New Gardener Registration

We have received so much interest in the McFarland Community Garden for the 2021 Growing Season! Current gardeners have first chance to renew their garden plots from the previous season. We are wrapping up those renewals now, which gives us a better picture of how many garden plots will become available for new gardeners. This year we have a very high rate of returning gardeners, so unfortunately there are not a lot of plots available for new gardeners at this point.

New Gardener registration will open TOMORROW, MONDAY, MARCH 15TH AT 8:00AM.
To Register go to:

Plot Sizes: New gardeners will be limited to a Half Plot (10’x20′) or a Raised Bed Plot (4’x8′)  for the first season, with the option to expand to a Full Plot (20’x20′) next year if desired.

Plot Fees: Plot fees are assessed on a sliding fee scale based on household size, household income and plot size. This scale is universally used in community gardens throughout Dane County and was developed by Dane County UW Extension. If cost is a challenge for you, please let contact to access our grant funds for plot fees.

Waiting List: If all plots are filled, we highly encourage you to sign up on the waiting list. Often times plots will become available early in the season. Potential gardeners on the waiting list will be placed on a first come first served basis.

2021 Garden Registration is OPEN for RETURNING GARDENERS ONLY

Thank you for your patience this season as we implement a new platform for our McFarland Community Garden online registration. The new system is through Sign Up Genius, which allows for registration and plot fee payment. At this time we are only accepting registrations from RETURNING gardeners. We will open up registration for new gardeners soon. It is very important that if you would like to return to your existing plot, you must register soon to reserve it.

Plot fees are once again assessed on a sliding fee scale. The fee scale is universally used throughout community gardens in Dane County and was developed and regularly updated by Dane County UW Extension. The sliding fee scale allows for an accessible fee based on your plot size, household size and household income. *NEW* IF THE PLOT FEES REPRESENT A FINANCIAL HARDSHIP FOR YOU, PLEASE REACH OUT TO ACCESS OUR NEW GARDENER GRANT PROGRAM BY CONTACTING KATIEGS@GMAIL.COM.

Online Transaction Fee: There is a 5% fee via the online registration system. If you would prefer not to register online, we can provide a paper copy of the Garden Registration that you can fill out and submit with payment in the form of cash/check/money order. Again, reach out to if you need this option.

What do plot fees pay for? Why do we need them? Plot fees pay for all of the costs associated with running the garden. We do not receive money from any other source and our leadership team is 100% volunteer. The plot fees go to pay for water, small engine maintenance and gas, tools, high quality compost, and other soil amendments that we can offer to our gardeners. The leadership team makes decisions about what other projects will be funded. Last year we purchased a professional garden sign which now graces the front of our garden. In the past we have purchased things such as garden sheds, fruit trees, picnic tables, native plants for ornamental/pollinator beds, etc. We also hold money in reserve if there ever were an infrastructure problem that would need repair (knock on wood this will not happen!)

COVID-19 Precautions: Last year we put a number of precautionary guidelines in place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These policies were implemented with the best information and guidance that were available at that time for the safety of our gardeners and the broader community. The leadership team will be discussing if/what precautions would be prudent for the 2021 growing season. As we get closer to the opening of the growing season, we will announce any relevant guidelines.

Follow this link to sign up today!

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.


First Annual Gardener Orientation and Potluck… Success!

Last Sunday, April 7th, the McFarland Community Garden and the United Church of Christ hosted the first annual Gardener Orientation and Potluck.  We had expected perhaps 50 participants, but we were pleasantly surprised by an enthusiastic turnout of OVER 75 folks!!  We enjoyed a bounty of delicious food and made big plans for our community garden.  All photos are courtesy of Holly Ceelen.

Bill Stoneman, the Garden Registrar, kept busy with organizing applications, plot payments, and mulch orders.
Bill Stoneman, the Garden Registrar, kept busy with organizing applications, plot payments, and mulch orders.

Kerri Parker, UCC Pastor, welcomed gardeners and offered a blessing before the meal.

Holly Basford, Autumn Sabo, and Katie Gletty-Syoen.

Keeping Busy in the Kitchen!!


Garden Tool Drive


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  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


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!!