President’s Message

New President’s Message…

February 13, 2014

Hello and welcome to the 2014 season of the Maplewood Community Garden!

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we’d like to announce the results on the officers’ election.

Ed Albright and Judith Kramer will continue as Treasurer and Secretary respectively.

Stacy Basko is Vice President.

I, Joy Yagid, have been elected as President.

In the next few days and week, we will be posting information on the upcoming season.
We’ll have a list of committees where we’re hoping you’ll find interesting and maybe help out.
We’ll have a contact list in case you have questions.
We’ll have workshops, more than a few fun BBQ’s, get togethers and kid activities.
We’ll post info meetings and other important dates for you to make note of.

Lastly, I’d just like to say, as president, my responsibility is to serve you, the members.

Along with the board, our job is to do whatever we can to make your time spent at the garden fun and educational.

Thank you and I hope you’re looking forward to this season as much as we are! (Even if there’s over a foot of snow out there right now…)

Message from outgoing president…

February 9, 2014

Dear member gardeners,

Will this winter ever come to a close?
It certainly has challenged us in so many ways; for that reason we look towards spring with more eagerness than ever. Scouting catalogs and choosing those veggies and herbs we want to eat spring, summer, and early fall.

I have decided this 2014 season to dedicate my time and energies to my home garden and my art.
In order to do that I have chosen to not serve as the MCG President for the 2014 season. It has been my honor to do so. I was blessed with so many good friends and fellow gardeners. I was overwhelmed by their generosity and selfless nature.

From when I first conceived of the idea of a Maplewood Community garden in fall of 2009, with Jan Zientek, Rutgers Agricultural Agent, I knew it would be a success. Thanks to people like Kirk Sohr, Denis Johnston, Matthew Schwartz and Ben Chapman, an ordinance was passed in early May of 2010. Having planned the space and the workday in advance we were able to build raised beds, install fencing and plant for the season! Folks were amazed!

Here’s our short history:
2010 Town Hall 32 raised beds for 36 member families
2011 First Aid Squad 15 raised beds for 17 member families
2012 Town Hall 4 additional beds for 40 member families
2012 First Aid Squad 23 additional beds for 55 member families

Each time we expanded all members helped from both sites… it was a remarkable to see.
Behind all of this was a simple mission and commitment that community would prosper if all took part. To this day, we believe that if all do their share we all share and prosper.

It has been a very time consuming but exhilarating experience to have been a part of the MCG; it has been worthwhile to see the infrastructure grow and refine itself…the Garden Support teams deserve kudos…the “go to people” were always there and the ideas were always welcome. This hopefully will continue to take place as the new board creates the structure of workdays etc. that will make our garden pest and disease free and producing maximum growth. New officers will be announced this week.

Thank you for the chance to have met and worked with so many dedicated to the art of gardening– for indeed with Mother Nature, art overtakes the sciences!

May we continue to be the tops in the county.

— Irene


March 2013

Dear Fellow Gardeners,

Beginning our 4th season brings a huge degree of satisfaction, especially for those who have been here from the early months in the Fall of 2009 when we began our attempts to establish the sites. Thank you to the board — Judith Kramer, Ed Albright, and Dan Helming, and to MCG members Stacy Basko, Liz Jones, Bonnie Kenselaar, Carol Lerner, Kirk Sohr, Alan Wolfley, Joy Yagid, and Suzie Yamarone for helping with our reorganization, membership, communications, and other administrative issues.

We have learned many lessons from the past three years, which will provide the basis for starting our new season. Our reorganization plan will provide greater opportunities for teamwork by having mentors, site managers, and an assistant available to guide you with choices and questions about your plot. This teamwork is essential and at the core of our garden. With it we succeed…without it we have uncertainty and confusion.

With teamwork our jobs get done more satisfactorily and we have more time to enjoy life and all the other things that form our daily lives.

All of us garden for a variety of reasons — some esoteric and some pedantic. All of us garden because our results are soooo good! What beats the taste of a fresh picked tomato, carrot, or beet? Nothing, in my book, and that becomes our motivation.

How do we get from the wish to have a great garden to the reality of the product? Wishing and hoping doesn’t get us there. To be a success means that we know that the garden is a priority and that we will take steps to ensure that success. It means taking responsibility for the garden by being there on a regular basis. It means being attentive to the plants that you have placed in the soil and following their need. It means being there twice a day in the dry months of July and August and observing what is needed. The rewards will be a product to be consumed that you can relish with family and friends. The mindset to be there will lead to a bounty of produce and herbs and flowers…a table set to savor!

From the last three seasons, we have come to see that it is this mindset of attentiveness to our plots and a sense of responsibility for those with which we share that makes our gardens a great place to be. The garden becomes a place for renewal and transformation… mistakes can be corrected and new friends can be found… nothing is so overwhelming that a few hours tending your plants and sharing with neighbors can’t heal. The soil is a healer and transformer.

Let’s commit to this sharing and attentiveness as we begin another season! Let’s know our plants, know our neighbors, and support one another on our journey for wonderful arugulas, tomatoes and herbs!

Whatever sparks your imagination, let’s work together with the same degree of hard work to get there…the journey will be more worthwhile and fun!

Happy gardening,


2 Responses to President’s Message

  1. Jim Buettner says:

    Hello, Do you have a contact phone number or a website? I would like more info on your organization. I would like to start a community garden in Cranford. Thank you, Jim

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