Gardening Articles and Videos

2012 Live and Thrive Community Gardens Orientation, Policies, Procedures
5/2/2012 | Sheryl McGlochlin

Article image: 2012 Live and Thrive Community Gardens Orientation, Policies, Procedures

Goals for members:

  • Become successful at growing our own food in Utah

  • Enjoy an abundance of food grown from our gardens and other farms/businesses we trade with

  • Learn to love work

  • Set Challenging Goals

  • Give service

  • Be hungry to learn

  • Develop Problem Solving Skills


  • Safety is always our #1 priority.
  • Speak up and voice any concerns, needs, or suggestions to Sheryl or your garden coordinator.


Working Garden Membership

  • Learn valuable gardening skills as you come and work in the gardens.
  • After joining our group, make sure you have read and understand our garden policies (this document).   
  • Pay the annual garden fee, unless there are special circumstances made with Sheryl.  Part of our goal is to help people who are unemployed or need assistance.
  • A "household" includes up to 4 people who are living at home with you. You are not invited to take food to all of your extended family members and friends.  Instead, invite them to join our group!  If you feel you need more harvest than a "family of 4", buy additional memberships.
  • To enjoy ALL the benefits we have to offer, come often!!  You'll learn more and you'll receive more food!  We are very indebted to those who will show up and work!  We have put a random number ow "25 hours", but come as often as possible to reap  the benefits of community gardening! 
  • Our garden season runs from Feb. 1 - November 30 with only December and January off.
  • There are no refunds.



  • Come with a desire to learn, a positive attitude and a willingness to do whatever needs to be done.
  • You are are never required to do anything you feel uncomfortable about. Let us know if you have limitations. 
  • No prior garden experience or skills are required or necessary.
  • There is generally a garden coordinator assigned to each garden. Sheryl oversees all of the gardens so contact her anytime about any garden.
  • Let us know if you need to work with a more experienced person on any given task.  If you are alone in the gardens and have a question, contact a coordinator or Sheryl at anytime.
  • Gardening is hard work. Pace yourself.  Work for a shorter amount of time, if necessary. You are not required to work any longer than you choose. When bringing children, come more often, if possible, and work for a shorter amount of time. 
  • Gardens are open during daylight hours only and Monday through Saturday.  Out of respect to our homeowners, we don't work after dark or on Sundays.  However, you may receive permission from Sheryl, during the winter months, to work inside the greenhouse after dark.   
  • Participating in the entire 10-month garden process is encouraged but not required. Everyone, including Sheryl, needs to take some time off away from the gardens, during the year.  It is, however, very rewarding to be part of the planting, growing, and harvesting seasons!  When ever you come during the year, it will be MUCH appreciated.  Even if you have been gone for several months, we will always welcome you back with open arms!  We need you.
  • Garden hours may be satisfied in other ways IF you are unable to work in the gardens.  Talk to Sheryl for a list of ways some members have greatly contributed to our group without getting dirty! 


Work Schedule

  • Print important information from the Live and Thrive website. Create your own Garden Notebook which includes the garden policies, important contact info, garden addresses and member's contact info as you make new friends. 
  • Members are encouraged to find a consistent time to work in the gardens on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.  There is no penalty if you can't come and it is not required.  Finding a consistent time will help you receive more food and learn more garden skills.  Communicate with us if you are unable to come to your appointed time.   
  • Always check the garden calendar to see when the group times are.  Check the Garden Blog to see what's new as well.  You will also receive weekly emails from Sheryl. If you do not receive these, contact Sheryl ASAP. 
  • Recap for basic guidelines for working in the gardens:
    • Work for even one hour per week is greatly appreciated and needed
    • Work part time around your schedule
    • Work "seasonally", if necessary, i.e. helping more in the spring or in the fall, for example, rather than another season
    • Some work may be done at home, especially with seedlings in the early spring
    • If possible, commit to the same day and time each week, as your schedule allows, so we can plan on you and save food for you on that date.
  • Logging and reporting volunteer hours is as follows:
    • Logging your garden hours is not necessary. 
    • Let Sheryl or the garden coordinator know if you are going to work in a garden, before you go.  If you work in that garden every week, at that time, it is not necessary to contact Sheryl every time you go to work, however, pay attention to the emails to know what are the highest priorities for the week and which gardens are the most urgent to work in. 


Coordinators and Assistants

  • A garden coordinator is appointed to a garden
  • You are invited to work in several gardens OR may choose one or two to stay with.  Regardless of where you work, get acquainted with that garden coordinator.  You will be communicating with them if you have any problems or concerns.
  • Each garden coordinator is looking for assistants.  Let Sheryl know if you are interested in helping in more of a leadership role. 
  • Since we often acquire new properties, we may be looking for additional garden coordinators and assistants to help us over see a garden.  If you are interested, let Sheryl know. 
  • Lorell and Carol are Sheryl's main assistants during the 2012 season.  They are both very skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to growing food.
  • Coordinators are required to have more public relation skills than gardening skills. You must be able to get along well with others and especially be able to show gratitude to any and all garden members, whenever they come and help. 
  • Qualities needed to be considered for a garden leadership role:
  • Positive attitude
  • Teachable
  • Able to express gratitude to members for helping
  • Attend our weekly Garden Coordinator meetings, help on Mondays at 10 AM in Holladay, Sheryl's home
  • Volunteer your services since there is no monetary compensation.


Who Provides What

  • Members may provide seeds, plants, hand tools, and equipment but are not required.  Management provides the bulk of these items. Members are asked to bring their own gloves and garden tools, however. 
  • Members provide the labor in each garden.
  • Homeowners provide land and water and generally do not work in any of our gardens.   

What to Wear and Bring

  • Clothes that can get dirty
  • Hat
  • Water bottle & snack
  • Work gloves
  • Dress in layers for foul weather days
  • Good footwear especially when working with shovels, tillers, rakes, etc.
  • Since bathrooms are not provided, bring wet wipes or an extra water bottle to wash dirty hands.
  • Watch the weekly emails and garden calendar to know what specific items you may need to bring.  



  • We are eager to help EVERYONE have a positive experience working in our gardens, especially the youth!
  • Children are required to follow the same rules as everyone else. 
  • Parents must discuss these rules with their children before attending any garden.
  • Everyone is expected to respect the homeowner's property and leave things alone.  The garden is the area we have been invited to be on their property.  Walk around to the back and keep children with you at all times.  You do have permission to sit on the grass near the garden. 
  •  Since all of our gardens are quite different, it would be wise, before working in the garden, to come and check out the property to make sure it suits your family’s needs.
  • Ask Sheryl or the garden coordinator about restrictions, benefits or specific instructions for children..
  • Parents are responsible for the actions of their children at all times.  Be aware of busy streets next to garden properties.
  • Homeowners, garden coordinators and Live and Thrive management are not liable or responsible for your children’s actions or behavior.  
  • We reserve the right to remove anyone from the home owner’s property, if necessary.



  • Dogs and pets of any kind are not allowed on any garden property.
  • If a home owner owns a dog, check things out BEFORE bringing any other family members to that garden.



  • The main harvest season generally runs from June through October but we always seem to have harvest available before and after that date - just not as much.
  • A simple rule to remember: When you come and help, if we have food, you’ll receive food!    
  • Members who work in the gardens will receive food as soon as it becomes available.
  • Since we are always in need of help during the fall harvest season, and since it's generally a very demanding season, members who want food will be expected to come and help us pick, even if they have worked a lot earlier in the year. Whether or not you want some harvest, we really need your help during the fall months from August - October especially.   
  • Unless you receive permission from Sheryl first, you are not allowed to bring others, outside your own family, to work in the gardens. 
  • Members will also receive additional foods i.e. bagels, baked goods, etc. throughout the year.
  • Generally speaking, you will be enjoying the harvest from gardens you have been working the most.
  • Our largest gardens produce a huge, abundance of harvest which is shared with ALL garden members who come and help us work in these gardens.


Garden Sites

All gardens are located on homeowner's private backyards.  We ask for your help in protecting them and their property.  A violation of this may result in losing your garden membership.

  • Members should focus their attention on the gardens and not bother any homeowner's property.
  • Homeowner's bathrooms are not available to garden members. Make sure you scout out the neighborhood and identify the nearest bathrooms in the area before working in the garden.  Feel free to ask Sheryl or any coordinator where the nearest public bathrooms are located. 
  • Do not ring the doorbell or bother the homeowner unless there is an immediate emergency i.e. fire, etc.  Instead, contact Sheryl or the garden coordinator if there is a concern or problem.  They are the only ones authorized to handle situations with the homeowners.
  • Only authorized garden members are allowed on homeowner’s property. Members wishing to bring a guest must contact Sheryl or the coordinator a head of time.
  • A guest may attend in order to check it out before joining. However, in order to receive from the harvest they must officially join Live and Thrive as an authorized member.


Choosing a Garden

  • When all the gardens are up and running for the season, members may select the gardens they prefer as their primary location for service.
  • If the member’s main garden is not in need of much work, members are encouraged to help with other gardens.
  • Gardens start opening, one by one, in February and close in November.
  • Details about each garden will be sent in weekly emails AND found in the garden calendar, posted at 
  • Follow these steps before deciding which gardens to work in:
  1. Visit and familiarize yourself with a garden
  2. Decide which garden you want to work in
  3. Get acquainted with the garden coordinator
  4. Schedule a time, with the coordinator, to work on a regular basis if you want full benefits
  5. Take "ownership of your" garden which means doing whatever you can to make  the garden look great!  Get acquainted with what crops are planted in the garden as well as what the weeds look like.  Once you are familiar with what needs to be done, you can go to the garden as often as you like and work!  
  6. If another garden is producing harvest while the garden you are working in does not, remind Sheryl where you are working and let her know you want some food!
  7. Extra harvest is generally always available at headquarters - her home in Holladay.  Contact her via email to find out days and times you can regularly come and pick up harvest.  
  8. To have the most fun, find out who else loves to work in "your garden". Get to know them.  Work out carpools if necessary. Meeting others who have similar gardening interests makes gardening a lot of fun.



  • Watch for Garden Emails, sent by Sheryl each week.  If you have paid your membership dues and are not receiving weekly emails, contact Sheryl via email ASAP. 
  • Comments or suggestions? Send these to Sheryl and/or your garden coordinator so we can discuss these in our weekly coordinator meetings.  

Garden Blog AND Calendar

  • Articles, videos, online classes, slide shows, and photos
  • Recipes & invitations to potluck dinners made from produce from the gardens
  • Classes in harvest preservation


Promoting Our Gardens

  • We are always looking for additional members!  We have access to more farmland if we have enough people to care for it. Help us spread the word. Anyone can register by going to
  • We grow enough food to feed an army! 

Management Contact Information

Sheryl McGlochlin, owner, organizer, promoter


Garden Headquarters: 2836 E Casto Lane (5060 So.), Holladay, UT  84117 (Sheryl's home)


Cell phone: 801-278-5313

Garden Youtube videos: