Beautifying Our Gardens - changes for 2014

Community Garden Opening Day is less than a month away and we — garden leaders and GCH staff — have been gathering during the off season in preparation.  We’re looking forward to a successful season with beautiful, well maintained gardens, with more participation and less plot abandonment.  But…we need your help to meet these goals.

Here’s how you can contribute…

1. Give 3 hours of your time per season – Can you imagine the impact if everyone contributed a little bit of their time to turn the compost, weed a communal bed or organize the tools? — it would be exponential!  This year we’re encouraging all gardeners give 3 hours to help with the collective maintenance of our gardens.  You can plug in by signing up for a task on Opening Day, attending a garden workday, or participating in a volunteer event.

2. Land Stewardship – Our gardens are all located on land generously shared with us by — the City of Missoula, Missoula Public Schools, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, University of Montana, etc.  You can be a good steward of the land by growing an abundance of vegetables while keeping your plots well weeded and watered throughout the growing season.

3. Revised Plot Abandonment Policy – After much thought, research and deliberation, we’ve revised our policy to help us quickly identify and respond to plot abandonment.  Please see the revised policy below…

June 1st – Initial deadline to maintain garden plot

All gardeners need to be actively tending their plots by June 1st, 2014.  Garden plots untended by this date will automatically be given to the next person on the waiting list.  Email reminders will be sent prior to this initial deadline.  We created this initial deadline because of Montana’s unique growing season.

After June 1st – plot abandonment policy after initial deadline

First Contact – Gardeners will be contacted by a leadership committee member or GCH and given at least a two week deadline by which the plot has to be fully maintained.

Second Contact – If the plot remains unmaintained by the set deadline, gardener will be contacted by GCH notifying the gardener that the plot has been forfeited and given to the next person on the waiting list   

We’re also in the process of hiring a community garden assistant to help us keep the gardens ship-shape — can’t wait to introduce this person to you all.

Thank you for growing with us and digging deeper into your community garden — looking forward to thriving, healthy gardens this season!