Re:abandonment of plots
I am sure that you have received many great ideas, but here's one more!
One of the gardens in Michigan makes it explicit in their sign-up
materials what work is to be expected (and why--not just because "we
like it better that way"-->that might help the people who say they want
a "natural" look) and also that, if there are problems, the gardeners
will have 10 days to correct it, or there garden will be tilled under.
If you are worried about the reaction these long time gardeners will
have, or what kind of publicity they will give your group because of
these regulations, it might be worth while to have some sort of general
garden meeting, with a truly open discussion, about the problems all the
gardeners face when one gardener (or more) lets their plot go natural.
In this discussion, where everybody gets to talk about their feelings on
the matter, the "natural" gardeners might come to their own realization
about how they should care for their garden, or even get to discuss what
they would like out of the garden (maybe only to help someone else with
a plot a couple of times in exchange for some of the harvest). A
discussion might help everybody's needs get met with a minimal amount of
Just a few suggestions--hope they give you some ideas :)
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