I would love to say a few words about the project I’d like to take on.

What? What is this project I’d like to take on?

My idea is to bring everyone’s ideas together and create one large, cohesive plan for the garden going forward.

Why? Why do we need a plan??

In essence so we’re all “singing from the same hymn sheet” as they say, and it will act as a motivation because we will have a vision, a goal, a dream that is more defined for us all to reach towards.

This plan, or gathering of ideas, will help in making decisions going forward- instead of trying to fit the large plan around the little projects, little projects will fit around the large plan. In essence smaller projects, like where to move the strawberries, will be easier to work through when there is a large plan guiding the way. The plan will (hopefully) take into consideration most of the small projects the board and other garden members would like to take on in the near future, as well as consider the types of projects often taken on.  For example, it would include a space for tools, rocks, compost, mulch, consider a shed, blueberries, strawberries, and use of the space behind the gardens. I will be gathering everyone’s ideas for needed projects when I talk to them.

How? How will I go about making this plan?

I’m planning, as part of the project, to ask each board member (who wouldn’t mind) to take time to talk to me (outside the meeting- ie scheduling some time to talk to me on the phone, at the garden, etc). Any non-board members who would like to take time to chat with me are also more than welcome.

Our conversation would mainly be to gather your ideas, thoughts, concerns, forward planning, needs, etc of the garden. Once I collect information from everyone I can and to put it together in a cohesive plan, I will present the plan to the board and garden members.

Why now? Why make a new plan now?

I think each person may have different ideas and answers to that question, and they are all valid. If I could offer my reason- it’s communication. If we’re all “singing from the same hymn sheet”, there is better communication. The board seems somewhat in transition- many people are or of thinking of “retiring” from their positions. A great way to make transition easier, and to bring passion and new interest in joining the board is a master plan. It offers those coming on board something solid to join, to take part in. It also communicates what direction the board would like to leave the garden headed in.

Why Katie? What skills/qualifications make me right for this task?

I think I’ve got a few skills and qualifications that will come in helpful on this task. I just finished my masters in health and wellness coaching (it’s a new thing!), which means I am trained to help people not only reach their goals, but to help them define their goals. To be a good coach, you have to be a great listener, notice common themes, navigate roadblocks, and help uncover motivations.

I also have a permaculture design certificate. One of the first steps in permaculture design is to take stock of what you’ve got- observing the land, and deciding how you do (or might) use that land- so that you can bring those two things together in a harmonious way. Working against the land makes more work in the long run, and not figuring out how you’d be using the land first often means more work later- having to redo projects and move things to get a better flow.

When? When will you be talking to us?

I’d love to talk to people as soon as possible- especially if you are still thinking about how gardening went this year- ie while it’s still fresh in your mind.

When will you present your plan?

Ideally I’d present at the end of winter before the board has come up with a yearly plan.

FAQ (a Few Anticipated Questions):

What will you be asking us?

It’s really meant to be a conversation, and if you have specific ideas in mind, we can spend most of our time talking focused on that. I would love to know a few big picture things such as:

What do you love about the community garden?

What do you dislike about the community garden?

What is most frustrating, or confusing?

What makes the garden easy to use?

What do you love about the community aspect?

What one memory do you have of connecting with another gardener(s)?

How do you learn what’s happening in the garden?

What’s something you would improve?

What project(s) have you taken on to work through your volunteer hours?

What would you want others to know about that project?

What else would you want to tell me or want considered in the garden plan?

I’m pretty busy, can I send you an email or can we talk on the phone?

Of course! If you’re going to send me an email, I’d love to have answers to as many of the above questions as possible. I’d also love to email you back and ask a few more questions to get more of a feel of your ideas, your opinions, your point of view. I’m gathering as much info as I can, but most importantly, I’m trying to get a sense of what you see, what your view of the garden and our community is.

Can non-board members take part?

Yes! My goal is to talk to every person who currently has a plot, people who used to have plots, people who volunteer at the Full Circle Garden, and anyone who has a connection with or wants to join the garden! Please do let everyone know, and I’d love to hear from as many people as possible.

How can we get in contact with you to set a time to talk/meet?

My email is katharinelake56@hotmail.com (note the 2 a’s in Katharine). Send me some dates you may be free, and your phone number so I can call and set up a time with you!