The Madison Community Garden is a triumph of volunteerism. With ‘seed’ money from the Borough of Madison paying for materials, the efforts of the prospective gardeners made the concept a reality. The deer/rodent fence was installed by able and willing, but inexperienced, volunteers—as was most of the water system, the plot layout, and much of the rest of the Garden.
The upkeep of the Garden also requires the sweat equity of gardeners. As part of the plot agreement, all gardeners need to dedicate at least two hours yearly of volunteer efforts for the Garden. Much of this occurs during dedicated garden work days, which are held a few times each season. These efforts make short work of big chores, like weeding and chipping the pathways. When everyone volunteers their time it makes a huge difference in the appearance of the Garden.
Photo: Geoffrey Anderson
There are also a number of chores which need to be done throughout the season. Gardeners, especially ones who might not be able to attend the work days, are encouraged to join teams to help support these tasks:
Mowing and trimming: Sign up to mow the lawn area or weed-whack the edges. Typical schedule means mowing once every few weeks.
Composting: Get involved in maintaining the compost heaps. Help is needed with turning them over and sifting the compost.
Maintaining the Pollinator Gardens and other Common Beds: Mostly weeding and watering are needed, but help is occasionally requested maintaining the plants through the season.
Food Donation Driver/Ice Supply: The Community Garden delivers thousands of pounds of donated produce each year. Help is needed picking up the produce and driving to one of the local food pantries, or keeping the coolers supplied with fresh ice packs.
Fence Maintenance: Pulling weeds from the garden fence and maintaining the ground level rodent barrier.