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What's happening in January?

Updated: Feb 6

Sisters Community Garden Newsletter January 2024

What? With this heavy snow and freezing rain and relentless wind and whatnot? Who is thinking about gardening? Well, we are! Do you realize that official spring is just over two months away? Time to get ready! But first, read on for news and info from the Sisters Community Garden.



February 1st is the start of a new season for the Sisters Community Garden. We hope you will join us again this year!


Watch the Sisters Community Garden website starting February 1st for the 2024 applications that will be posted on the “members” tab. Every person who plans to garden in 2024 must send in a new application between February 1 and March 1. Returning gardeners have until March 1 to secure their current plot. Returning gardeners who request a new plot will be assigned any plot available after March 1st.


Applications for new members will be accepted in February and garden plots assigned to them starting March 1, on a first come first served basis.


Community members are welcome to volunteer at the garden without having an assigned plot, to help with maintenance, fund-raising, or events.


Your work has made the garden beautiful! Many thanks to members who donated their time to help the garden grow well.


Apple trees: Nate Jackson

Asparagus and perimeter produce: Mimi Schaefer, Ellen B-Mallon, Amy Gillette, Dianne Delle, Kathy Hall           

Back 40: Janie Boyl                        

Bees:  Becky Wallace

Berries: Lisa Ward, Toni Del Guidice

Bird boxes:  Ken Hashagen

Butterfly garden: Jeff Tyrens, Pat Cusick, Heather Yeoman. Amanda Adams

Common herb beds: Toni DelGuidice, Pam Johnson, Karen Lord

Composting: Katherine Hagerty, Robin Chinberg

Debris removal: Heather Yeoman, Robin Chinberg, Janie Boyl

Flowers at perimeter:  Amanda Adams, Amy Gillette, Jana Novotny, Martha Lussenhop

Garden amendments: Mimi Schaefer, Heather Yeoman, Janie Boyl, Garnie Jo Powell

Greenhouse gardening: Nancy Bright, assisted by Ellen Bernards-Mallon

Horse trough planters: Marlena Stanford

Irrigation: Mark Yinger

NeighborImpact and Food Donations Grow: Karen Kane Jackson, Eileen Chambers, Mimi Schaefer, Becky Wallace

Weed warriors: Frank Johnson, Martha Lussenhop, Pam Johnson, Jeff Tyrens, Kim Marsan, Rose Blackburn, Karen & Nate Kane Jackson, Karen Bray, Heather Yeoman, Kathy Hall, Amy Gilette, Janie

Storage Shed, Tools: Karen Kane Jackson, Janie

Grow fundraiser and Flower Sale: Nancy Bright, BelindaTalbot, Kathy Hall, Pam Johnson, Frank Johnson, Diana, Madeleine Landis, Amanda Adams, Heather Yeoman, Nate Jackson, Karen Kane Jackson, Janie, Becky Wallace, Ellen Bernards-Mellon

Be recognized for your work! If you helped, but don’t see your name listed here, please let us know. We want to thank you!



Our committee was formed in early 2023 in response to notice from the Benson family, our hosts at the airport, that their property was slated for an alternate use and that we needed to vacate.

Our committee consists of Mimi, Karen Lord, Nancy and me (Janie). We meet twice a month to plan for our move to a new garden location. Between April and August 2023, our efforts were to identify many potential sites. We cast a wide net to look both inside and beyond city limits, for both private parcels and city property. Soon, we came to understand that private property parcels should not be considered permanent locations. Therefore, our primary focus is to seek city property.

The Sisters Parks Master Plan has recently been revised and adopted. It identifies that “Park users expressed a desire or interest in publicly accessible/rentable community Garden space.”  We have been in close communication with Sisters Community Development Director, Scott Woodford. We have also attended and spoken at Parks Advisory Board (PAB) meetings. The limited undeveloped open space is desired by several active groups in Sisters. The PAB and city planners have expressed some interest in utilizing Sun Ranch Park for our future garden location. Our government entities are currently gathering answers to questions about the feasibility of this property for our community garden operation.

Your Site Search Committee is currently working on the following. If you would like to help in any way through this exciting process, please contact me at 503-320-4810. Assistance welcomed includes:

  • seeking professional advisors about crafting written agreements between the City and Sisters Community Garden,

  • developing a preliminary concept site plan drawing and getting feedback from the City and gardeners,

  • researching options for garden plot designs and associated costs. This Spring, several prototype plots will be placed in the garden and utilized by experienced gardeners in the coming growing season,

  • drafting a preliminary budget and project schedule,

  • strategizing to find potential funding sources.


The garden is looking for people who would like to be members of the Board. If you’re

interested please send your name to the SCG, Attention Mimi Schaefer. Currently, we are looking for an Event Manager, but if you have special skills you would like to offer, let Mimi know. Board members serve

a two-year term. Meetings are monthly.



The garden will again participate in the Winona Grange’s Seed Distribution Program. Every year, the Tualatin-based group gathers donations of expired by still viable seeds from Bi-Mart stores in the region to distribute to other Granges, community gardens, food banks, libraries and groups that promote gardening. The seeds, from Ferry-Morse, are stamped “sell by 12/23” and cannot be sold. They are, however, still viable.


We will order one or two boxes, which each contain approximately 250 packets of a variety of plants, and will distribute them at our upcoming workshops tentatively scheduled for February and March (see calendar for possible dates). These include beans, beets, cabbage, corn, carrots, cucumbers, herbs, lettuces, onions, peas, peppers, radishes, spinach, summer and winter squash, tomatoes and pollinator-friendly flowers. Though not all of these plants do well in central Oregon (Winona Grange cannot control what they receive), many do, so watch for notices about seed-distribution days.



A good way to learn about gardening work throughout the year is through the Oregon State University Extension service. Its monthly garden calendar provides reminders of general key garden chores, such as fertilizing, pest control, planting, and maintenance. Just remember, some of the recommendations in the calendar are not necessarily applicable to all areas of Oregon, though localized information is often times included. For localized information, contact the Deschutes County office at 541-548-6088 or check online at Deschutes County | OSU Extension Service (


The January calendar tip focuses on testing and preparing soil, planning and maintenance and cleanup to avoid pests later in the season. Check out the full January tip list.

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