2024 Garden Registration to Open Soon

Spring is right around the corner, so it is time to renew/register for your garden plot at the McFarland Community Garden for the 2024 Growing Season. We utilize Sign Up Genius web platform for registrations and Stripe for online payments. Before you register, make sure you know what your appropriate plot fee is from the sliding fee scale. There are three different levels of fees for each size plot (Full/Half/Raised Bed). Plot fees are based on plot size, household size, and household income.

New gardeners are limited to one half plot (10’x20′) unless they have a lot of experience gardening. Returning gardeners may rent one full plot (20’x20′) per household.
Raised bed gardeners may only rent one raised bed plot per season due to demand.

If the plot fees represent a hardship for your family, we have a Scholarship program to help cover the cost of your plot fees. Please contact Bill Stoneman, Interim Garden Coordinator at bill.stoneman@gmail.com OR 608-712-4916 for information.

If payment by credit/debit card is not accessible to you, arrangements can be made to pay plot fees via check or cash by contacting Jeanne Jones at jjones51619@gmail.com or bill.stoneman@gmail.com or 608-712-4916

Register Now

Plot Fees for 2024

Fees will remain the same for 2024! The McFarland Community Garden assesses fees for plot rental with a sliding fee scale based on plot size, household size and household income. This is a standard plot fee sliding scale that has been devised and updated by the Garden Network, which is an organization developed to support community, food pantry and school gardens in Dane County. The Gardens Network is comprised of Dane County UW Extension, City of Madison, and Rooted, a non-profit focused on sustainable food production and education. Plot fees cover your rental for the entire season. Fees help cover costs to run the garden, such as water bills, tool purchase and repair, machinery upkeep, raised bed replacement and more. There are no paid staff at the garden. All leadership positions are volunteer.

You are encouraged to volunteer. Contact Bill Stoneman, Interim Garden Coordinator at bill.stoneman@gmail.com.

From Grass to Dirt…

On a lovely Tuesday night in the spring of 2023, our farmer friend, Dan Niesen, came to plow and till our community garden beds.  The soil wasn’t too wet…actually the moisture was just about perfect.  The beds look beautiful!  What a beautiful start to a wonderful 10+ years of the McFarland Community Garden.

Garden Plowed

Garden Paths--Perfect for somersaults!
Garden Paths–Perfect for somersaults!

MCG Provides Compost

Gardeners at McFarland Community Garden enjoy the benefits of Purple Cow Compost supplied for garden enrichment and fertility provided to all registered gardeners.

Person with gloves on holding organic matter.

All types of soil benefits from amending the soil with organic matter, and compost is an excellent way to do that. Organic matter is key for soil productivity, it improves the soil texture, microorganism activity, and nutrient uptake. Even rich, good-quality loamy soil gets compacted over time and adding organic matter loosens up the soil. Sandy soil with its large soil particles does not hold water and nutrients very well and amending it with organic matter helps the soil retain moisture better so that it does not drain faster than the plants can absorb water and nutrients. Clay soil with is dense soil particles sticks together, which leads to poor drainage and insufficient oxygen. Adding organic matter to heavy clay soil loosens it up and improves aeration.

Adding organic matter in the form of compost to soil also improves the soil’s ability to hold key nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium. The acids in organic matter help plant roots with the uptake of water and nutrients and makes soil minerals available to plant roots by dissolving them. By adding compost to soil you furthermore keep the soil pH stable because a pH that is off kilter also affects the plants’ nutrient availability and uptake.

Only 3 to 6 percent of soil consists of organic matter so as important as compost is, it is used in moderate amounts but applied repeatedly over time, about once a year. Spread a layer 2 to 3 inches thick over the soil and incorporate it with a tiller, shovel, or a garden fork.

Gratitude to all who Founded the McFarland Community Garden, Especially Katie Gletty-Syeon!

The McFarland Community Garden didn’t just happen in 2013.  It is a collaboration of the Village of McFarland, McFarland’s United Church of Christ and the Friends of the McFarland Parks. Along with many local volunteers, the McFarland Sparks 4-H Club, Members of the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, members of the business community and others. Donation of time, money and volunteering poured in from the community in our founding year.

One person’s efforts started it all in 2012-13.  Katie Gletty-Syeon, our first Garden Coordinator, has lead us from the start and through the past ten years.  She’s the one person who brought together all of the needed resources and sold the concept to the church, the community and the Village goverment.  It would not have happened without Katie.  She remains an advisor to the garden and is active on the board of the Friends of the McFarland Parks.

Garden Tool Drive

garden-fb

We are so pleased to announce the “marriage” of McFarland Community Garden and enthusiastic village gardeners.  If you would like to celebrate the union by showering this new gardening family with gifts, you may check out our “Garden Registry” at our local McFarland True Value store.  Ask a sales associate about the McFarland Community Garden wishlist to see all of the items that we need to get growing…

All donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!  You can submit your information at purchase to receive a formal receipt to file for a deduction.

McFarland True Value will have a drop box for all donations of new and gently used garden tools for the McFarland Community Garden.

If you have some gently used garden tools at your business or residence and you would like to have them picked up, please contact us at Katiegs@McFarlandCommunityGarden.com.  We would be happy to arrange for pick up that is convenient for you!

Here is a partial list of the materials we are looking for:

Long Handled Shovels

Hoes

Hand Trowels

Hand Shovels

100′ lengths of 5/8″ Gardening Hose

Hard Garden Rakes

Pitch Fork (2)

Wheelbarrow (2)

Leaf Rakes

Gardening Gloves

Children’s Gardening Tools

Yard Sticks

 

 

 

Show Your Support for the McFarland Community Garden!

As the Spring Rains begin to wash away the snow, hope for a McFarland Community Garden is blossoming!  After months of designs, discussions, research, and negotiations, our “Day in the Sun” may soon arrive 🙂

The McFarland Village Board will be voting on the proposal for the garden this Monday, March 11th at 7pm.  Make your voice heard if you value a community garden space in our village, by attending the meeting, or contacting the Village of McFarland Trustees.

Hands Holding Vegetables

Our Garden Plan is Evolving

The updated garden plan
The updated garden plan

The McFarland Community Garden is growing from a simple seed of an idea that was planted last summer. Even amidst this bitter, snowy winter, beautiful things can GROW!

We have high hopes that we will be able to get our hands in the dirt this Spring 2013.

Here is the plan for our first season:
21 Individual Plots (20′ x 20′)
4 Adaptive Plots (to be constructed during our first season)
Pumpkin Patch for our Harvest Festival
4-H Youth Garden Playground

As soon as we have final approval for the garden, we will be accepting applications for plots…keep checking back for updates!!