How Gardeners can participate in the garden community
The key component to Berkeley Community Garden is community.
Our community takes shape in two different ways at BCG. First and foremost, of course, is your community of gardens. Meeting your fellow gardeners is a wonderful experience. The garden brings together people of all backgrounds into our own little melting pot. We have different backgrounds, different ages, different incomes and educations. Heck, we even garden differently. But we're all drawn together by our love of nature and our strong desire to work the earth to bring a bit of nature into our neighborhood.
A community also means relationships. The garden isn’t a “rent a plot” location. Seeing you and knowing you is as important as having a nice garden. We’d like to see you in the garden regularly so we can know you, and you can know us. We want you to know your garden neighbors, and have them get to know you. We don’t just want you to garden here, we want you to be a part of our family.
As a community, the garden is also self-sustaining. The garden has no paid staff. The garden is run by fellow gardeners who volunteer their time to give a little more to help run and oversee the garden as a whole. Gardeners do all the physical work as well as record keeping and finances, in addition to raising all our own money through annual fees.
While everyone enjoys the gardening part, both endeavors require contribution from all the gardeners. BCG requires every gardener to participate in the running of the garden. Gardeners who cannot or chose not to participate in the garden community will be assessed an additional garden fee. While these fees help the garden cover expenses, we use this fee more as a deterrent than a fundraiser.
For those with limited time we have garden clean ups every other Monday evening. During clean up we pick up trash that has accumulated in the garden, as well as perform light maintenance activities. Gardeners who chose to help in the biweekly clean ups must attend at least 6 clean ups to get participation credit.
For those who cannot make the Monday clean ups, or wish to help the garden in a different way, we have many activities that are in need of volunteers. If nothing in this list appeals to you, send us your own ideas - you may have thought of something that the garden needs that we haven't!
Your garden leaders are the people who run the major activities of the garden. They are volunteers and have been serving for quite a while now and could definitely use some time off. Being a Garden Leader is a chance to become a greater participant in the running of the garden and is a chance to direct the garden's future. Some responsibilities of garden leaders include
- Meet regularly as a board to discuss garden issues and plan for the future.
- Help with basic annual garden activities, like garden sign up, the spring and fall clean ups, getting letters out, and such.
- Attend garden events and coordinate activities in the garden. Basically, if there's something going on in the garden, one of the leaders will be there.
- Coordinate specific garden activities, such as keeping records, coordinating maintenance, being treasurer and other such dedicated activities.
If helping shape the future of the garden is something you feel you'd like to be a part of, definitely contact us!
Garden Work - Physical work that can be done in the garden on your own time
- Being on the maintenance team - help divide gardens, and repair existing gardens and fencing.
- Build gates for fellow gardeners
- Adopt a garden area - agree to weed or care for a particular area of the garden
- Shovel snow!! The garden is still here in the winter, and our sidewalks need to be kept clean
Desk Jockey - Things that can be done from home
While we're looking for individuals, many of these activities would be best served by a small team.
- Fundraising - The garden could always use more money. We have bills that need paying and repairs that are continuously ongoing. We're looking for someone to commit the time to get a fundraising effort together. (We'd like a group of folks - we don't' want to saddle one person with everything.) This could include items such as soliciting neighbors to fund specific purchases, seeking donations from local businesses (both money and items), and applying for small grants available.
- Newsletter - We have a lot that goes on in the garden and not everyone has an internet connection. We'd like to put out a regular newsletter (quarterly maybe?). This would be sent to all gardeners, as well as out neighbors and those to whom we solicit donations.
- Logo - We'd like to get a logo for the BCG. Something that could be use to easily identify us, represent the garden and what we stand for. It could be used for things like a newsletter, signs, t-shirts, etc.
Someone who could organize some activities in the garden. From a pot luck to a mini festival to something as big as music in the garden. While this person would coordinate such things, running them would involve additional volunteers - everyone would give a hand.
- When you have done work outside of the Monday/Spring/Fall cleanups, you need to let us know. Send an email to cleanups @ berkeleygarens.org and let us know
- What you did
- What day you worked
- How many hours you worked
- If possible, a photo of the work you did