Members of the garden can join the Circle Garden, or sign up for individual garden beds of their own. It is also possible to just be a Friend of the Garden, a category for those who wish to participate in the social and education aspects of the garden, but who will not garden or serve on a committee.
Some garden members have individual 4' x 8' plots, while others choose to garden on a communal basis, in the Circle Garden. The Circle Garden is a large circular space, centered around a large juniper tree and ringed with individual beds of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Circle Garden members meet early in the season and decide what to plant and where--keeping in mind crop rotation and companion planting practices. once the growing season commences, Circle Gardeners all work one two-hour shift weekly throughout the season. Every shift ends with harvesting, with members taking home the fruits of their labors.
El Dorado Community School also has beds in the garden, where teachers from all disciplines can bring their students to learn and grow plants. An art teacher might bring students to draw or paint, while another teacher might engage students in a multidisciplinary project, studying and making tea from plants grown in their beds.
In March, garden work begins in the greenhouse, starting seedlings, as well as in the garden itself. Beds need to be cleaned up and aerated, fertilized with compost from last year's garden, and prepared for planting. As the seedlings emerge and the weather warms, Circle Garden workers and Individual Bed holders alike till, plant, water, and weed.
The Greenhouse is open to all garden members for seed starting. It is a busy place in early spring!
WATER ISSUES COMMITTEE – Coordinates water turn on/off with the school, coordinates irrigation turn on/off seasonally and troubleshoots irrigation issues with gardeners in individual bed, perennial, school and circle bed areas of the garden.
EDUCATION COMMITTEE – Offers a series of educational offerings during the growing season; develops and maintains close working relationships with students, teachers, administration and the PTA to support school garden activities.
GREENHOUSE COMMITTEE – Maintains the greenhouse, organizes planting and watering of seedlings during the early spring; makes recommendations for greenhouse repairs and updates.
MEMBERSHIP/COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE – Handles new memberships and renewals, compiles member lists, manages garden e-mail address, sends communications about the garden to members and others; publicizes the garden, annual garden kickoff and coordinates other events such as open house; maintains website and Facebook page.
SOCIAL COMMITTEE - Plans social events for the community garden: workday celebrations, kickoff,
midsummer social and any other social events.
COMPOST COMMITTEE - Cares for our “ black gold” compost piles at the garden and works with group members in collecting usable compost material from various restaurants in our area. Coordinates soil needs.
PERENNIAL GARDEN COMMITTEE – Maintains and weeds pathways surrounding our lovely perennial garden; periodically inspects the drip line inside the garden to ensure plants are getting water and checks the health of the plants and soil. Plants should generally be xeric. Organizes tasks relating to these areas for our garden workdays.
FENCE LINE COMMITTEE – Monitors health of trees and plants outside the garden fencing; regularly checks irrigation to ensure plants are getting water and organizes tasks relating to these areas for garden workdays.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - Creates and tracks the annual garden operating budget in collaboration with the steering committee and input from the groups above. Defines fundraising strategies, including grants, and other means of generating financial support for the garden. Recommends fee structure.
The Circle Garden planting scheme is changed every year to accommodate crop rotation best practices