Logo Contest for McFarland Community Garden

At long last, the McFarland Community Garden will be getting an official SIGN!  But, FIRST, we need a logo for the McFarland Community Garden.  This will be the official “brand” for our garden, and will be used to distinguish our garden on print media, website, and products for purchase (such as t-shirts and water bottles).  We are looking for a creative high school student with graphic design knowledge and experience to create our logo for us.

  • Submissions must be emailed to katiegs@mcfarlandcommunitygarden.com
  • Submissions must be high quality digital files in .jpg or .png formats
  • Design must fit within a circle shape (on our garden sign the image will be 28″ in diameter)
  • Design should be images, not text
  • Design should evoke the mission of the garden, which is to grow healthy food as a community of gardeners (vegetables might feature prominently).
  • Submissions must be received by Wednesday, April 18th at 6:00pm.

A finalist will be chosen by the McFarland Community Garden Leadership Team, and he/she will receive a $50 gift certificate to the McFarland House Cafe.  The chosen art will then be integrated into our new signage for our whole community to enjoy for years to come.

Here is an example of one of our Village of McFarland Park Signs, which our McFarland Community Garden will be similar to.  Our unique logo will comprise the space where the McFarland logo resides on this sign.  (Geese and cattails are lovely and all, but not really reflective of our gig at the community garden!)

 

NEW Gardener Registration OPEN!

Interested in Gardening at the McFarland Community Garden for the 2018 Growing Season?  Registration for NEW gardeners is now open, and available plots will fill on a first come, first served basis.  Full (20’x20′), Half (10’x20′) and Raised Bed (4’x8′) Plots are all available for rent.

Rent includes water, compost, and access to tools and tillers for the season.  Community Gardeners will also have exclusive access to any free or discounted garden products that we can obtain.

To Register:

  • Click on the blue circular icon with the image of two people on the lower right hand part of your screen.  Create your login and password for the site.  EACH gardener for every plot should follow these steps in order to gain access to information on this site.
  • Once you have completed the site registration, a menu item will appear at the top of the screen titled, “Purchase/Renew a Garden Plot.”  Only ONE person from each garden plot needs to complete this step.  You will be asked to fill in your information, identify the appropriate fee for your rental (plot rental is assessed on a sliding fee scale, based on plot size, family size, and income), and read and agree to the statements regarding our guidelines at the garden.
  • The site will automatically forward you to a secure PayPal checkout to then pay your plot rental with your credit card or e-check.  You will receive an email for the receipt for your transaction.
  • Within a couple of days you will receive a welcome email from our Garden Coordinator, with information about our Potluck, Opening Day, plot placement, and supply orders.

2018 Green Thumb Gardening Series

In Spring 2018, classes will be held Thursday evenings,  Feb. 22nd – April 26th from 6:30-9:00pm at the Dane County UW-Extension office. Register for the complete class series at a discounted price ($160.00) or individual classes ($20.00) according to your interests.

50% OFF DISCOUNT FOR COMMUNITY GARDENERS!!!

Enter the following code while registering: “DaneGardens”. Registration is available here: https://dane.uwex.edu/horticulture/greenthumb/.  Students may register for classes individually or for the entire series at an additional discount.

2018 CLASS TOPICS 

  • February 22 – Native Plants for Gardens & Pollinators
  • March 1        – Wisconsin Wildlife in the Home Garden
  • March 8        – Vegetable Garden Planning & Techniques
  • March 15      – Vegetable Families, Pests & Diseases
  • March 22      – Garden Landscape Design
  • March 29      – Composting & Soil Composition
  • April 5           – Diseases in the Home Garden
  • April 12         – Growing Berries
  • April 19         – Weeds & Invasive Plant Management
  • April 26         – Annual & Perennial Flowers

How Do I Get a Plot for the 2018 Growing Season?

Even though our garden is currently blanketed in snow, spring will, assuredly, be here soon!  This year we are embarking upon a new journey in Garden Registration, so we humbly ask for your patience and understanding.  Our goal is that within the next few weeks we will have a new ONLINE registration platform open on this website, with fee payment via PayPal.  This will make the process much faster and more convenient for our gardeners and administrators, while also minimizing paper waste.  Sooooo…..once it is up and running, we will invite our current gardeners, who are in good standing, to renew their garden plots.  Once the renewal process has been completed, we will open any remaining plots for NEW GARDENERS.  We are shooting for sometime in March. When we have a firm date for opening registration, we will post notifications on Facebook and on this website.  We will also submit notifications to our local paper, McFarland Thistle, and post flyers throughout town.  So, if you hope to snag a plot this season, keep your eyes peeled!

New in 2016

Fruit Tree Orchard

This spring we planted 14 Bare-root Fruit Trees at the McFarland Community Garden.  All varieties were chosen for their disease-resistant properties.  Our orchard is comprised of 6 apple, 4 pear, and 4 sour cherry trees.  It will be a few years before we can harvest a steady crop from them.  In the meantime, we will give them lots of TLC so they are happy in their new home.  Thank you to Jung’s Garden Center on Northport Drive in Madison for all of the assistance with procuring high quality trees!

 

 

Rain Barrels

A big THANK YOU to Girl Scout Troop 1022, and Troop Leader (and Community Gardener!) Amanda Wegner for our new rain barrels.  The Girl Scouts completed this rain barrel construction project as part of their Bridging process from Brownies to Juniors.  The girls, with the help of troop leaders and parent volunteers, painted the rain barrels, before installing the finished barrels, along with gutters and downspouts on our Garden Shed.  Hoses are attached so that gardeners can easily access any rain water that is collected to use in plots.

 

Girl Scout Rain Barrels

 

Raised Bed Garden

We received additional requests for raised garden beds this spring, so in order to accommodate more gardeners, we devoted funds for our seventh raised garden bed for the Adaptive Garden.  Thank you to Dale Hanson, woodworker extraordinaire, who constructed this raised bed onsite.  We are also incredibly grateful to Slinde Trucking for donating all of the top soil for this raised bed.

Raised Bed 7

(All the numbers have been mixed up, but this is actually the 7th bed that has been constructed.  We will rearrange the numbers so they make more sense next spring!)

 

COMPLETE COMPOST MAKEOVER!!

This spring, we embarked on a total makeover of our composting area.  Thanks to a generous donation of some gently used fence panels from Prairie Stone Commons in McFarland, we were able to re-purpose the fencing for a well-organized compost bay system.  There are separate sections for: composted animal manure; straw bales; and “cooking” compost made from garden waste.  This project was completed with the help of many individuals.  In particular, we are very grateful for the leadership of Myra Kemna; the Village of McFarland Parks Department for the post hole digging and grading; Theresa Anderson and Prairie Stone Commons for the donation; and Dale Hanson for help transporting materials to the garden.

Compost System 2016

Harvest HOOTenanny!

Harvest Hootenanny Owl Flyer

What are you doing on Saturday, October 12th around noon-ish???  Answer:  Going to the HOOTENANNY!!

We will be celebrating our first successful season in the garden while also raising funds for our Adaptive Garden addition.

Don’t miss out!

 

From Grass to Dirt…

On Tuesday night, our fabulous, faithful farmer, 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!

Garden Plowed

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

Poop, composted.

We have a lovely 3-bin composting system that was built by volunteers, Billy Ceelen, Ron Dennis, Todd Hubler, Bill Stoneman, and faithful guide, Master Gardener, Ed Meechun.  We were able to re-purpose 7 hardwood pallets, wire, and lengths of rebar.  Bill added some newly purchased coated chicken wire (cannot see in picture below).  The last thing we need to do is screw a reinforcing 2×4 across the top.

Three-bin Composting System made from up-cycled wood pallets.
Three-bin Composting System made from up-cycled wood pallets.

So, all we need is some good compost…

Volunteers contributing a very large load of composted horse manure for the community garden.  Trust me, it makes stuff grow real nice!
Volunteers contributing a very large load of composted horse manure for the community garden. Trust me, it makes stuff grow real nice!

A huge THANK YOU to the folks who have donated the composted horse poop.  And THANK YOU to Sarah Rowe for organizing the transfer of goods.