Posted by Kurt | Posted in News | Posted on 27-10-2013
Dear Gardeners –
I hope you’ve had a successful and fulfilling year as part of the Benson Community Garden. Between the veggies, community-building and events, 2013 has been our best year yet – and thank YOU for being a part of this. As we pull out our plants and clear the plots for winter, I wanted to take a moment to reach out to give you some info, see if you’d like to come back next year, and ask for feedback and ideas.
- On our Gardeners Agreement we all filled out, we ask that all plots are cleared out to the soil by November 1st. If you need an extra week, that’s completely fine. We’ll padlock the garden in a couple weeks. When clearing your plot, please put your plants in the compost bin, or better yet, put them in a large lawn/yardwaste bag and I’ll put them out to be picked up by the city. If you have posts, chicken wire, etc. that you no longer need, set it by the shed and we’ll make it available to gardeners next year.
- Are you planning to return in 2014? If so, please simply reply to this email to let us know. If so, do you want the same plot? We have a waiting list of people who would like to garden here and we will open registration earlier this next year.
- Would you have time and be interested in joining the garden’s leadership team? We need 5 or 6 individuals to help with communications (emailing, Facebook, events, etc.), maintenance (mowing, general common area upkeep, etc.), outreach (attending others’ events on our behalf, grant-writing, etc.) and general administration. Please shoot me an email or call if you’re willing to be a leader. The time commitment is not great, but SO, SO important.
- What type of community-benefiting things and events can we do to make a positive impact on the neighborhood? We have been very successful with our music events, movie nights, and the annual city-wide seed swap – but we can do more and better. There has been discussion of canning seminars, cooking classes, even free yoga classes. We need to know what you want to see here.
- As we set our budget for next year, what things would make your gardening here better, easier, more fulfilling. Between the insurance policy we need to purchase (which requires over half of our annual income) and new tools, we have little left for improvements. BUT… there are opportunities to raise money to better the garden. If you had a “wish list,” what would you want? A few things I would like to have include a more-effective irrigation system for the “Neighbor Garden,” a few new shovels and tools in the shed, and an enhanced shade structure. We missed the Mayor’s Grant application deadline last year, but hope it is available in 2014 – and a comprehensive “shopping list” of infrastructure items would be nice to have before applying.
- Finally, if you have had any bad experiences, I want to know about it. Three years ago when I bought the land and started the garden I committed my investment and time to the effort. Please let me know what can be done to make it the best it can be.
Thank you for being part of this community garden. It’s become one of Omaha’s most visible and vibrant – and we are often contacted by others interested in forming a garden in other parts of the metro. You and your participation and membership are the reason we exist.