Northampton, MA Community Garden

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Northampton, MA, US

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Type: Program

Status: Ongoing

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About the Garden
The Northampton Community Garden comprises 7 acres on Burts Pit Road just off Rte. 66 and occupies the former kitchen garden area of the Northampton State Hospital. Over 400 plots, each 20 ft x 20 ft, gardened singly or in double, triple, or quadruple combination, form the Garden’s living patchwork.

Each of 250 gardeners (or team of gardeners) pays a fee (currently $18/plot) for the gardening season and contributes at least 2 hours of community service. Running water, communal tools, made-on-the-spot compost, and wood chips are provided. Gardeners use their plots to grow both vegetables and flowers.

Visitors are welcome--walkers as well as bird and butterfly watchers. They are asked to stay on grass paths, to leash their dogs, to refrain from smoking (to avoid infecting tomato plants with Tobacco Mosaic Virus), and to take nothing from the gardens. Registering for a plot

New Gardener Registration is held on the last Saturday in March. In 2008, the current season, all plots have been assigned and there is a waiting list.

Care and feeding of the garden
The Garden is a program of the Northampton Recreation Department and is managed by a Garden Committee of volunteers and maintained completely by gardeners. The Garden publishes a quarterly Newsletter.

All are welcome to attend Committee meetings, held on the 2nd Monday of each month—at the Recreation Department (90 Locust St.) during the winter and at the Garden during the summer.

Volunteer Opportunities
Each member is required to perform Community Garden service for at least 2 hours each season. With each Registration form comes an opportunity to sign up for the various tasks, but rest assured there are alway more tasks awaiting.

On the back of the storage shed is a card for you to enter your hours during the summer. Ongoing tasks include:

  • Mowing grass
  • Trimming grass around posts and spigots.
  • Oh so many more - please check the shed bulletin board for other tasks.

Survival Center
Our Garden Community has an important and meaningful ongoing relationship with the Northampton Survival Center. In addition to volunteers maintaining a plot for the Center, we also encourage all members to donate excess crops throughout the growing season. There is a cooler kept behind the storage shed for this purpose, the contents of which are taken each Tuesday to the Survival Center.