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Barn Gardens 2022

What to expect from the Barn Garden volunteer project in 2022

Feb 7, 2022

Review from 2021

The Barn Gardens Committee met in November to review of the 2021 season. They discussed what went well and what didn’t. Observations include:

  • Observation – Fewer volunteers are needed in the summer months when the work only involves weeding and watering.

    • Idea – Schedule 6 volunteers for the spring planting and fall clean-up and 4 volunteers throughout the summer months.

    • Idea – Create a list of volunteers that could be called on for extra help when needed.

  • Observation – There were too many plants that were planted too close together this year.

    • Idea – We will leave more space between plants so both maintenance and harvesting are easier.

    • Idea – We will acquire more substantial tomato cages in 2022; the tomato plants grew very large this summer and the supports we had were inadequate.

  • Observation – There were concerns about the seed trial data collection forms and a lack of clarity about how to complete them. This was born out by an analysis of the forms at the end of the season.

    • Idea – The Seed Trial coordinators (Jeanne & Becky) will address these problems and remediate them for the coming growing season.

Moving Garden Beds

The seed trials will move to the raised beds on the west side of the parking lot. That location has more sun and, generally, raised beds should have fewer disease issues. There are plans to use the old seed trial garden on the north end of the property to store the hoop house. Details about start and end dates are not determined. If it comes down after the plant sale, we could grow vining crops in that area.

Rain Garden Issues

There are issues with the existing rain garden on the north-west side of the gardens that resulted in repeat washout below the rain garden in 2021. The committee agreed that program coordinator, Darren Lochner is in a better position to set up a separate committee to deal with the problem and any reconfiguration of the rain garden that may be needed. Therese Kohs-Gilbertson from the Barn Garden Committee will serve on the new Rain Garden committee so the two groups have an established line of communication.

Changes to Project Leadership

The group also agreed that the coordination of the Barn Gardens project has become too large for one person to manage. Starting in 2022, the project management will be reorganized.

Reorganization of the Barn Gardens Committee For 2022

This past year the committee members took turns serving as Lead for the Barn Gardens Maintenance shifts. This worked well and the Barn Garden Committee decided to continue doing that in 2022. The full the Barn Gardens Committee will continue with all members, including small project coordinators.

  • Jeanne Buck will manage the Barn Gardens committee.

  • The full committee will meet 3 times a year:

    • Spring planning

    • Mid-summer check-in

    • Fall wrap-up

  • The full committee will also be a vehicle for communication when issues come up or information needs to go out to everyone.

Small Project Coordinators

The various parts of the Barn Gardens work will be broken down into smaller subprojects, with each managed by a 2-person team of volunteer coordinators. Coordinators will manage their own projects. Jeanne will be a resource available to all of these coordinators, providing materials, information and advice as they are getting started and she will be available throughout the year to answer questions/concerns that arise.

2022 Barn Garden Project Team

  • Primary Barn Garden Project Coordinator: Jeanne Buck

  • Maintenance and Extra Watering: Pam Baribeau & Jean Kohs

  • Container Gardens: Carol Mollner & Nancy Berry

  • Pollinator Bed: Karen Sutherland & Chris Stevens

  • Representative to the Rain Garden Committee: Therese Kohs-Gilbertson

  • Plant Donations: Nancy Berry & Carol Mollner

  • Seed Trials: Becky Rude & Jeanne Buck

  • Harvesting Vegetables/Delivery to the Food Shelf: Nancy Berry

Jeanne Buck

Barn Garden Coordinator

Demonstration, or Educational gardening projects allow volunteers to get their hands dirty and develop garden spaces that show the public different techniques, plants, or landscapes. To count as a volunteering activity, these gardens must fulfill two requirements:

  1. They must be visible to the public, like in a park or residential front-yard and

  2. They must include signage explaining the garden contents, like plant tags or posters.

Demonstration gardens are grown largely during the growing season and are maintained often in 2–4-hour intervals. Log Hours for these projects under A:4 or A:5 unless otherwise directed.


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