1. What are community gardens?
Community gardens are areas where community members can rent a low-cost garden plot to grow their own fresh produce. Gardeners are responsible for all plot maintenance and may use the produce they harvest however they would like.
2. How do I register for a garden plot?
Click here to fill out an interest form. We will then contact you in the spring about registering for a garden plot. We will make every effort to accomodate all requests, but, due to demand, we cannot guarantee a plot for everyone who expresses interest.
3. How much time should I plan to spend taking care of my plot each week?
Gardening does require a time commitment each week, as plots need to be weeded and watered regularly to succeed. As larger plots take more time, make sure you choose a plot size that is not too big of a time commitment. Gardeners are required to keep their plots tidy and weeded. Here are estimates of how much time our gardeners report spending per week, based on plot size:
- 4'x12':1-3 hours/week
- 10'x15': 2-3 hours/week
- 20'x20': 3-5 hours/week
- 50'x50': 6-8 hours/week
4. What products can I use on my community garden plot?
Due to the toxicity of certain pesticides and their harmful effect on some beneficial garden insects, the community gardens strictly limit their use, and gardeners must comply with all pesticide rules. Click here for more information.
5. When are the gardens open?
Gardens are usually available from late May until the middle of October, though dates are weather-dependent.
6. What is the program's history and what are the impacts of community gardens?
The Community Gardens Program started in 1996 as part of an initiative to increase food security and decrease hunger in Brown County. It continues to promote these goals, as well as build community, improve physical and mental health, and strengthen community, among other benefits.
In 2017, the Community Gardens Program partnered with Dr. Drew Scheler and Bethany Thier, as well as St. Norbert College and other Extension staff, to create a white paper highlighting the program's history and impacts. Click here to read the paper.