Northampton Community Garden

Mid-April Greetings from the Garden!

We continue to work out the 2021 Schedule of Garden Events and respond to the evolving local/state COVID regulations as they pertain to the Garden.

The most important things you need to know right now

  • Last month the City of Northampton issued new COVID regulations regarding masks: effective immediately, masks must be worn in all outdoor public places at all timesThis means that all gardeners must wear masks while we’re in the Garden – both in our own plots and while we move through the Garden.
  • If you are a New Gardener we’re continuing to work with the City to figure out at way to be able to hold a couple of in-person New Gardener Orientation events at the Garden in the next weeks. In the meantime please email us with questions and/or ask other gardeners.

Garden Opening

As we mentioned earlier, due to COVID restrictions, we will again be doing a “soft Garden opening” with events being held over several days. Our goal is to minimize the number of people in the Garden at any one time.


The DPW turned on the water, only to discover an underground leak near one of the spigots in the middle of the Garden. (Thanks again for letting us know, Sarah!) The leak has been repaired and water is back on now. We will pull a team together to deploy the hoses as soon as possible now that the water is back on.

Tool Shed

We will be able to use the shared tools in the Tool Shed this year. Right now, we are continuing to work out tool shed safety rules, signage and getting the hoses out before we open the shed and share the new lock combination.


The dumpster has been delivered. Please observe the following rules about the dumpster use

  • The dumpster can be used only for Garden trash and non-recyclable materials (plastic bags, plant pots/trays, wooden pallets, etc.) Please take cardboard back home with you and recycle it!
  • The only plant materials that can be thrown in the dumpster are diseased plants – so the compost piles don’t become contaminated.
  • DO NOT bring trash from home and throw it in the Garden dumpster.
  • DO NOT bring food waste from home and throw it in the Garden dumpster or compost piles.

Re-Using Fences, Tomato Cages and other Materials

  • If you’re new to the Garden this season and have found garden materials you don’t want in your new plot, or are a returning gardener and have equipment you no longer need, you can place anything USABLE on the western side of the tool shed.
  • Often other gardeners will have use for those things. And we’d rather see them get re-used or recycled before throwing them into the trash.
  • Plant pots, on the other hand, can’t be recycled. And many gardeners are cautious about using them. So it’s generally better to put them into the dumpster when you’re done using them.

Straw Bales

  • We will again place an order with Sandy Jaescke from Pinebrooke Farm for bales of straw.
  • Delivery date will be Saturday, April 24th at 10:00AM.
  • Please add the word, “Mulch”, into the subject line of your email when placing your orders.
  • Cost per bale is $8.50 – which will be paid directly to Sandy by cash or check on the 24th. (Make your checks out to Sandy Jaescke)
  • You or a proxy must be on site at 10:00AM, at the Garden, to receive any bales you’ve ordered. Sandy can’t wait.
  • If you or a friend can’t be there – please don’t place an order. You can always go and purchase bales at Sandy’s Pine Brook farm stand on Bridge Road.
  • Kindly note that Sandy will not be able to drive around the Garden to do direct drops this year – she broke her foot over the Winter and has limited mobility. So please plan accordingly when placing your orders.

Bulk Compost

  • We will also, once again, be ordering bulk compost from Bear Path Farm in Hatfield.
  • Pick-up time will be Saturday, April 24th from 9:00AM – 12:Noon.
  • Cost per 5-gallon bucket will be $3.50
  • Please add the word, “Compost”, to the subject line of your email.
  • We have buckets and, this year, we’ll be able to use both the carts and wheelbarrows to move the full buckets around the garden from the staging area.
  • We generally have at least a few helpers to shovel the compost into buckets and to help move some of them. Everyone who volunteers to help with the compost will get credit towards their Community Service hours.

Garden Neighbors

Garden Neighbors are experienced gardeners who volunteer each season to help answer your gardening questions. Located throughout the Garden, we will place tall, “Ask Me I’m a Garden Neighbor”, signs in their plots this coming week.

Here’s a list of the 2021 Garden Neighbors & Their Plots :

  • Ellie Cook (N16, O15, O16, O17)
  • Lora Hodges (C10, C11, D10, C11)
  • Art Larson (G32, G33, H32, H33)
  • Tim Parshall (G30, G31, H30)
  • Julie Abramson (R04)
  • Geneva Brinton (K04, L05, L06, L07)
  • Elizabeth Thulin (M07, M08, N07, N08)
  • Eric Howard (K03, K04, L03, L04)
  • Howard Friel (G13, G14, H13)
  • Paul Grace (G18, H18)
  • Meg Ryan (K15, K16, L15, L16)
  • Austin Roberts (G08, H07, H08, O09)
  • Mindy Theroux (I05 as well as shared K24 & K25)
  • If you have questions about Garden Neighbors, please contact coordinator Ellie Cook.

Thank you to Ellie and all the Garden Neighbors for volunteering this year!

Garden Committee

  • We will be looking to fill a couple of positions on the Garden Committee this year. All positions on the GC are working roles – meaning that you will be responsible for managing some aspect of the daily Garden operations and reporting back to the GC at our monthly meetings.
  • Serving on the Garden Committee fulfills your annual Community Service responsibilities.
  • We’re still looking for a Mowing Manager (or Co-Managers) to oversee the mowing schedule. Please let us know if you’re interested!

As always, let us know if you have questions or if there are other things we need to address.

Larri Cochran & Betsey Wolfson

for the Garden Committee

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