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RE: Questions about Fall Clean


I manage the gardens for Lehigh County, PA. We have two large plots, each
with about 92 15x20 plots. When I inherited the program 5 yrs ago it ran
somewhat similar to yours.  In the fall the gardeners were required to clear
all inorganics.  Then a farmer whould plow under all the leftovers.  In the
spring the farmer would disc and harrow, sometimes after a topdressing of
compost.  Then the plots would be restaked, plots assigned, and gardening
would begin around the beginning of May.  I did not like the fall plowing,
as that leads to increased soil erosion over the winter.  The other problem
was that that system effectively cut out the early spring crops, as well as
late fall and overwintering crops. As a gardener myself I found that silly,
since we were spending all this effort on plowing/restaking for a 6-month
garden program. We did a survey and found overwhemling support for moving to
year-round leases. Now we do less work, and the gardeners are responsible
for maintaining their plots.  The big issues are weediness and abandoned
gardens.  These are handled by rountine inspections, warning letters, and
ultimately revoking leases and reassigning the plot.  As the County we have
access to work-release inmates and juvenile probation kids for labor.  The
work-release program helps us with the fall and spring clean-ups, where the
gardeners place all the weeds and dead plants along the garden road and we
come through and collect it all and bring it to our compost site (we also
deliver compost to the gardens in the spring).  The Juvies help with
clearing abondoned plots.  The only complaints we got about the revamped
program were from the local Dutchies who preferred the look of the plowed
field over the winter to the "messy" gardens.  Those have faded since it has
been three years since the change.  Gardners are now allowed to have
perennials, install fences and drainiage, and do other plot improvements
that would never have happened before.  

Cary 

Cary Oshins
Composting Specialist
Lehigh County Office Of Solid Waste and Recycling
Allentown, PA
Manufacturers of Valley Green Compost and Mulch products
caryoshins@lehighcounty.org


-----Original Message-----
From: Lisa Coven [mailto:LCoven@ci.Burlington.vt.us]
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 2:57 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] Questions about Fall Clean


Hello out there,
I am writing from Burlington, Vermont.  We have had an unusually warm rainy
fall and in result closing up our 8 garden sites around the city has been
difficult.  We are one of those community garden groups that actually plows
and tills the soil for the gardeners.  Each fall we ask the gardeners to
clean
their individual plots (about 25X30) so that we can plow.  Then in the
spring
we come back and till.  This is our largest expense (about 1/3 of our total
budget)  The issue arises that gardeners complain that they want to keep
their
brussel sprouts and kale and carrots in the ground longer even though in all
our materials it is clearly indicated that anything left in the garden after
a
determined date is considered abandoned.  So now we are trying to figure out
how to solve this issue and save money.  Our plot fees will $52 for a full
plot in 2006.
I am interested to know what other programs do about tilling and plowing and
how clean up takes place and is enforced.  Any information would be greatly
appreciated.  There is a gardener advisory board that I would like to share
this information with so that we can perhaps make some changes for the
better.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to reply.  Descriptions of our
community garden sites can be found at
http://www.enjoyburlington.com/Programs/CommunityGardens.cfm
Thanks again!!!!!!

Lisa Coven
Land Steward
Burlington Parks and Recreation Department
645 Pine Street, Suite B
Burlington, Vermont 05401
802- 863-0420
fax- 802-862-8027
www.enjoyburlington.com


______________________________________________________
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services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find
out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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