The Help Center
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What is a Gardener in Good Standing?
Gardeners in good standing pay a yearly plot rental fee, fulfill their community service commitment on schedule, and actively cultivate/maintain their plots from May through October.
Currently, the yearly rental fee is $90 for a full ~ 10’ x 40’ plot ($45 for a half plot), and raised beds are $40.
The annual community service commitment is 8 hours for a full plot, 4 hours for a half plot, and 2 hours for raised beds. Half of your community service hours must be completed by July 1. The remaining hours must be completed by the end of the last work party in October.
The spring cultivation benchmark is May 1st. “Cultivation” is the work of clearing weeds, preparing the soil, planting, and caring for your plot. Depending on spring weather and crop choice, many MCGA gardeners start planting between April 1st and June 1st. We would like to see clear evidence that gardeners are present and actively preparing for the season by May 1st. Plots not worked by this benchmark may revert to the rental pool. While gardeners are required to cultivate or otherwise maintain their plots from May through October, they may cultivate year-round. However, the water is turned off at the end of October.
During the gardening season, gardeners in good standing maintain their plots and keep their borders free from weeds that may infringe on their neighbors.
During the gardening season, community service requirements are completed according to the timeline set forth by MCGA rules and regulations.
How do I Fulfill My Service Commitment?
MCGA members commit to complete a minimum of 8 community service hours per full plot, 4 hours per half plot, and 2 hours for a raised bed, every gardening season. Half of your required service hours MUST be performed by mid-season, July 1. This work allows us to support the food bank garden and maintain the grounds. Members are encouraged to do more if they are able, as there is usually more work to be done than there are required hours.
The organization runs small work parties; there are multiple opportunities to complete community service hours. If you have any questions, please contact us. See our HOME page for work party sign ups.
How do I meet the May 1st Cultivation Benchmark?
“Cultivation” is the work of clearing weeds, preparing the soil, planting, and caring for your plot. Depending on spring weather and crop choice, many MCGA gardeners start planting between April 1st and June 1st. We would like to see clear evidence that gardeners are present and actively preparing for the season by May 1st. Plots not worked by this benchmark may revert back to the rental pool.
Is There Mulch Available to Gardeners?
Wood chips and leaves are available in the concrete eco-bins on the southwest side of the garden. These are free to gardeners.
We purchase straw bales in bulk in the fall for sale to gardeners.
How Can we Help Conserve Water at MCGA?
The wise use of resources, especially water, includes replacing gaskets and leaking hoses when needed. While watering, gardeners must remain on-site at all times. Leaving water unattended is prohibited.
Report faulty spigots to your board so they may be repaired. Water-wise gardening will cut down on our water bill, which is our largest expense. Severely damages hoses may be disposed of.
Food bank managers offer tutorials about effective watering during work our parties – please stop by or ask how you can efficiently water your garden.
What About Weeding?
Gardeners must keep their borders free from weeds, vines, or other plants that will creep into neighboring plots. Quack grass, bindweed, raspberries, and buttercup are especially invasive therefore, gardeners should not let them spread. Gardeners should remove these weeds/plants from their plots, borders, and adjacent paths. Repeated contacts about weeds may result in non-renewal or removal from the garden.
Marymoor Park prohibits us from growing comfrey, which is a nuisance weed. Please remove any comfrey growing in your plot by digging up the entire root structure.
Gardeners who grow raspberries must keep them trellised and contained within their plot boundaries.
What are the Good Neighbor Practices?
Be polite, be friendly, and be respectful to your neighbors. This tradition makes MCGA a welcoming and robust community. You will share faucets, hoses, and maintain the border areas between your plot and the adjacent one. Please be aware of how your tall plantings are placed (corn, sunflowers, sunchokes, trellises) so they do not shade a neighbors’ garden. Maintaining the garden border is a community effort. We ask that gardeners on both sides of a border share the work of weeding it.
What Organic Practices does MCGA Follow?
We follow Washington State University's (WSU's) guidelines on Integrated Pest Management ("IPM"). IPM is a set of sustainable agricultural practices to reduce health risks and environmental impacts. For more information, click the following link: https://ipm.wsu.edu/.
Gardeners may use products approved for organic gardening that are OMRI certified, such as fertilizers, compost, and amendments. Examples of organic products for controlling pests include OMRI certified products like Sluggo and Safer Insecticidal Soap.
Are There Community Tools For Me to Use?
Hoses on the hose hangers by the faucets are considered "public." Hoses kept in gardener's plots are "private". Hoses should be detached from the spigot when not in use. Never enter another gardener's plot to "borrow" hoses or tools without prior permission.
Foodbank tools are primarily for use with Hopelink activities. If gardeners use them, they must return them to the food bank tool stand and store them properly. MCGA Wheelbarrows must be returned to the west end of the garden near the parking lot. Please keep wheelbarrows from blocking the "Clean Green" bin.
May I Bring My Children to the Garden?
We welcome children to the garden. To ensure their safety, they must always be supervised by an adult, especially in the parking lot and along the north and south roads.
Do not allow children to play with garden tools or wheelbarrows.
Do not allow children to climb fences or dirt piles, enter another gardener's plot, or handle another gardener's crops.
Do not allow children to play in the water or operate hoses and spigots.
Do not allow children to enter the food bank garden areas.
What if I Witness a Crime or Something is Vandalized or Stolen?
Reporting theft or vandalism is a two-step process at Marymoor Park.
First, call the King County Sheriff’s office and report the incident. You may also file a report online. Once you receive a case number, then, please report the incident to the park office.
King County Sheriff’s office: 206/296-3311
Marymoor Park office: 206/477-7275, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you see a crime in progress, call 911.
What if My Neighbor is Negatively Impacting My Ability to Garden?
Send an email to email@example.com and a mentor will help resolve the situation.
What is the Mentorship Program?
Our mentors are here to help you make the most of your experience by supporting good garden and neighbor practices. Your mentor is the first person to contact with any questions related to your plot or gardening in general. Ways that your mentor can support you include answering garden-related questions (e.g. How can I control the weeds in my plot?) and organizing help for the gardeners who have medical/other issues that temporarily prevent them from tending their plots. Mentors also carry out weekly walkthroughs to make sure that cultivation deadlines (mid-April for removing weeds and June 1st for actively planting) are met and that plots are free of weeds, garbage, and hazardous materials.
To contact the mentor for your section refer to the list of mentors in the newsletter, or email the mentorship lead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I do with my plot when I go on vacation?
Please reach out to friends or your plot neighbors to weed and water your garden while you are on vacation. Gardeners commonly take turns watering each other’s plots when they are out of town. Furthermore, you can fulfill 25% of your service requirement by helping a neighboring gardener in this way, for a total of two hours for a full plot and one hour for a half plot.
If you are unable to find a neighbor or friend to water your plot, you may also reach to email@example.com and a mentor will assist in locating short-term assistance.
May I Park on the Service Road?
You may not park your car on the service road, except to temporarily load and unload objects for your garden. Move your vehicle and allow cars to pass. Be considerate of there are others who want or need to use the road.
Where Do I Dispose of Garbage and Garden Waste?
Dispose of weeds (no plastic or glass) in the “Clean Green” bin and trash in the dumpsters.
Please do not leave wheelbarrows in front of the “Clean Green” bin. The park crew needs that space clear so they can bulldoze it.
We currently do not have a recycling bin. In the interest of minimizing landfill garbage, please take recyclables with you when you leave and recycle them at home.
If you have garden items that can be reused, you can leave it on the picnic tables at the northwest end of the garden. If nobody takes it in three days, please dispose of it properly.
What about Dogs in the Garden?
We love dogs, but dogs are not allowed in the garden. This includes the garden plots and paths that connect one section of the garden to the next. The north road (the gravel road that flanks X, A, B, and C sections) does not belong to us. It is a utility road controlled by the park. Park visitors can walk their dogs on that road, provided they are on a leash.
Service animals specifically trained to aid a person with a disability are always welcome.
How Can I Update my Contact Information?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What am I Not Allowed to Do in My Plot?
Grow flowers or vegetables for commercial use.
Use tires for raised beds and other things.
Have open containers of water.
Have invasive plants such as English ivy, hops, or bamboo.
Have any plants on the King County Noxious Weeds list.
What about Parking?
Marymoor Park requires all visitors to pay a fee for entering the park. You may pay the daily fee or buy a monthly, 3-month, 6-month, or yearly pass at the park office. To park in our parking lot we require an MCGA decal. You can get these at work parties and meetings throughout the year.
Parking on the lawn and grass areas are never allowed and may result in a notice of violation and/or removal from the garden.
Gardener Expansion Rubric (for questions email email@example.com)
No mentor citations about weeding or cultivation.
Perform 16 service hours to match expansion request for a second plot.
Completes current service commitment on schedule. (Half the hours performed by July 1.)
No mentor citations.
Demonstrates ability to accommodate increased service commitment (completes more hours than current plot(s).
Completes current service commitment on schedule. (Half the hours by July 1.)
Future eligible (after Aug 1 in next season.)
*Mentor citation(s) within a single season.
*Completes current service commitment on schedule.
*Two or more row mentor citations or imposes on neighbors’ ability to garden.
*Fails to complete service hours on schedule. (July 1 (the halfway point) and completes the majority of hours near the end of the season to remain in good standing.)