New Gardener Information
This information is not meant to replace the Garden Rules. Please refer to the official rules for items not covered her or if there is a question.
- “Garden Shed”
- Men's & Ladies Restrooms.
- Refrigerator with cold beverages/water - $.50/each on the honor system. Ask for location of the key.
- An inside cage houses items that are not necessary for daily use.
- Various bulletin boards containing information pertinent to gardening, the Ben Franklin Garden or Old Brooklyn.
- Can recycle bin.
- Garbage bin. Do NOT throw weeds, plants, or other organic materials in the garbage bin. Remove them from the premises.
- Volunteer hours binder for recording your hours.
- Utility Sink – Used to wash produce, hands, etc. Soap is generally available. DO NOT CLEAN DIRTY TOOLS in the sink – use garden spigots located around the garden.
- Garden Carts – available on first-come first-served basis. Use to transport materials in and out of garden. Return them to the garden shed as soon as you are done using them. Please clean them before returning them.
- Wheelbarrows – parked along the side of the shed. Available on first-come first-served basis. Please clean them before returning them.
- Steel Container – used as long term storage. The container is kept locked at all times.
- Water spigots – located throughout the garden. Please be courteous and remove your hose after you have finished watering. Close the spgot tightly to prevent the spigot from leaking. Take care to run hoses through paths and not through another gardener's plot. Never leave a sprinkler unattended.
- Tools – virtually all tools necessary for gardening are available for use. A collection of common tools is put outside the shed with less common tools hung on the walls of the shed. If tools are in demand please return the tool as soon as you are done using it so that another gardener may use it. Please clean all tools before returning them.
- Picnic Tables – there are many tables scattered throughout the garden intended for use by the gardeners. Please leave the tables clean after each use.
- Elementary Garden – for use by the fourth grade students in conjunction with the Master Gardeners. The garden is surrounded by a white picket fence. You may walk around the garden but please step carefully and keep to the garden paths.
- Perennial Garden – maintained by the Master Gardeners. The garden contains a large collection of perennial plants. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to wander along the garden paths and view the plants.
- Herb Garden – maintained by the Master Gardeners. The garden contains a collection of herbs, clearly labeled. Visitors may view the plants but should be very careful within the confines of the garden.
- Vegetable (Demonstration) Garden – maintained by the Master Gardeners. Several varieties of many vegetables are planted. If you wish to enter the garden please stay on the paths.
- A limited amount of seed packets and plants will be available at the start of the season. Gardeners will be informed of the number of seeds and plants they may take. The seeds will be distributed at the Kickoff Meeting to all attendees. The seeds will then be made available at the garden (by the shed). Please take only the seeds you will use.
- Plants will be delivered to the garden sometime around the opening date. There will be signs to indicate the amount each gardener may take.
- Periodically organic materialsmay be made available to all gardeners. Please follow the posted instructions and do not take more than you are instructed to take.
- Avoid leaving hoses in the path where they can be hazardous for walking. Do not leave hoses in the grassy areas of the garden. This creates an obstacle when mowing the grass.
- Make use of the tools available but return them to the shed as soon as you are finished. Do not leave garden owned tools in the plots overnight.
- Refer to the Rules & Regulations for guidelines on planting, weeding, and closing the garden at the end of the season.
- Do not go barefoot inside the garden.
- Do not garden in extreme heat.
- Do not garden if lightning is in the area.
- Use tools responsibly. If you are unsure how to operate a tool or piece of machinery please ask the garden coordinator for assistance.
- Garden Coordinator – a part time employee responsible for opening and closing the garden, maintaining the garden green space, answering questions from the gardeners, overseeing volunteers and a whole host of other responsibilities. The Garden Coordinator is an employee of the OBCDC.
- Garden Operating Committee – Please refer to the Operating Committee By-Laws for the complete purpose of the Operating Committee. In summary the Purpose of the Garden Operating Committee is:
- A. To ensure the continuation and improvement of a community garden at Benjamin Franklin School and provide for its efficient operation and maintenance.
- B. To provide a stable environment for people to work together and to grow food for themselves and for the needy.
- C. To serve as the voice of Benjamin Franklin Community Garden Gardeners/Co-Gardeners with other individuals and organizations in the neighborhood and beyond.
- D. To work in conjunction with the Old Brooklyn Development Corporation (OBCDC) with respect to the administration of the Garden.
- Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation (OBCDC) – Their Mission Statement is “To develop and revitalize the community by uniting and empowering residents, business leaders and government around plans and initiatives and achieve social, economic and civic improvement.”
- Green Space Committee – The committee promotes green space opportunities within the Corporation’s Neighborhood for the residents’ recreation and enjoyment, i.e., parks, community gardens and other natural places. The committee recommends guidelines, plans, fund raising, and general oversight for green spaces that are acquired by OBCDC, such as the Benjamin Franklin Community Garden in coordination with the OBCDC Board and staff.
- Black fabric – if you use a weed blocker fabric, use one of high quality (you should not be able to see thru the material). You may not use impermeable plastic or other material that does not allow water to penetrate.
- Straw – often used in conjunction with newspaper.
- Intensive gardening – planting seeds and plants very close to one another to prohibit the growth of weeds.
- Refer to Ways to Compost At BFC Garden
- Watch for news about community composting!
- Gardeners are required to volunteer at least 5 hours each season. Volunteer crews have been established to meet the needs of the garden. Gardeners will be assigned to the crews based upon their individual preference.
- Throughout the year a special “Call to Arms” may be made to complete a special project. Signs will be posted in advance asking for volunteers. Please consider volunteering for special projects that arise throughout the year.
- Gardeners should complete a Volunteer Form after volunteering. The form asks for the Date, Name of Activity, Hours, and Signature. These forms are used to total the number of hours donated every season. See the binder in the shed.
- Gardeners are encouraged to donate excess produce.
- Produce should be left on the cart in front of the shed.
- Produce should be in good condition. Before placing the produce on the table ask yourself this question “Would you eat it?”
- Produce is weighed and recorded for record keeping.
- Produce may be left in the refrigerators overnight or over a weekend when delivery is not possible.
- Volunteers will deliver the produce to area churches, hunger centers, etc.
- Produce left on the cart is intended for delivery to the hunger centers and is not a “free for all” to anyone who wants it. If you find yourself in need of something that is not in your garden consider making a friend within the garden and swapping vegetables. DO NOT TAKE FOOD THAT IS LEFT ON THE CART.
- If you take produce donations to an area organization yourself, please weigh and secure a signed receipt of your donation.
There are several different types of gardens located within the five acres:
WEED CONTROL TIPS