The best community garden in Randolph County

“the best way to fight hunger in the county”

Plots to be available at the Winchester YMCA this spring 

Application and bylaws below.


On Friday, April 17, the first plots were marked with plastic to kill the grass.  Plots will be 4 feet by 50 feet.

Vegetables growing at Lynnview nursery for the best community garden.  Pam Ferguson with a photographer from the muncie star press on april 7, 2009

Ron Ferguson and Gary Girton watch as Jim Thornburg uses his homemade tractor "Big Blue" and a three bottom mounted plow to dig up 2 large plots for the Best Garden.

May 21, 2009


11 garden plots were marked for individuals to plant on Memorial Day, 2009.  Vegetable plants and seeds are now in the ground and we will follow the gardens progress each week via photos.

On June 18 and June 20 gardeners showed up to move the last 8 loads of compost from the parking lot to the garden plots.  Many thanks to Jim Holliger, the Solomon boys and Ben Brown for their help!

Gary Girton and John working on the trench for a water pipe to the garden the week of July 13, 2009.  The project was completed on July 18, 2009 and work on the shed has begun.


Kumar Jensen, a second year college student at Earlham College came to tour the Best Community Garden on July 17, 2009 to research ideas to begin a community garden on the Earlham Campus in Richmond, Indiana. 

Kumar is looking at the Presbyterian Urban garden next door to the Presbyterian Manse in the middle of Winchester.  Most of the plot holders at this garden belong to the Presbyterian Church. 



On August 21,2009 John and Gretchen Young from Jay County Hospital in Portland, Indiana toured the gardens in preparation for a community garden on the hospital grounds.


Right:  John, Gretchen and Ron Ferguson at the              Presbyterian urban garden.

YMCA Day Care children weeding their plot (above left), Pam Ferguson's plots (above), and the weekly Farmer's Market Table in Winchester that raised $650 for the local Food Pantry.




To the right is the Compassion Garden between the Presbyterian Church and the Friends Church Parking lots in downtown Winchester.  For 8 years this garden has produced tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.  Donations for the produce are given to support a Compassion Child in Uganda.  This photo was taken on July 7, 2009.


Photo Log of Produce sold for and

given to the Winchester Community Food Pantry


Produce sold at the Winchester Farmer's Market on July 11, 2009.  The community garden has had a table each week at the local farmer's market since then. Cabbage, squash, onions, green beans, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers and cilantro have all been donated to the table from people's plots and home gardens.  Donations are asked for the produce and 100% of each donation is given to the local food pantry. Produce donated directly to the Food Pantry on July 15, 2009. In addition, 5 gallons of beans and summer squash were donated each week for the past 4 weeks.

Produce sold at the July 18, 2009 Farmer's Market in Winchester.
Produce sold at the August 22, 2009 Farmer's Market. 

Total collected for the Winchester Community Food Pantry through donations for produce at the Farmer's Market: 

Growing Season 2009..........$ 650


Below is a series of photos of individual plots: additional photos will be added on a bi-weekly basis:

Name June 6, 2009

June 20, 2009

July 4, 2009

July 11, 2009

August 13

YMCA Kids Plot



Houk Plot

Solomon Plot

Byrum Plot


Landess Plot

Achieva Plot

Taylor Plot

Cline Plot

Ferguson Plot

Pumpkin Plot

Corn Plot


Benefits of the Best Community Garden

  • Improves the quality of life for people who garden
  • Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
  • Stimulates Social Interaction
  • Encourages Self-Reliance
  • Beautifies the YMCA and our community
  • Produces Nutritious Food
  • Reduces Family Food Budgets
  • Conserves Resources
  • Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
  • Preserves Green Space
  • Creates income opportunities and economic development
  • Reduces heat from streets and parking lots
  • Provides opportunities for intergenerational connections


Seeds and plants will be available at the YMCA for Community Gardener at a reduced price this spring.


Join Now!

Applications should be returned to the YMCA, Presbyterian Church, Friends Church or the Winchester Chamber of Commerce.


Download An Application Form


Application Form (PDF) Application Form (Word)


 Need Free?


please return this Completed application to:

the Winchester chamber of commerce, the Winchester friends church, the Presbyterian church or the YMCA.




The Best Community Garden By-Laws

 Gardening hours will be dawn to dusk on Monday through Saturday and 1PM to dusk on Sundays.

Plots must have at least three planted rows by May 15 (weather permitting) of the year or be forfeited to someone on the waiting list.

Plot holders must attend a meeting at the beginning of the year (April 2, 2009 at the YMCA at 7:00 PM) and at the end of the growing season (around Oct. 31, 2009).

Only plants listed under rules and regulations will be approved for planting.

Plot holders promise to devote at least 1-2 hours per week to their own plots and to the overall community garden throughout the growing season.

All paths and plots must be kept free of trash, weeds, etc., by the plot holders. Compost piles will be marked and available for plot holders.

No stealing of anything is permitted. Should it become known that you have taken anything: vegetables, tools, hose, plants or anything else, you will lose your plot immediately.

Crops must be harvested once they are mature. If you do not feel you can use all of harvest, items will be given away or sold for the food pantry at the local farmer’s market on each Saturday during the growing season. Please let your garden coordinator know if you have more than you can use.

If you want someone to work your plot or pick your vegetables when you are sick or away, give that person a signed note.

All plots will be inspected three times during the growing season.  Plots that have not been planted, are weedy, or do not meet the rules and regulations will be notified.  Failure to respond within 14 days will result in forfeiture of the plot.

Participants are encouraged to give a small portion of their harvest or of their time to the food pantry.

Any rules to be added to these by-laws must be approved by a majority of the participating gardeners.

All participants must sign the Release and Waiver of Legal Liability form.

Any conflicts among gardeners will be referred by the coordinators of the garden.

I understand all these rules and regulations and promise to follow them.

Signature of the Gardener__________________________

Date ________________________

Signature of the Coordinator_____________________


ByLaws and Release (PDF) ByLaws and Release (Word)


Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, and Memo of Understanding will be returned to applicant once application is approved before the April 2, 2009 meeting at the YMCA.