Waite Park Community Garden
2021 Registration Information and Garden Policies

Welcome to the 2021 growing season! We are so excited for another summer in the garden with our neighbors!

This document outlines all the 2021 garden policies that will help us to have an enjoyable, productive, and safe experience together as a garden community. We hope this document will answer any questions you have—but if we’ve missed something, please contact us at wpccngmember@gmail.com.

Registration Information:
Registration for both returning gardeners and new gardeners will be completed online, using a Google form sent out via email. New gardeners must attend virtual garden orientation for the 2021 season; information will be sent to these individuals via email.

If you’re a returning gardener, please start the registration process by filling out the online registration form:2021 Registration. You can submit payment by sending a check to the Waite Park Community Council.
Checks or cash can be delivered in person at the spring garden meeting on March 28th or mailed (do not mail cash) to:

Waite Park Community Council
PO Box 18476
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Attn: Waite Park Community Garden

If you’re a new gardener, you will also be invited to register via the online registration form: 2021 Registration. Those that are currently on the waitlist for the 2021 season will receive priority for available plots. If there are more new gardeners than available garden plots, plots will be distributed randomly; new gardeners who did not receive a plot in the lottery will receive priority for the 2022 season. New gardeners’ registrations will be considered complete when they attend an online garden orientation and submit payment at that time.

All new gardeners must complete a garden orientation to complete their registration process. At the orientation, we will review the 2021 handbook together, give everyone a tour of the garden, teach everyone how to safely use the garden tools, review our different work teams and garden work day sign-up process, and collect plot fees. The orientation will be held as a Zoom meeting, the date and time will be emailed to gardeners prior to the event.

We are not able to accommodate additional live Zoom meetings, but we will be recording this orientation if you are unable to attend. Please know that your participation in the garden is contingent upon orientation attendance (either live or recorded). Gardeners have until June 1st to complete their orientation.

2021 Garden Policies and Rules:

As a community garden, we want to be a place where people can grow healthy food for their families and build relationships with their neighbors. We see both the food and the relationships as important in sustaining us.

All of our rules and policies have been developed with the intention of helping us to build a community garden where:

  • We can grow food for ourselves and our families without harmful chemicals.
  • We can relax and restore ourselves by interacting with the natural world.
  • We can meet neighbors and build relationships over shared interests.
  • We can help each other and the garden be successful.

If at any point, you have a question about the policies and rules discussed below, please contact a garden lead or officer, and they can explain why we have adopted the rule. We value transparency and will be happy to explain the intention behind our decisions.

Garden Work Days:
Just like our plots need regular upkeep, so do the common spaces and community plots in our garden. To get the work done, we rely on gardeners to participate in the mandatory work hours. Because all gardeners contribute to the garden through work hours, we’re able to keep the plot fees low. Work days are also a great opportunity to get to know your fellow gardeners.

All gardeners are required to complete 6 hours of work for the garden over the growing season. Garden work hours are earned by completing tasks for the common areas of the garden, not working in your individual plots. Gardeners will sign up for at least three work days (will be done via our website). Work day shifts are two hours long and will be scheduled based on feedback from this year’s registration form. There will also be independent service hours available if you sign up for the mowing/weed whacking or grapevine/hops teams.

For work days, gardeners will check in with the garden lead on site. Garden leads will assign tasks for the work day and track the hours worked. Work hours will be recorded and tracked on a Google Spreadsheet by the garden leads, which will be available for gardeners to view and check their hours. Independent work hours will be tracked and entered by that team’s lead. Gardeners who do not complete their work hours this season will not be invited back next season.

Second Plots and Abandoned Plots:
Every year, we have some gardeners who want more growing space and others who find that a plot is a bit too much for them. Here’s how we’ll be handling each situation:

  • Abandoned Plots: After June 1st if a plot becomes unkempt and you think it may have been abandoned, please email to let us know. We’ll check in with the gardener and see if they are planning to return. If they aren’t (or if we don’t hear back from them within 15 days), we will offer it to a returning gardener who’s looking for a second plot (with no plot fee and no additional work hours).
  • Second Plots: We want to make sure as many of our neighbors who want to join the garden can do so. To make space for our neighbors to join our garden community, second plots will not be assigned until all the new gardeners have been assigned a plot. If there are plots remaining, garden leads and officers will have first priority for second plots to incentivize leadership in the garden. Additional remaining plots will be offered to returning gardeners based on seniority. Second plots are only available to returning gardeners.
  • Please note: gardeners who are awarded second plots at the beginning of the season (not due to abandonment) are required to complete 6 additional hours of garden work.

Plot Care Requirements:
In our community garden, the plots are very close together. Because our plots are so close, the choices we make about how to tend our own plots end up impacting our neighbors’ plots. For that reason, we’ve established the following rules about plot care requirements. Please help us maintain a cooperative community garden space by observing the following rules:

  • No chemical pesticides and/or fertilizers in the garden. Natural, organic soil amendments and fertilizers are allowed, though they must be 10-10-10 or less.
  • Avoid digging near the red flags and into the subsoil. We are very lucky to have an irrigation system, which travels throughout the garden. Digging too deeply can damage the irrigation system. If in the event the irrigation system is damaged, contact the water lead.
  • Please do not use foreign materials that will leach chemicals into the soil for weed control (ex: carpet, tar paper, black plastic weed block, colored mulch, anything with dye). Our garden has received leaf mold to use; it is fantastic as a mulch and weed blocker. Other acceptable materials for weed block include cardboard, bricks, non-green treated boards, straw, and grass clippings. Please email us if you have questions!
  • Remove all weeds from your garden as soon as possible. Please do not allow the weeds to go to seed.
  • All trash, weeds, and heavy stalked plants (e.g., Brussels sprouts, broccoli plants) must be disposed of offsite. Please do not put them in the compost bins. Use yard waste bags to take your weeds and heavy stalked plants home with you for collection. WPCG does not have trash or yard waste removal services.
  • Due to their impacts on neighboring plots, gardeners may not grow the following plants in their garden plots:
  • Sunflowers
  • Potatoes
  • Shrubs
  • Berry Bushes
  • Perennials (for exceptions, please contact the perennial lead)
  • Fruit Trees
  • Please be courteous to your fellow gardeners. If plants in your plot are shading other plots, you may be asked to remove the offending plants.
  • Gardeners who become unable to tend their plot over the course of the growing season should reach out to a garden lead as soon as possible to arrange for someone else to take over their plot.
  • At the end of the season, please remove plant debris from the plot. If you intend to return next season, you may keep materials such as tomato cages or trellises, in your plot.

General Garden Rules:
To make sure that all gardeners can feel valued, respected, safe, and relaxed in the garden, please observe the following rules about how we will be together in community:

  • Be respectful of other gardeners, their plots, and common spaces. Please do not enter other gardeners’ plots without their permission.
  • Lock the garden gates upon entering and exiting the garden. We have had issues with people who are not gardeners coming in and taking our gardeners’ crops. Keeping the gates locked at all times ensures that people entering the garden are gardeners.
  • Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult for their safety.
  • Pets are not allowed in the garden. Dogs may be leashed outside the fence, away from the gates, so that people can enter and exit without interacting with them. This helps us to make the garden accessible to those with allergies, phobias, and cultural requirements to avoid interactions with dogs.
  • No smoking or vaping in the garden.
  • When other gardeners are present, please use headphones if you would like to listen to music or other audio. For many gardeners, their time in their plot is an opportunity to disconnect and enjoy the sounds of the wind, the birds, and insects. Please help your neighbors enjoy this opportunity to relax by limiting noise.
  • At any time throughout the day, the last gardener to leave must turn off the water.

The vast majority of our interactions in the garden are positive. Our gardeners share tips with each other, water each other’s plots when we go on vacation, and share excess plants, supplies, and crops. However, we recognize that conflicts may arise. If at any time, you feel a gardener has been disrespectful, aggressive, or otherwise destructive of the kind of community we’re trying to build together, please contact a garden lead or officer to report the behavior. The garden officers will review the complaint and discuss the behavior with the offending gardener. Disrespectful, aggressive behavior and serious breaches of the garden rules will result in termination from the garden without a refund of plot fees; ejected gardeners will not be invited back to the garden in the future.

Covid-19 Guidelines

WPCG Organizational Rules and Policies:
The Waite Park Community Garden relies on volunteers who work year-round to support the garden. We have officers, who are responsible for overseeing all garden operations, and garden leads, who take on targeted responsibilities for the garden. Please refer to the webpage for the garden officers and leads and their descriptions. http://www.waiteparkcommunitygarden.org/garden-leads/

Election of Officers:

  • Officers will be elected with an in-person vote at the fall garden meeting. All positions are elected by majority vote.
  • The term length for officers is one year. Officers may be re-elected for a maximum of three consecutive terms for the same position (with the exception of the treasurer, who is the Waite Park Community Council [WPCC] treasurer).
  • Only gardeners in good standing (i.e. completed work hours, no outstanding payment or behavioral issues) are eligible for election.
  • Gardeners who complete three consecutive one-year terms in one officer position are eligible to run for a different officer position.
  • Gardeners who have previously completed three consecutive one-year terms in an officer position are eligible to run for the same position after one year out of that office.
  • At least three of the four officer positions must be held by residents of the Waite Park neighborhood.
  • The president, in consultation with the other officers, selects garden leads.
  • If an officer steps down from their position during the course of the year, the president, in consultation with the steering committee, will fill the position with another gardener.

2020 Officers:

  • President: Samantha Saunders
  • Vice-President: Open
  • Secretary: Thanh Glasco
  • Treasurer: Megan Ausen (WPCC)
  • 2020 Garden Leads:
  • Registration Lead: Karl Gilbertson: gilbka03@luther.edu
  • Water Lead: Andrew Gawboy: andrewgawboy@gmail.com
  • Mowing Lead: Andrew Saunders
  • Perennial Garden Lead: Andrew Gawboy: andrewgawboy@gmail.com
  • Compost Leads:
  • Connie Stauffer: constauf@yahoo.com
  • Sharon Sweeny: sharonsweeny@gmail.com
  • Grapevines/Hops Lead: Melanie Bolson
  • Communications Committee:
  • Jessica Olson (website): jessicaemilyolson@gmail.com
  • Zachary Doering (Outreach)
  • Social Committee:
  • Peter DeMaio: pedemaio@gmail.com
  • Kevin Horkheimer: horkheim1215@gmail.com
  • Kathleen Cole: k99km01@gmail.com
  • Thanh Glasco
  • Samantha Saunders

Garden Meetings:
The Waite Park Community Garden will hold a minimum of two general gardener meetings per year (one in spring, the other in fall). All gardeners are welcome to attend. At these meetings, we will review garden policies and procedures and vote for officers, normally at the fall meeting. Below are our rules about voting at WPCG meetings:

  • Each garden plot has one vote. Gardeners with a second plot do not get a second vote. Plots with multiple gardeners may only cast one vote.
  • Votes by proxy or in-absentia are not accepted.
  • At the fall meetings, gardeners will vote to elect the officers for the following year.
  • At the spring meetings, gardeners may express concerns, make suggestions and ask questions. Gardeners will review any revisions made to the annual policy document.

Steering Committee meetings:
Two or more steering committee meetings may be scheduled by the president complete with agenda.