Anyway, here's a great planting guide I found for Zone 8 - which is just about the entire Gulf Coast:
2/13/08 Also - if you need seeds or bulbs
2/8/07 - Container Gardening Suggestions
2/13/08 - Garden Pest Control
2/11/07 - Look Like A Pro
3/5 - From Angie of The Green Project - will be looking into these organizations VERY soon!
Leslie,Thank you! That blog is a great resource for us all down here.
Here are the websites for the three organizations I mentioned...
Hope that helps!Angie
2/17 Found at www.TheGreenProject.org - in NOLA
Environmental Education Workshops
4th Saturday of each month
2 part series: Part 1: “Organic growing, from soil to planting system” 3/24, 10—12
Part 2: “Landscaping for form and function in our turbulent times” 4/28, 10 —12
The text in black is from CommunityGarden.org. Text in purple is mine
Organize a meeting of interested people.
Choose a well-organized garden coordinator.
Form committees to accomplish tasks: Funding, Youth; Construction; Communication. (not all will be needed at all gardens)
Approach a sponsor. A sponsor is an individual or organization that supports a community garden. Churches, schools, citizens groups, private businesses, local parks and recreation departments are all potential supporters. Community Development Block Grants are sometimes available through your municipality. (If people get back to us, we might be able to find sponsors - but we won't waste the energy unless interest is shown. KatrinaCoalition@aol.com)
Make a list of what needs to be done.
Find a garden site. (I'm suggesting go to the churches in the area)
Obtain lease or agreement from owner. (most churches don't have any landscaping and I'm sure they'll find it a good idea for their communities to help in this way)
Decide on a mailing address and central telephone number(s).
Try to have at least 3 people who are very familiar with all pertinent information.
Form a telephone tree.
Choose a name for the garden
CHOOSE A SITE
Make sure the site gets at least 6 full hours of sunlight daily (for vegetables).
Consider availability of water.
Try and get an agreement which allows the space to be used at least for 3 years.
Consider past uses of the land. Is there any contamination?
Is insurance something you need to consider? (I'm going to say no for the first 3 years.)
PREPARE AND DEVELOP THE SITE
Clean the site. (most will be, but then you'll have to turn the soil for planting)
Gather your resources - free materials. (top soil, containers, mulch, seeds, etc)
Organize volunteers. (Can be coordinated with other recovery efforts)
Plan your work day. (a schedule of people working to prep the area)
Decide on plot sizes, mark plots clearly with gardeners names.
Include plans for a storage area as well as a compost area. (again, coordinate with church)
Have a rainproof bulletin board for announcements and messages.
Arrange for land preparation--plowing, etc--or let gardeners do their own prep.
Will the garden be organic?
Place flower/shrub beds around the visible perimeter - promote good will with community.
ORGANIZE THE GARDEN
Are there conditions for membership (residence, dues, agreement with rules)?
How will plots be assigned (family size, residency, need, youth, elderly, etc.)?
What size plots (or several sizes based on other factors)?
How should plots be laid out?
If the group charges dues, how will the money be used? (I'd refrain from charging for now)
Will the group do certain things cooperatively (turning in soil or composting)?
When someone leaves a plot, how will the next tenant be chosen?
How will the group deal with possible vandalism? (Unlikely to happen)
Will there be a children's plot?
Will the gardeners meet regularly? If so, how often and for what purposes?
Will gardeners share tools, hoses, and other such items?
How will minimum maintenance (especially weeding) be handled both inside plots and in common areas (such as along fences, in flower beds, and in sitting areas)? (addressed later)
Written rules gardeners are expected to uphold? How will they be enforced?
Should your group incorporate and consider eventually owning your garden site?
SETTING UP A NEW GARDENING ORGANIZATION
Many garden groups are organized very informally and operate successfully. Leaders "rise to the occasion" to propose ideas and carry out tasks. However, as the work load expands, many groups choose a more formal structure for their organization.
A structured program is a means to an end. It is a conscious, planned effort to create a system so that each person can participate fully and the group can perform effectively. It's vital that the leadership be responsive to the members. Structure will help an organization to last; it will promote trust; it will help your group grow and create new opportunities for leaders to develop.
What is your purpose? What are your short and long-term objectives?
How are decisions to be made? Who chooses leaders and how?
How will work be shared? Who does what?
How will you raise money? Membership dues, fund raising, grants, sponsors?
Are you open to change? Flexibility is important when goals and members change. Do you want to be incorporated or act as a club?
What goes into formal Bylaws:
Full official name of organization and legal address.
The purpose, goals and philosophy of the organization.
Membership categories and eligibility requirements.
Membership dues, how much and when paid.
Specify when and how often regular or special meetings of the membership are to be held, as well as regular and annual meetings of the board of directors.
State what officers are necessary, how they are chosen, length of term, their duties and how vacancies are filled.
State special committees, their purpose and how they operate.
Establish a system so that bylaws can be rescinded or amended, maybe by a simple majority. State any official policies or practices: e.g.. garden group will avoid the use of hazardous substances; group will agree to keep all adjacent sidewalks in good repair and free of ice and snow in season; group will make all repairs necessary to keep equipment, fences and furniture in good order and repair.
Include a Hold Harmless clause (sample):
"We the undersigned members of the (name) garden group hereby agree to hold harmless (name owner) from and against any damage, loss, liability, claim, demand, suit, cost and expense directly or indirectly resulting from, arising out of or in connection with the use of the (name) garden by the garden group, its successors, assigns, employees, agents and invites."
All of these things can be worked on in greater detail as the interest is shown. There are people on the ground in MS that are willing to work at establishing these gardens.
Also - there are many gardeners around the nation who've not assisted because they didn't know how. Now is their time to shine! If you are such a person, please contact Leslie at KatrinaCoalition@aol.com or Lynn at l.onufer@ zoominternet.net (spaced to avoid spam) for more information and opportunities.
Holding tool drives, seed drives, container drives, etc., will be of great use. Please consider it!