Brittingham Community Garden is located along the bike path in the beautiful Brittingham Park in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The garden is graced with views of the Monona Bay. The garden fence and nearby benches are a part of the public art piece called “Updraft” by Michael Burns Bus stops can be found on W. Washington Street. It’s hard to miss it’s striking presence!
The garden is open whenever the park is open. Visitors are welcome. Please be considerate of all the hard work members put into their plots. Some gardeners come to their plots to relax or meditate but many are quite willing to show you around and explain the wonders of our community garden.
Garden Work Days & Events
Registration Day is a required event for all returning members. This will be on March 21, 2018, from 7:00-8:30PM at the Bayview Community Center. All registration forms and plot fees are due at this event. If you are not a returning garden member but wish to be placed on our wait list. Please fill out our Contact form online or call garden leaders at 608-509-4665.
Brittingham Community Garden will have its official Opening Day on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 9-10AM. Members are encouraged to come to the garden and meet one another. Straw ordered during Registration will be available. Water will be turned on by mid-May. If you are a returning gardener, you are welcome to begin working in your plot when the soil is workable.
Closing Day is usually at the end of October. All garden debris, trellising, tomato cages, fencing and supplies must be removed by this date. Gardeners who do not clear their gardens by this date will forfeit their plot for the following season. Fall crops are allowed if neatly tended.
Work Days are vital to ensure that the garden as a whole flourishes. Work days will be announced at Registration Day. Members are required to complete three volunteer hours at work days in order to be considered in good standing. If these hours are not completed, the member forfeits their garden plot the following year. Members who know they will not be able to complete the hours at scheduled work days should contact garden leaders before the end of the season.
Garden Coordinators and Leaders meet with members, community partners, and neighbors on the first Monday of every month between Opening and Closing Day at 7-8PM for a monthly garden meeting. These usually occur at Panera Bread on the corner of W. Washington St. and Regent St. Please join us!
Please see the calendar for other events like Composting and Water workshops, Ice Cream Socials, and Show and Tell events. Most events are open to the public and free!
The garden is a safe place for the community, children and gardeners. Do not bring anything into the garden that will compromise safety.
Children must be supervised at all times by adults.
Do not enter others’ garden plots and do not pick others’ produce.
Brittingham Community Garden is an ambassador for all community gardens. Respect your garden neighbors and be good stewards of the park.
The garden’s Leadership Team makes decisions for the garden and enforces rules. They have the authority to resolve conflicts and can dismiss a gardener if needed. Please contact the garden coordinators with unresolved issues. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend Leadership Team Meetings on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Panera Bread on Regent and Washington.
Gardeners must complete 3 volunteer hours for upkeep of garden common areas (paths, flower border). If this is not completed during work days, you lose your plot next year.
Pets are not allowed in the community garden.
Garbage, Debris and Compostable materials
Compostable materials can be trench-composted in plot or taken home. There will not be a compost bin at the garden during the growing season, but we will have a spring and fall pick-up by the City. Please do not use the park trash cans for plant materials.
Please bag weeds and plants with seeds (for example dandelions) and take home. Remove all trash from the garden.
Generally visit your plot at least once each week. Plots must be planted and visibly cared for by June 1 or will be reassigned. There are no refunds on paid plot fees.
Plots must be maintained. Weedy, overgrown plots will receive two warnings (email and phone call). After two weeks of no action, your plot will be reassigned.
Individual (plot) fences are not allowed.
Only natural materials are allowed for staking and trellising, e.g., wood, bamboo, and metal (no brightly-colored plastics).
Only biodegradable mulch is allowed (compost, leaves, straw, hay, cardboard). Please do not use wood chips inside plots.
This is an organic garden. No herbicides or pesticides are allowed.
Please do not plant species that spread: mint, catnip, comfrey, Jerusalem artichokes, or raspberries.
No signs are allowed in the garden.
Gardeners cannot sublet, sell, or gift their plot to another person.
Plots are annually renewed; returning gardeners may keep their plot if in good standing.
Gardeners are responsible for weeding their garden, adjacent common path edges and adjacent flower borders.
Water and Natural Resources
We pay for every gallon of water used in the garden – please water only if soil is dry. Report any leaks to garden coordinators and/or City Parks Department. Water wisely! Deep, weekly watering is much better than daily, shallow watering. Water roots of plants, not leaves. Use thick mulch (leaves, straw, hay) to retain moisture and reduce weeds. You may make use of the water meters stored in the tool bench to test the soil moisture before watering. Water will be turned on by mid-May.
No sprinklers allowed.
The garden coordinators are garden members who dedicate 2-5 years of serving as contacts for the garden and main organizers. They help facilitate main events for the garden season, keep track of garden funds and pay bills, and assist with incorporating new ideas into the garden. Garden coordinators are volunteers who love the garden and the amazing people whom they work with. You can always reach them with questions or concerns through the garden email or phone number.