The Madison Community Garden was established in 2011 and first offered plots to prospective gardeners in 2012. Currently there are 84 plots, some of which are divided into two half plots. In addition to providing space for household gardens, there are 3 hoop house plots and 3 Master Gardener plots that provide community educational opportunities and produce food which is donated to local food pantries. A tree nursery is also located within the garden and is maintained by the Friends of Madison Shade Trees. The entire garden is surrounded by an animal-resistant fence, receives full sun for most of the day and has water spigots scattered throughout. All gardeners are required to use organic methods for plant cultivation, soil amendment and pest control.
The public is welcome at any time, keeping in mind that Garden rules forbid pets, smoking, or children running along the paths. For a personalized tour, contact us at MadisonNJCommunityGarden@gmail.com with the words “MCG Tour” in the subject line, and one of the Advisory Committee members will be in touch to arrange a tour.
All Madison residents are invited to attend Madison Community Garden events such as the Harvest Festival held at the end of September, which features a variety of dishes created using produce picked from the garden. Contact us at the email above if you would like to be placed on the e-mail list and to be informed of upcoming events.
The Madison Community Garden believes that establishing strong community links is part of our mission. The Garden has been involved in the following community-wide projects:
Tree Nursery: The tree nursery is located on the south side of the Garden. Several years ago, the Friends of Madison Shade Trees planted a number of seedlings in this dedicated plot, which is tended by volunteers including Madison Boy Scouts. When these seedlings have grown large enough to transplant, in about 3-5 years, they will become some of the many beautiful shade trees that line Madison streets.
Food Donation Program: All of the produce from the three year-round hoop houses is donated to local congregate feeding operations, such as the Morristown Soup Kitchen and the Interfaith Food Pantry. Two Girl Scout troops and the Presbyterian Church of Madison also tend plots and donate all the food they grow. There is a cooler in the shed for all gardeners to donate their excess or unwanted produce. Over the last few seasons, the Garden donated thousands of pounds of fresh produce.
Rutgers Master Gardeners: Three plots are tended by Master Gardeners, which are used for educating gardeners and the general public about best growing practices, as well as trialing new cultivars and unusual plants. The food grown in the Master Gardener plots is also fully donated.
Bee Yard: The bee-keeping operation links us to other apiaries in the area, both for resource-sharing as well as community knowledge about the optimal care of bees.
Morris County Open Gates Day: The Madison Community Garden participates in the Morris County Open Gates day, which is an effort to involve community gardens all over Morris County in a day of coordinated public tours, gardening information and sampling garden-grown produce.