Community garden education Jour fix

Community garden Biogarden Aigen Schlägl


Community garden education Jour fix


Regular gardening jour fix for the gardeners of the community garden. Alternating educational impulses with changing topics on climate-fit gardening and joint activities to strengthen the community as well as garden walks through their own community garden are carried out. This environmental education offer is aimed internally at the members of the community garden and can be used directly on the own area of the community garden.

1. Organisation hosting the activity


Community garden Biogarden Aigen Schlägl

Legal status

No special legal form (no association), Group of people with an affinity for gardening

Year of establishment



Schlägler Hauptstraße 4, 4160 Schlägl

The Community garden Biogarden Aigen Schlägl was founded in 2019 after the end of the garden exhibition Aigen Schlägl and is located directly on the former area of the garden exhibition. The community gardeners have an area of about 1000m² for their use. Nowadays, there are about 20 active people of different ages in the community garden. 

There is a large community house in the garden center and each gardener has an area of 16m² to work on. Moreover there is also a double patch for a larger family. Due to a large children’s playground on the area, the community garden is very family-friendly. In addition, there are 6 raised beds available on the area. These raised beds are given only to people for whom gardening on the ground is not possible due to health problems and limited mobility. Furthermore, there are numerous areas for communal use such as a large strawberry patch, a colorful field, numerous berry bushes, fruit trees and small experimental areas where new plants/varieties are tried out. Animals have also moved into the community garden and are looked after by all the community gardeners. 

This community garden functions according to the “no watering principle” and no compost is brought in from outside. This means that the garden area is not irrigated, seeds/planting material are not watered, and nutrients are only brought in from inside (mulching etc.).

2. Activity detailed description

In the case of Biogarden Aigen Schlägl the jour fix is set for Tuesdays. There is a gardener meeting every Tuesday in the gardening season until the end of October. On at least half of the dates there is an educational impulse on different topics to impart climate-fit knowledge and on the other half there are activities to strengthen the team spirit. The main target group of the activities is the community gardeners internally, so about 15-20 participants per meeting. 

The educational impulse is conducted by the garden organiser. The garden organiser has a wide knowledge in the areas of sustainable gardening techniques, gentle soil cultivation, e. g. because of her many years of permaculture training. She sees passion and enthusiasm for the subject, a variety of social skills, a love of people and a lot of practical experience as additional skills required for speakers who impart knowledge in community gardens. These would be the necessary competences that the trainer should have.  In addition, there are garden Walks, where the beds of community gardeners are visited and best practice examples in their own gardens are discussed. Moreover, the community gardeners have the opportunity to participate in educational events organised by the garden organisers Permaculture Association. The regularity of the educational activities is particularly important. 

The social activities help to build up communities that are able to go through difficult times well and achieve good cohesion within the community. At this garden meetings the social aspect and solidarity are in the foreground. Time is spent together baking, cooking and eating.

Important Lerning outcomes are:

  • Knowledge about climate-friendly gardening and permaculture topics like “no watering”, or composting and awareness about the resource soil
  • Social skills & and team building to form groups that are able to get with the Community garden through difficult times (e.g. Corona) and strengthen exchange and team spirit

Implementation steps

  • 1. Scheduling and communication

    Day and time of the educational jourfix, the garden walks and the social activities must be fixed. These days should be the same throughout the gardening season in order to achieve regularity for the participants. For this, an internal community garden communication medium such as e.g. a whatsapp group etc. is helpful.

  • 2. Determine the location for the educational activity

    Since the educational activity and the social activities take place at regular intervals, it is of great importance to be independent of the weather and to have an indoor location available. It is optimal if these meetings are already located in the community garden areas and there is both space for lectures and space for social activities (e.g. kitchen, community room).

  • 3. Finding topics and speakers

    The topic for the educational impulse must be determined first and suitable experts with practical knowledge have to be found. If possible, these experts should be gained internally, otherwise a request must be made to external speakers. In this case, it should be noted that additional costs may be incurred for the educational impulse.

  • 4. Organisation of the social activity

    Program for the social activity as well as the material/food must be fixed and the preparation work divided among the whole group.

  • 5. Planning the route of the garden walks

    In agreement with the owners of the chosen beds, the route of the garden walks must be discussed and fixed in advance and seasonal best practice examples within the own community garden must be located.

3. Gallery

4. Conclusions

For the garden organiser, environmental education in the community garden is based on two pillars: strengthening social skills and imparting knowledge on climate-friendly gardening. This form of teaching and lerning in the garden is made possible through the following activities:

  • Jour fix with educational input every second week from garden organiser
  • Garden walks: Learning from each other
  • Social activities to strengthen the team spirit

The regular garden jour fix with educational impulse, as well as garden walks and the joint social activities can very easily be transferred to another community garden. The regularity of these activities is of great importance, to anchor the educational and social offer within the community garden. Moreover it is necessary to have a responsible person (e.g. garden organiser) who plans and organises these regular meetings (“Jour fix”).

These are educational activities with direct climate impact because they are immediately implemented on the area. The environmental education takes place through learning from each other.

Advice / Recommendation

"Care for the earth, care for the people, reduce and share equitably".
"According to this permacultural guiding principle, the environmental education programs are carried out in the community garden".
"For me, the essential resource is the exchange among people and the cohesion among each other, so that the 'system change' can take place in relation to climate friendly living/behavior and gardening".