place, and who owns the land.

Vandalism & Theft

Unfortunately, due to the public nature of these community-based spaces, vandalism and theft are familiar occurrences for many gardens.  When addressing this issue avoid jumping to conclusions and pick solutions in keeping with the positive, welcoming nature of your garden community.

Conflict Resolution

Any time people share a space there will be interpersonal issues to address–be they positive or challenging.  Starting with common agreements for use of and behavior in your garden will help to keep everyone on the same page.  Visit “Get Organized” for some tips and samples for developing your own garden guidelines.  If these agreements are broken there must be protocols in place to deal with infringements.

Land Preservation

Do you know the status of the property your garden is growing on? Is your landowner interested in keeping the land in gardens or do they have other plans in mind for its future? Is your garden protected from sudden changes? It pays to think ahead about land use preservation and setting up agreements that will protect your garden for the long-term and all of the hard work your community has contributed!

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