Members

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Get the ins and outs of gardening at MSCG.

With over 100 plots, MSCG members are a part of one of the largest community gardens around! To get the most out of your experience, please get acquainted with your member resources. Our band of volunteers does everything possible to take the guesswork out of gardening with us. 

Get your annual contract here.

Get involved with garden leadership.

Commonly asked questions.

U of M soil test results and analysis.

Member Perks

Each season you’ll notice things around the garden that seem to be up for grabs. From plants to compost, mulch, and more. Unless labeled otherwise, these resources are generally available for our gardeners to share and use in their own plots and around the garden. We just ask that you please be courteous of your neighbors and mindful that there’s plenty to go around.

Join the MSCG Exchange Facebook Group to get updates on freebies throughout the season. Reach out to your Block Captain or mscg@unionparkdc.com with questions.

Neighborhoods & Block Captains

Each garden plot is located within one of five garden “blocks” as outlined on the garden map.

 

Each block includes 16-20 plots, plus an assigned maintenance zone. 1-2 Block Captains volunteer to lead each block and associated maintenance activities. Your block’s captain is your primary point of contact and liaison to the Management Team. Throughout the season, they will help orient new gardeners, answer questions, coordinate maintenance tasks, and collaborate on special projects around the MSCG site.

 

COMMUNICATIONS: Early in the season, members of each block will receive an invite to a Google email group. These are specific to each block (1-5) and will be used to keep block-members connected. 

Volunteering

As part of our garden contract, we all agree to volunteer two hours a month or twelve hours a season. Learn about the various ways you can volunteer here.

 

Please make every effort to record your volunteer hours online or onsite. Without a record, we are unable to determine which gardeners are fulfilling their membership agreement. As the garden grows, preference will be given to members with a record of living up to their volunteer commitments. 

If physical labor isn’t an option for you for any reason, please contact your Block Captain or mscg@unionparkdc.org to explore other ways to get involved.

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Garden Mangement

Since its founding in 2012, MSCG has been led by a dedicated group of volunteers that is constantly evolving and growing. Everything you see on-site, from the sheds to the water system, was planned and executed by the gardeners who came before us - and some who are still with us today. Some gardeners have preferred to take on individual initiatives, where others like to work on things in groups. No matter the preference, by showing a little initiative and investing a bit of sweat equity, these bands of gardeners have been able to take their ideas and turn them into reality.

If you're interested in hearing about the work being done currently or have an idea for improving the garden that you'd like to share, find our next leadership meeting time here.

Reimbursement

Due to the volunteer nature of MSCG, our supplies and other expenses are usually covered by individual members for a brief time. If you have made an approved purchase and need reimbursement, please send: 1) a description of your purchase, 2) your receipt and 3) your mailing address to mscg@unionparkdc.org. The MSCG treasurer will coordinate a quick turnaround via UPDC.

If you have questions about what’s eligible for reimbursement, please reach out to your block captain or mscg@unionparkdc.org.

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Food Shelf Program

For most of our existence, MSCG has had an active food shelf program that works to help feed our neighbors in the surrounding communities. Around the garden, you’ll notice 3 Food Donation Stations with signs and coolers. If you have any extra produce please consider donating it to the food shelf via one of these stations. Collection usually begins in June and concludes at the end of the season. Gardeners can begin donating once the coolers have been placed at their stations.

Pick-up and delivery is scheduled for 10:00 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Please do your best to contribute the afternoon/evening before or the morning of. Even in coolers, produce can spoil pretty quickly in our summer heat.

If you’d like to learn more about our food shelf partner or would like to deliver your extra produce directly, here’s a link to Keystone Community Services

Composting at MSCG

MSCG has three sheet composting sites located throughout the garden. Please discard of your compostable material at one of these sites ONLY.

Near the compost sites, you may also notice piles of brush. Please make every effort to separate woody, twiggy, and strongly fibrous plant material from the main compost pile. These materials will only delay decomposition and increase the difficulty of turning and tending the compost piles.

Discover what’s compostable and what’s not here.

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Safety & Security

Due to the garden's central location, MSCG tends to be a crossroads of community activity. While most of the activity is positive, there are days when you may experience a situation that inspires frustration and unease. Here are a few you may run into over the season:

Dumping and Litter 

Sometimes the garden site is used as an illegal dumping ground. If you notice that this has happened, please report the dumping to city services at 651-266-8989. Additionally, please lend a hand to your fellow gardeners by cleaning up what you can. Even if you don’t have the ability to haul it away, bagging it gets it one step closer to the proper facilities. Garbage bags can be found in either shed.

Homeless Neighbors

There may be times throughout the season when camps are set up on or near the garden site. Please report campers immediately to city services at 651-266-8989. The city will send a social worker to work towards finding a solution. Please also notify mscg@unionparkdc.org.

Theft

If you ever witness obvious theft from a garden plot or shed, please report it to the police non-emergency line at 651-291-1111. Please also notify mscg@unionparkdc.org.

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