I’m going to propose that we only have raised beds going forward. There is one very dedicated person who maintains their in-ground plot religiously, so I’m sure we could make a case to allow a few, but it’s way too easy to let in-ground plots go wild. There was once talk of a weed-free space that had nothing but mulch beneath our feet, but I always knew that was a pipe dream considering our revolving door of volunteers. We simply cannot expect enough volunteer hours to eradicate and keep away crabgrass and bindweed. My thoughts on this have unfortunately been very clearly validated by the current state of the garden. Monsanto makes billions of dollars because of the tenacity of these weeds and we’ve made the decision to not use weed killer for obvious reasons. It would be much easier to just mow areas around raised beds on a regular basis.
In fact, every single community garden I’ve been involved with have been raised beds only. It’s a very simple and effective way of organizing rental plots and they’re also more accessible for anyone with mobility issues. We can easily maintain the grass and weeds in between the plots and we won’t run into any claims of encroaching on anyone’s plots. It will also be very obvious who is and isn’t taking care of their raised plot. This is the way forward.
Some may bristle at this. There are some gardeners whose eyes are bigger than their ability to take care of things. But they’ll just have to live with it. Staring down thousands of dollars in City fines made things very real and I want to first and foremost protect MakeICT from financial loss.
I’m not really sure how to move forward with making these decisions. We don’t even have enough people to make quorum for our Garden Committee, but I wanted to at least make my intentions public.
This doesn’t mean we can’t have larger plots for those who really want a big harvest. But I will be building some kind of physical demarcation (I’ll likely use the leftover 4 by 4s) for any in-ground plots in order to clearly outline them. Everything else outside of these raised beds and limited in-ground plots will be mowed and weed whacked on a clearly defined schedule (I’m happy to do this once a week).
Also, would it be possible to just get a head count of people who want to be involved moving forward? I know that Lesley doesn’t use the forum, but she’s a definite yes. Aaron Rivers also seems willing to be part of this. I hope that anyone that was scared off by all of the infighting know they’re welcome back. Overgrown and abandoned plots are hereby forgiven. We just need helping hands!