What is Organic Gardening?
Organic gardening is gardening without the use of man-made chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers. It is said by some of its supporters to be more in harmony with nature. Organic gardeners emphasize the importance of "feeding the soil, not the plant".
While the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy is not a certified organic garden, we do adhere to good organic gardening practices and strive to learn about ways to keep our plants healthy and strong without the use of chemicals.
Who Manages the Garden?
The Community Organic Garden is managed by a volunteer Garden Committee made up of several gardeners. The Garden Committee manages a yearly budget, provides tools and maintenance, establishes garden priorities, and adopts the rules and guidelines for the operation of the garden. Gardeners are welcome to volunteer for this committee which meets monthly throughout the year.
If you would like to learn more about joining the Community Organic Garden Committee, please contact:
How is the Garden Funded?
Each year, the SMLC Board of Directors approves a limited budget for the Garden Committee to help sustain the Community Organic Garden project. All SMLC projects are funded by charitable donations, and gardeners are invited to support SMLC's activities with a gift of their own. Gardeners are responsible for providing their own plants and soil amendments.
What Does the Community Organic Garden Provide for Gardeners?
- Garden Plot - Gardeners choose between a full size plot (20’ x 20’) or half size plot (10’ x 20’) depending on how much time and energy they have to maintain their garden.
- Tools - Gardeners share a limited supply of communal tools (i.e. shovels, hoes, etc.).
- Water - Gardeners have access to water and watering cans.
- Activities - Potlucks and workdays are offered during the growing season to encourage camaraderie and enjoyment among the gardeners. Various classes and workshops are also periodically planned to encourage greater awareness of organic gardening techniques.
- SMLC Information - Gardeners will receive the SMLC newsletter and email/postcard announcements about SMLC events and volunteer workdays.
First, read the rules and guidelines. This is the foundation upon which a successful community garden is built. Every gardener is expected to follow and respect these rules. Then, if you are interested, contact the SMLC office to see if there are available plots. If there are, she will set up an appointment to give you a tour of the garden and you can select your plot.
Places where we have had luck finding organic seeds and seedlings locally:
- Ann Arbor Farmers Market
- Rochester Farmers Market
- Warren Farmers Market
- Needle-Lane Farms (Tipton)
- Whole Foods Market
- Meijer (yes, Meijer now carries organic veggie seedlings)
- Polliwog Farms - Ypsilanti (They will be selling seedlings soon)
A few websites we have found to be helpful along the way:
Seed Savers Exchange
Seeds of Change
Pesticide Action Network
Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service