C’enyaexde Ugheli – Something Good Grows

SGG is dedicated to operating a community garden for the people who live or work in the greater Palmer area. SGG supports the growing of annual edible, ornamental, and medicinal plants and provides a space to garden, build community, and improve the quality of life in the Palmer area.

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C’enyaexde Ugheli Something Good Grows Community Garden is intended for Palmer community members who need access to their own plot of land to grow their own food. We encourage our yearly plot users to grow ornamental, edible, and medicinal plants (except perennials), visit your garden plot often, and get to know your fellow community gardeners. Share questions, ideas, or concerns with other gardeners. Community gardening often involves finding creative ways to work together and always results in building friendships and strong communities!

The garden, located at 403 S. Alaska Street in Palmer, is a 22 bed garden space, providing a safe and healthy activity for their clients. Two of the garden beds are permanently designated for client use, alongside all other community members who wish to sow seeds of their own.

 

History

Alaska Family Services (AFS) – established in 1979 to respond to the needs of women and children in crisis in the Mat-Su Borough – wanted to make better use of their land (than a lawn), and contribute to the community. One of AFS’s many services includes access to healthy food. The obvious solution? A community garden! Thus, in partnership with Grow Palmer, the C’enyaexde Ugheli Community Garden was born.

C’enyaexde Ugheli is the Ahtna phrase for ‘something good grows.’ Naming the garden in the Ahtna language is acknowledgement that it is built on the ancestral lands of the Ahtna and Dena’ina Athabaskan peoples, paying respect to their elders past and present and honoring with gratitude, their stewardship of the lands of the Matanuska Susitna Valley throughout the generations.

With coordination on construction from Grow Palmer, Alaska Family Services, the Palmer High School Girls’ Basketball Team and numerous local residents – and generous financial support from the Palmer Community Foundation and the Mat-Su Health Foundation, raised garden beds were assembled by volunteers for the C’enyaexde Ugheli Community Garden on Alaska Street in downtown Palmer.

Garden Stewards

Maintenance and organizational issues of the Garden are administered by Garden Stewards, a group of local volunteers selected each year. Their role is:

 

  • Be the point of contact for members and perform other tasks that may be necessary for the smooth day-to-day maintenance and operation of the garden area.
  • Be responsible for developing and implementing the SGG Guidelines, Membership Registration, and Garden Best Practices.
  • Convene and facilitate meetings, set agendas, and communicate with all Garden Members.
  • Serve as the liaison with the property owners (Alaska Family Services).
  • Be responsible for the collection and safekeeping of all monies of the SGG.
  • Forward any grievances that cannot be otherwise resolved to Grow Palmer Leadership.
  • Call an annual meeting in January to develop Seasonal Garden Stewards and conduct any necessary garden business.

Meetings

The Garden Stewards meet a minimum of three times per calendar year: once pre-season (Registration, Marketing, Planning), once mid-season (Evaluation, Troubleshooting, Grievances), once post-season (Winterize Plumbing). The date, time, location, and agenda of all Garden meetings will be announced via email and Facebook with a minimum of one week’s notice. The Garden meetings are open to all members of the SGG.

Conflict Resolution Policy

The Conflict Resolution Policy provides a fair and consistent method in which to resolve conflicts. The system is a tiered process which, if need be, culminates in an Overseer review (Grow Palmer) and results in a final decision. Garden Stewards operate under confidentiality and with respect for all those concerned. If the conflict concerns one of the Garden Stewards, an alternate member will be appointed for the specific grievance.

Garden Guidelines

All gardeners are required to sign and complete a Garden Plot Registration Form, and Conflict Resolution Form. A plot fee of $25 is due.

All gardeners are required to sign up for one of the garden jobs. Please contact the garden stewards for more information.

 

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No chemical fertilizers (Miracle Grow, Roundup, glyphosate) permitted in the garden.

Report theft, vandalism and unusual activities to the garden stewards.

Keep your plot and the adjoining pathways tended. If you plan to discontinue use of your space, please let us know as soon as possible so that your plot can be re-assigned.

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Keep the lawn areas and garden paths free of rocks, weeds, and plant debris. Pick up piles of debris and hoses so as not to create a hazard to trip over or hit with the lawnmower.

At the end of the gardening season, all dead plants and non-plant materials (string, wire, wood, metal, plastic, etc.) must be removed and disposed of properly and all gardens left neat and tidy. Ensure your garden is cleaned-up by the end of September.

Please put weeds and dead plants into the compost bin provided. Any diseased plants or seedy or invasive weeds are to be bagged and put in the trash so as not to contaminate the gardens.

Pick up litter when you see it.

For your safety, only garden during daylight hours. Consider gardening in pairs or keeping a cell phone nearby if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Please supervise children in the garden.

Please conserve water and keep hoses and connections in good repair. Use mulch (straw, or grass clippings) to reduce evaporation from the soil. When finished gardening for the day, please roll up the hose at the faucet area. Unattended watering via sprinklers is not allowed.

Smoking, vaping, chewing tobacco is not allowed.

Drugs (including alcohol), radios, boom boxes and fires are not allowed.

Pets are permitted in the garden if restrained and kept on paths. They must be kept well out of all garden beds.

 

Use common courtesy, be considerate of your gardening neighbors and have a great season in the garden!

“I love my plots and fellow gardeners! By mutual consent, we watch out for and water each other’s nearby plots. That topsoil is fantastic – my veggies are growing like weeds!”

-Becky

“I love how this community garden came together this year. Good hoses, sprayers, compost, shed w tools (though I haven’t used them). I love seeing everyone’s setup, all unique. I have enjoyed meeting people there who have gardens. Keep it going! I will do another next year for sure.”

-Joanie

“I sold my home and no longer had a garden space. I had also retired. Add COVID to that and what’s a single senior with a gardening passion to do? Community garden to the rescue! The garden area is beautiful with the mural, split-rail fence, and benches. It is wonderfully functional with water, hoses, tool storage and tools to borrow, plus a compost bin. I am grateful for my garden plot and hope to have one again next year.”

-Barbara

'Something good grows'

PALMER — On Saturday, dozens of community members and nine Palmer High School girls basketball players worked to create a unique opportunity for good to grow in downtown Palmer.

Garden Plot Signups

Plots are currently full for 2021.

Registration for returning gardeners will open on February 15, 2022 and for new gardeners on March 1, 2022. Please check back then. Membership is available to those who agree to uphold the SGG Guidelines and Best Practices, complete a Registration Form and submit payment in full.

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Questions about community gardening or Something Good Grows? Get in touch using the form below.












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