The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 5, 2010

Foss Farm gardeners suggest new rules, garden improvements


Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard (at right rear corner of table), Land Stewardship Committee members and Foss Farm gardeners discuss possible changes to the way the community gardens are organized at a meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday. (Photo by Dave Ives)

Foss Farm gardeners met on Tuesday, February 2, to discuss possible changes to the rules governing the use of the garden plots on the town’s Foss Farms property. The meeting was organized by the Land Stewardship Committee, a subcommittee of the Conservation Commission (ConsCom), which administers the community gardens. It was noted that former garden manager Bob Dennison had recently retired from the position and ConsCom would be seeking a replacement (see press release below). The two new wells for gardening use have been fully installed, and non-potable signs have been added to them per a request by the Board of Health. Because of these wells, the commission will be able to respond to the waiting list for plots from last year by creating four new plots, starting this spring.

The rules were discussed on the basis of issues raised by gardeners, and ranged from the possible use of approved organic pesticides to the possible raising of yearly plot fees. All agreed a contact list such as a Yahoo Internet group would aid in communication between members and plot neighbors, as well as be an excellent tool for less experienced gardeners who wanted more information on any questions that might come up during growing season.

The process of applying for a plot will be streamlined with a revised form and signing statement, and those who apply for a plot one year but do not get one will have a better chance of getting one the next year if they apply again. The possibility of a planting and/or activity deadline was discussed in hopes of decreasing the number of abandoned plots and making sure that everyone interested in gardening at Foss Farm gets the chance to do so. A sign will be put up requesting that all dogs going through the plots be leashed to decrease the possibility of damage to the plants by pets. The possibility of raising the yearly fee for a plot above the current $10 was brought up, as well as the suggestion that money raised from the fees could be used to put in additional wells.

The ConsCom plans to consider the gardeners’ suggestions next week during the commission’s meeting on Thursday, February 11. ∆

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