1. What are the work requirements for “regular” members? What about for plot holders?

In order to meet the 20 open hours per week requirement from NYC’s Green Thumb (10 of which must be posted), we ALL Garden members — “regular” members and plot holders alike – are required to sign up for a total of 8 hours each season, April to November. You pick the times most convenient for you: do 1 hour per month or just one full-on green delight weekend and–bam!–you’ve done your part.

To keep it simple and be open when the most people will likely be around, we are trying to cluster these hours on weekends from 10:30am-3:30pm, with a maximum of 2 members sharing a slot. If you absolutely can’t find time during these days, then you can sign up for weekday hours. (Info on how to sign up below.)

Plot holders can work in their own plots during the open hours. No big deal as you’ll spend at least two hours a month just watering and weeding your plot! You also have an additional work requirement: either attend four Garden Days or contact the Garden Coordinators to get special tasks assigned to you.

2. Will there still be Garden Days?

Yes! We love Garden Days! Garden Days alternate Saturday and Sundays each month. While no one will be required to attend, we hope that many will choose to come since it is a great opportunity to be involved in decision-making, meet the community, enjoy each others company, and garden!

Gardening starts at 10am-12:30pm
Meeting/Lunch 12:30pm-1pm

The 2017 Garden Day schedule is:

April 1, 2, Plot Sign-ups & Orientations
May 6, Plant-by Deadline
June 4
July 8
Aug. 6
Sept. 9
Oct. 8
Nov. 4 

3. How can I sign up for shifts or change my times?

Contact the Garden Coordinator for more information: gardencoordinator@wsgarden.org

4. I’m a new member and I’m not sure what to do during my shift. Will I be there alone? How will I know what to do? Help!

Our goal is to have three people signed up per shift. Fewer than that and we understand it isn’t as much fun. More than that and we’ll have trouble spreading our voluntary hours out to get the minimum 15-20. There’s always stuff to do at the garden. We will have sheets posted on the shed bulletin board to help you figure out what work to do.

  • A list of the regular tasks that pretty much always need to be done: weeding the walk ways, picking up litter, watering, etc.
  • A weekly list of suggested tasks, updated by the Garden Coordinator each week.
  • A “weed cheat” sheet to help you know what to pull and what to compost.
  • A log-in sheet. We ask that you sign in and write a few words about what you’ve done that day.

5. What if I’m a “regular” member and want to help keep the garden open, but have difficulty doing physical work for personal reasons?

No worries! We’ve got jobs for you, too! Welcoming neighbors into the garden while you drink your morning coffee or read your favorite book, is important community building work. You can also help identify what’s growing, answer questions, etc. We would also be happy to help you find light tasks that will help the garden and aren’t too taxing!

6. I’m a plot holder and I want to know if I’m allowed to work in my own plot during my open hours.

Yes, you can work in your plot during your assigned shifts, but please try to spend time keeping up the other parts of the garden. Remember, it’s a community garden. Check the shed when you arrive and see what can be done. We hope that you’ll be able to help out with other tasks in the garden as well, since we want to keep the whole garden running without relying too much on a few heavily burdened volunteers.

7. What are the plot holder requirements?

In sum: Be a member in good standing.
Use only organic means.
Keep plot maintained (weeding and harvesting), as well as adjacent walkway.
Plant by May 6th.
Plant only annuals.
Sign up for and fulfill 8 open hours in the Garden over the season.
Attend 4 Garden Days or seek and complete special assignments from the Garden Coordinators.
Please note that we have many people on the waiting list and while we hate to take anyone’s plot away, it is only fair that plot holders who can’t adhere to the rules relinquish their plots. Multiple warnings will be issued before a plot is reassigned – and hopefully we can work out a mutually satisfactory solution!
Contact individualplots@wsgarden.org with questions.

8. I still don’t get it. Why are we changing the system?

Two reasons. One is that Green Thumb (the community garden program of the NYC Parks & Rec Department) is requiring that gardens stay open a minimum of 20 hours per week and 15 of those hours are posted. Not to mention that as a community garden, we really want to be open as much as possible so everyone can enjoy a bit of neighborhood nature!

The other reason is that we’ve gotten feedback that a few dedicated members are doing a huge amount of work and are overwhelmed. By spreading the responsibility, we hope to get more of our members actively involved. During the season, one Garden Day per month simply isn’t enough to keep the garden running.

9. What’s going on with the compost? I’m not sure if I understand the system but I want to help!

Join us on a Garden Day or reach out to our Garden Coordinators with your compost questions. We occasionally schedule compost overhaul days – great times to learn about the compost system!

10. How can I get more involved in the decision-making? What about gardening?


Lots of ways! Attend the Garden Day (one day a month throughout the season) and the Annual Meeting (in March). Come to the monthly business meetings which are held the week before each Garden Work Day (contact info@wsgarden.org to get details on location and attendance).
Send your thoughts to a coordinator directly.


Keep your eye on our Facebook Page for messages about impromptu gardening. Get in contact with the Garden Coordinators and let them know your interests.


Membership: info@wsgarden.org
Gardening: gardencoordinator@wsgarden.org
Administrator: administrator@wsgarden.org
Individual Plots: individualplots@wsgarden.org
Community Plots: communityplots@wsgarden.org
Compost: compost@wsgarden.org
Events: events@wsgarden.org
Dues/Finances: treasurer@wsgarden.org
Chickens: chickens@wsgarden.org
Communications: communications@wsgarden.org
Community Liaison: community@wsgarden.org

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