Second, there is a new procedure in the plot fee payment arrangement. The financial analyst, Carolyn, in the front office has graciously offered to collect fees and keep records for us. The plot assignor and I readily took her up on the offer because handling money and keeping accurate records has historically proven to be difficult and burdensome on us as volunteers. We appreciate Carolyn for doing this. The procedure for new gardeners will be as follows: The plot assigner makes arrangements with the prospective gardener to view the available plots. If the new gardener wishes to have a plot then they fill out a plot assignment form and take it to the office where they give the form to Carolyn, pay her the appropriate fees and receive a garden key. For continuing gardeners, we will post or e-mail an electronic copy of the 2011 renewal form. Beginning February 1, 2011, you can print the form, complete it, and bring it to the office to pay the appropriate fees. 2011 will be our trial run of this new procedure.
Third, our guiding constitution “recognizes that some gardeners are not residents of University Village or affiliated directly with the U.C. Berkeley campus. It is also recognized that these individuals are important, valuable members of our community who provide a valuable body of knowledge and continuity of presence…” Under current rules, any current gardener may continue to renew their plots for an unlimited length of time even after they move out of University Village. In reality, there are very few gardeners who have hung on to plots for many years after they have moved out and even fewer who have never lived in the Village at all. New rules from the U.C. Village administration state that any gardeners who do not live in the Village will need to become an official Village “volunteer.” The volunteer process will necessitate a detailed application and criminal background check. In short, my understanding is that the Village administration is accountable to the larger U.C. system and, in a way, responsible for the Village residents. Thus, they wish to have information on everyone who is allowed keys to the U.C. Village Garden. The 2012 season will be the first year in which this will take effect.
If anyone has any questions please feel free to e-mail me and I can do my best to answer them or direct you to someone who can. Happy Holidays!