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Re: offering tilling as part of community garden services

  • Subject: [cg] Re: offering tilling as part of community garden services
  • From: "Libby J. Goldstein" libby@igc.org
  • Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 15:22:45 -0500

Title: [cg] Re: offering tilling as part of community garden
How big is your garden and how many gardeners do you have?  How did you make
the transition to no-till, because I love the idea esp. to preserve soil
structure and organic matter, not to mention time and fossil fuels?  I am
afraid if I suggested it, I either wouldn't get a good response from the
gardeners or I would end up with a lot of weedy plots that nobody spent the
energy to hand dig.

Our garden is something like 18,000 sq. ft: 65 plots; =/- 70 gardeners some of whom share plots; plot size varies between 200 and 300 sq. ft.

We have always made each plot holder responsible for his/her own plot AND for the paths around it. Plots and paths must be kept weed-free and mulched according to our by-laws. (I can send you a copy if you want.) When we have wood chips or mushroom compost delivered, it is up to the plot holder to spread them on adjoining paths and in their plot.

Last year we did do a group order of salt hay which we usually get from a suburban garden center, but each gardener paid (in advance) for the salt hay and had to lug it from the delivery point to his/her plot. However, some folk still went out to the garden center for salt hay, and all the other goodies they have including organic soil amendments.

I guess I might have started the =/- no till gig. I just started putting my amendments on top of my beds without digging, and talked it up a lot. (" Forests just drop s--t on the ground, and the only diggers are worms and squirrels".)   Since then some folk have subscribed to the organic gardening mail list, and worked out their no till strategies on their own.

We make every gardener sign the by-laws every year. We inspect all the plots several times a year and warn nasty gardeners. And we can take their plots if they don't shape up. There's always a waiting list of folk who'd like to replce the miscreants.

Hope this helps. If you need more info, let me know.


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