Updated: Feb 3, 2019
We stepped away from our Annual Survey over the last few years but we brought it back! Your opinion matters and we wanted to hear from you. A lot of changes happened over the last year and this was our primary way of gathering feedback. The survey helped us understand our demographics, areas of strength, weaknesses, and places to improve. Out of 97 gardeners in 2018, 27 participated in the survey, and the results are posted here:
If you weren't able to fill out the survey, we'd still love to have your input for the coming year! As we are a community volunteer driven organization, your input helps the leadership team plan for future projects, improvements, and also reporting out to our partners at the City of Arvada and Denver Urban Gardens. Thank you in advance for your participation in our All Gardener Meetings whenever possible on the first Monday of each month at Standley Lake Library from 6-8 pm.
2018 Survey Results Overview The most common garden members were pairs of two to one plot, senior members, and children, as you would expect, are less common gardeners. 59 percent of gardeners found themselves eating more vegetables and 56 percent found themselves getting more exercise. 81 percent met new neighbors and friends through gardening. Gardeners commented that the following crops did well: tomatoes, root vegetables, beets, squash, Swiss chard, cucumber, okra, greens. Gardeners had mixed experiences with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and beets, as some reported they did well and others reported their crops struggled.
Suggestions gardeners offered were not to plant to early, rotate crops, donate what you can’t eat to the food bank, and don’t leave sprinklers on if not present. 96 percent of respondents said they preferred doing their volunteer hours through maintaining garden community areas in their own time. Gardeners suggested the garden could use another broadfork, more hand tools including hand held pruners, and something to scare the critters away. 46 percent of respondents said if there is money left at the end of the season, they would like to see it retained for future projects at Rose Roots, while 15% said it should be donated to other garden projects around JeffCO, like paying for ADA beds at low income gardens, or helping start a school garden or new community garden. Most respondents felt the garden fees are reasonable and overall have had a great experience gardening at Rose Roots. Gardeners commented that the things they like the most are the people they have met, the produce they have grown, the regular updates from the Garden Leaders, participating in donating to the food bank, and having the option to lease larger plots. Improvements gardeners suggested include:
-update tools -more effort to spread workload and involvement amongst the 100 families participating. -weed abatement and re-graveling of walkways to block weeds. Get rid of bindweed and educate gardeners on weed types. -better fencing to keep rabbits out -actively make efforts to find gardeners for all plots -more Fri/Sat night parties, potlucks, evening entertainers, and events for gardeners to interact with each other. -more shade -Gardners appreciate positive feedback and like communication to be oriented towards “meeting the mutual garden community objectives” -Teach gardeners how to preserve excess produce at the end of Harvest season so less is wasted. -more signage to distinguish Private from Community plots to deter theft and vandalism -purchase better aged manure and straw for gardener use -Raise garden plot lease rates to pace with rising costs. Charge more to opt out of community hours. 81 percent planned to lease a plot again and 8 percent were unsure. It was suggested Rose Roots leaders who are engaged and enthusiastic be actively recruited to pick up the reins for coming years.