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Our Garden operating process and rules

Several individuals have asked for information on the Mary Thompson Senior 
Citizen Gardens in Southfield, Michigan and how they operate.   I thought I 
would include here the major portion of a letter that went out to our 
gardeners in April.  It may help some that are new to such programs.   We 
have about 110 plots and 77+ gardeners. The program has been in existence for 
14+ years.

Elmer L. Morehouse-Garden Supervisor

                                          MARY THOMPSON GARDEN NEWS
The Mary Thompson Senior Citizen Gardns are located on the Mary Thompson Farm 
Site.  Mary Thompson was born in the Farm House on February 7, 1871 and upon 
her dea5th on October 21, 1967 the house and surrounding 20 acres were willed 
to the City of Southfield.  The property is administered by the City of 
Southfield Parks and Recreation Department

                              .         ABOUT THE GARDEN - HOW IT WORKS
01.  The gardening privilege is open to all Southfield citizens who are fifty 
(50) years of age or older.
02.  A garden plot may be obtained by applying  for such with the garden 
supervisor and paying the twenty five dollar   ($25.00) per growing season 
fee.  Checks should be made out to  Southfield Parks and Recreation  and 
include both  the drivers license No. and the phone No.  on them.  
3.  Resident 1999 gardeners may select their plots at the end of the 
gardening season).   New  gardeners may select their plots during the March 
meeting or after the garden  opens.
04.  For safety reasons, the gardener(s) must fill out a confidential form or 
waiver which includes emergency  numbers and  special pertinent medical 
information.  This form must be filled out at the beginning of  each  
gardening season and will be returned at the end of the season upon request.  
Gardeners shall not  work their plot until a medical form or medical waiver 
is on file with the garden supervisor.
05.  Each plot consists of  400 square feet of area and the gardener 
determines which crops are to be grown  on  his/her plot.
06   A garden committee will be formed each year, and will be moderated by 
the Garden Supervisor.  The  committee will be an advisory working committee 
to help the supervisor and assistant supervisor carry out  projects.  Each 
member will have specific responsibilities.  These projects are based upon 
suggestions or         requests from the Parks and Recreation Department, 
Gardeners, and Committee members.  The committee will meet at 12 noon on the 
second Monday of each gardening month, or when called by the Supervisor.  If 
you are interested in being a committee member, please contact the Supervisor 
or the  Assistant Supervisor.
07.  The city will pretill the plots prior to the beginning of each gardening 
season.  All other labor and  materials are the sole responsibility of the 
gardener, including:  weeding, cultivating, seeds,  plants,  stakes,  
watering,  planting, fertilizer, etc..
08.  The gardens are intended to be a place of outdoor enjoyment,  
socialization,  fun,  tranquility, and  exercise besides the obvious benefits 
of fresh vegetables and produce.  In keeping with this, each of us is 
expected to do all we can to promote such an atmosphere.  
09.  Watering stands with attached hoses are located throughout the garden 
area.    It is necessary to share  the use of these with others.   Do not lay 
them down and leave them for an extended length of time while  others are 
waiting for them.    All watering is to be done by hand.  Sprinklers and 
soakers are not permitted. 
10.  Due to sanitary and safety considerations,  pets are strictly prohibited 
at the gardens.   We love them too and have our own.    
11.  A limited number of tools are available in the tool crib.   These are 
available for the use of all gardeners and are to be washed clean and 
returned to the crib when you are finished with them.. If  you remove several 
at one time, you may be depriving others of their use.   Remember the next 
person  - they are or  will soon be your friend.
12.  Wheelbarrows are also  available in the crib and should be washed out 
and returned in a clean  condition. 
13.  Security of the garden and the gardeners is important.    If you are 
going to have others take  care of your garden while you are on vacation 
etc., inform the garden supervisors and    introduce the garden staff to  
them.   Make sure they check in with us  immediately upon entry to the garden 
and identify themselves.            Unauthorized individuals will be denied 
entry to the garden.    This is particularly true during harvest  time.
14   You are not to enter or harvest from another's garden  without express 
15.  Rest room facilities are available in the Thompson house.    Individuals 
are expected to restrict  themselves to this area of the house.    Children 
and guests must be accompanied to the house by the  gardener(s).
16.  Children and/or guests visiting the garden are the responsibility of the 
gardener that extended the  invitation.
17. The telephone is for emergencies and use by the staff only.    
18. The garden will be open during posted and published hours.   For security 
and safety  reasons,  the  gardener(s) and others are prohibited from entry 
at other times.       
19. Each garden site is (within reason) expected to be  kept free of weeds 
and debris.   Garden sites  that are  apparently abandoned and/or  not kept 
up to reasonable standards  will be dismantled, mowed, and/or reassigned 
after attempts to contact and inform the gardener have failed or become 
20. Weeds and all organic matter which is to be discarded is to be placed in 
the compost bins  and NOT in the green barrels.  The green barrels are for 
inorganic wastes such as plastics,  screening, metals, styrofoam etc..   
Paper and cardboard,  but not pesticide containers, can also  be placed in 
the compost bins if they are torn up first.
21. Organic (plant) materials are NOT to be placed in the large dumpster.  
The dumpster should  be limited  to discarded fencing,, metals, styrofoam, 
plastic, etc..
22. The storage area south of the crib area is for the gardener's use, but 
materials must be bundled and tagged.  Untagged materials and materials that 
are not going to be used, should be removed and placed in a dumpster.   
Materials stored on the property and not tagged will be treated as abandoned 
property.   Materials not stored in designated storage areas will be treated 
as abandoned property.
23. Materials stored on the property all belong to some gardener and are not 
to be appropriated  to the use of  others without the owner's permission.  
24. Any garden not planted by  May 30 will be reassigned.(NO REFUND)
25. The walkways which are staked out at the beginning of the season are for 
both safety and convenience of all.   Please do not incorporate them into 
your adjacent plot.  Walkways and  fences must be kept free of weeds - both 
inside and outside of the fence.
                  Tentative Year 2000 GARDEN HOURS
                                      Sunday         -    1:00   PM    -  
5:00 PM
                                Monday        -   9:00  Noon   -  8:00 PM
                                Tuesday        -   9:00  AM     -  4:00 PM
                                Wednesday   - 1:00  PM  -  8:00 PM
                                Thursday       -   Closed (No Admittance)     
                          Friday           -   9:00  AM     -  4:00 PM
                          Saturday       -   9:00  AM     -  4:00 PM

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