How to Coordinate Community Garden Working Bees

Community gardens are shared spaces for connecting and experimenting and if you want to inject a bit of life and enthusiasm into a space, organising a working bee will probably be greatly appreciated by everyone. Unless the space is guarded by grumpy trolls, lets hope that isn’t the case. Here are a few ideas to help ensure your day is fun and productive.

Prepare and Promote

  • Make a list of a couple of tasks you would like to get done (in case people don’t want to do self directed work), you can ask other regular gardeners to facilitate one of these activities each. There are also the regular jobs.
  • Choose a date and promote the event (On the official chat groups, facebook, instagram, chalk board)
  • Invite a few people personally, its a great time and place to catch up with friends and a nice alternative to burning fossil fuels for fun or paying money to kill brain cells with booze. Organise to catch up with a close friend and you definitely won’t be alone on the day!
  • Organise any external resources required such as mulch (ask any tree service) or sawdust (take a bin to Round2Timbers)
Two women cutting bana grass to mulch a dragon fruit tree attached to a stand.

Things to bring / ask people to bring

  • Any extra tools required for the jobs you have in mind
  • Hot water for tea – you can pick some fresh mint or
  • Snacks to share – bake or buy a cake but also remember to forage for fresh fruit!

On the day

  • Welcome new people
  • Check In: Regularly check in with your new friends to ensure they’re enjoying the tasks they’re working on. Offer ideas or suggestions if anyone needs them.
  • Suggest a break when it feels like a good time, possibly the best part of the day.
  • Remind people to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen if they’re looking peaky!
  • We share the city with people so disadvantaged that they need to glean a little bit of value from actions that cause a disproportionate amount of inconvenience to others (like stealing your phone to sell or taking your whole bag for the cash in your wallet). Remind people to keep their things close by, things do go missing.

End of day

  • Clean, dry and pack away the cups used.
  • Leave out a watering can, garden fork, rake and compost screw in case passers-by decide to do some spontaneous work (stranger things have happened.)
  • Walk around and check for forgotten items or tools left out.
  • Lock the container, side gate and pump shed if open.

If you read all this and you would like to organise a working session, you deserve a key! Just ask one of the established coordinators 😉