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Old 18.10.2020, 12:44
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Schrebergarten Question

Hello fellow diggers and growers,

I was thrilled to get a Schrebergarten less than a year ago and have spent some truly happy hours out there. Recently rules have changed and I'm not sure if I should be protesting a bit or if this is the way the gardens run.

Our chef has the only key to the compost area. When he is there, he opens it for us. But he seems to be coming less and less often, so people started pushing the wheelbarrows full of weeds, etc . . . to the locked gate. Often there are no wheelbarrows available.

Evidently the chef was not happy with the barrows being left, because he has made a new rule that in order to use a wheelbarrow you need to call and make an appointment with him. He doesn't answer texts and when I try to call his phone is turned off!

Is this how clean up is handled in other gardens? If this is accepted policy in other gardens, then I'm fine. Autumn is a time I need to be cleaning up massive amounts of old plants. I have left a big pile of organic rubbish for days because I can't get a wheelbarrow to haul it away in. I feel bad for the unsightliness my neighbors are putting up with.

Thanks for explaining the mysteries of another Swiss institution!
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Old 18.10.2020, 13:03
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Re: Schrebergarten Question

It sounds like your 'chef' is simply not doing his job. Perhaps suggest a simple solution such as putting the key in a lockbox (with a combination lock). He can give the combination to his clients. If he is ever worried it's being abused he can change the combination.

Otherwise threaten to withhold you payments.
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Old 18.10.2020, 13:26
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Re: Schrebergarten Question

Thank you! I was wondering if there was a way to share the key with people who need it.
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Old 18.10.2020, 14:32
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Re: Schrebergarten Question

A combination lock might be the best solution, if it’s that type of lock ...
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Old 18.10.2020, 15:18
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Re: Schrebergarten Question

Is it part of an association? There should be yearly meetings where things like this can be brought up.
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Old 18.10.2020, 15:27
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Re: Schrebergarten Question

My garden (Basel-Stadt West) is large and has an open area to leave compost. It is always available to dump your things in, although they did recently ask us to only bring big and bulky things, stuff that doesn't fit in your (you should have) two compost bins.
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Old 18.10.2020, 20:48
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Re: Schrebergarten Question

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Is it part of an association? There should be yearly meetings where things like this can be brought up.
Yes, this should be the case.

If you've been happy until now, it might be worth not being seen to be the one who's making waves. And there might be a mini-war going on, between other gardeners, without your having realised it.

Even so, you could ask for a copy of the rules. As you say they changed recently, then that will be recorded. At least then you'll know whether this new way of doing things is
  • the formal rule approved by the voters at the last AGM, or
  • perhaps the committee has the right to make such a new rule, or
  • perhaps you've misunderstood or overlooked some part of the system or
  • the "chef" is just exercising a bit too much control over the situation.

Sometimes such annoying rules can be fulfilled (without too much trouble to you) by asking around with the neighbours, and perhaps there's someone who happens to be there, often, at just the times when he is there, too, and who wouldn't mind wheeling your compost over for you. You could offer to give them a hand sometimes, in exchange for this favour.
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Old 18.10.2020, 22:56
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Re: Schrebergarten Question

Contact and team up with your fellow Schrebergärtner. As a new member complaining alone you may risk making a nuisance out of yourself, as one of many you have weight. There's strength in numbers.
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Old 18.10.2020, 23:43
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Re: Schrebergarten Question

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It sounds like your 'chef' is simply not doing his job. Perhaps suggest a simple solution such as putting the key in a lockbox (with a combination lock). He can give the combination to his clients. If he is ever worried it's being abused he can change the combination.

Otherwise threaten to withhold you payments.
I doubt OP is a client of that Chef. Aren't those voted in? Vote him out.

Get your own wheelbarrow.

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Contact and team up with your fellow Schrebergärtner. As a new member complaining alone you may risk making a nuisance out of yourself, as one of many you have weight. There's strength in numbers.
Yep, start with innocently asking everybody, how on earth they manage under these circumstances.
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