NOTE: All gardeners are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules. Gardener means the person(s) and their household(s) who has/have paid for plot rental.
1. FEES: Garden plots will initially be rented at a rate of $40.00 per plot (15ft X 23ft = 345sq ft) with additional plots discounted as published on the “Plot Registration Form”. In subsequent years the amount of rental fees, deposits, and tilling fee shall be determined annually and posted before the first registration date. The final rental payment must be made no later than April 30th. Hardship reductions in fees are available. Requests for hardship reductions should be made directly to and Advisory Board member. All checks should be made out to the Knights of Columbus(K of C) Council 10407.
2. PLOT SIGN-UPS: Year One: Plots will be awarded on a first paid first selected basis. Subsequent Years: All current gardeners in good standing will receive a notice of dates for returning gardener registration. Returning gardeners may rent whatever plot(s) are available, but will be given first choice to re-rent their current plots. Unless special arrangements have been made returning gardeners must complete the rental process by the final returning gardener sign-up. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the plot(s) and the need to sign up as a first-time gardener at subsequent new gardener sign-ups. New gardener sign-up events, advertised through GCG Advisory Board directed outlets, will be held after the last returning gardener sign-up and will repeat until all plots for the following season are rented. If necessary, a waiting list will be established by the Advisory Board.
3. PLOT TILLING: Tillers will be made available at the GCG site for check out by adults. Tillers are only to be used by approved garden owners and only while another member(s) are present, no one shall till when they are alone at the garden. There is no charge for tilling your own plot, however, a donation for the purchase of gas is appreciated. If you are not able to till your plot please see the garden director for assistance.
4. PLOT MAINTENANCE: In order to be considered in good standing, gardeners are expected to maintain their plot(s), fences, and adjacent paths no later than May 15 (or two weeks after rent date for those plots rented after June 1). During the growing season, plots must be weeded regularly. Weeds and grass may not be allowed to go to seed. Trees on garden plots are considered to be weeds and must be removed while less than 2 feet tall. Fences must also be kept free of weeds and trees. All crops must be trained and/or pruned to stay within the boundaries of the plot(s) so that common paths are kept obstruction-free. Small rocks picked from plots should be placed at the base of watering spigots or washing racks. Proper maintenance of adjacent paths includes removing trash and keeping weeds and grass shorter than 4 inches. Garden areas will be inspected regularly by the advisory board. Maintenance and other problems will be dealt with through conversations, “friendly letters”, and “violation letters.” Gardeners who receive 3 violation letters during one growing season will forfeit their right to register as a returning gardener.
5. FALL PLOT CLEAN-UP: Before November 1, all plots must be cleared of plant debris taller than 6” with the exception of perennials such as raspberry plants or over-wintering crops such as garlic. Dead plant material should be composted, shredded, or removed from the garden. All refuse should also be removed from the plot(s). Advisory board members need to be informed of anything you wish to keep in the garden, to ensure their safety.
6. GARDENER ABSENCES: If for any reason (such as illness or vacation) a gardener is not be able to tend their plot(s), they may request help from adjacent gardeners or, with written notice to the GCG Advisory Board, name a designee who will be responsible for garden maintenance during the absence. Absences may not be longer than 3 consecutive weeks without special permission from the GCG Advisory Board. Plots unmaintained for longer than 3 weeks will be considered abandoned and re-rented.
7. PLOT SUB-LETTING AND TRANSFER: The gardener who signed up for the plot(s) must work it themselves. A gardener may not sub-let or transfer any plot to another person. All plots are assigned through the GCG registration process. Plots may be shared between families, civic or youth organizations.
8. GARDEN VISITORS: The GCG is private property. Garden managers may request identification of unknown persons entering plots. Anyone harvesting produce from a plot must be able to prove permission to do so. Gardeners should get to know their gardening neighbors so they can help identify trespassers. Gardeners who see vandals or any suspicious activity should contact both the police and an Advisory Board Member immediately.
9. WATERING: Watering will be done from various water containers, to be used by plot owners
10. MULCH: Wheat straw for mulching will be available at GCG site at cost. Mulching with organic or biodegradable material is encouraged. You may also use your un-harvestable plant material. Plastic weed barriers may be used, but should be anchored in place and removed at the end of the growing season. Shredded paper and carpet may not be used anywhere in the GCG.
11. COMPOSTING: Recycling of un-harvested plant material is encouraged. Besides being used as mulch, it can be composted and used in your plot. Composting and burn piles will be available on site for unused plant material. Plant material not recycled should be removed from the GCG area.
12. HARVESTING: Gardeners should promptly harvest their mature crops. Produce not harvested at the proper time becomes attractive to nuisance insects and rodents, and invites theft. Failure to harvest may result in a rule violation letter.
13. GARDEN SERVICE: All gardeners are required to participate in a minimum of 8 hours of service in a GCG related activity, or equivalent advisory board designated responsibility each year. A listing of garden service activities will be posted at plot registration. If for any reason a gardener is unable to keep their initial garden service commitment, it is their responsibility to schedule a substitute activity. To be deemed in good standing, gardeners must fulfill the required service. Plot owners will earn veggie bucks for all work done in the communal garden.
14. EQUIPMENT: All gardeners are required to attend an approved tool training session each spring or make arrangements to be trained on specific equipment prior to use. Equipment and tools from the GCG shed are available to all gardeners in good standing. Equipment and tools must be returned in clean condition to the shed before leaving the garden. If any GCG tool or equipment breaks or seems to not be working properly, gardeners should let an advisory board member know a complete description of the problem. Gardeners must re-lock the shed when they leave the garden, or at any time the shed is unattended. All children must attend an approved garden tool use workshop or make arrangements with the garden director or garden tech on any equipment they wish to operate prior to use. The item should then be signed off on by and advisory board member and parent prior to use. Children must be constantly supervised by a parent during use.
The combination to the sheds will be changed from year to year, once changed we will get the combination to the plot owners. The Advisory Board recommends that the plot owners to only share the combination at their discretion. NO children under 15 will be allowed in the sheds without a parent present.
15. VANDALISM AND THEFT: Intentional damage or theft of another individual’s garden/property or GCG property will result in the offender forfeiting all fees and produce and their immediate and permanent ejection from the GCG. Please report all incidents immediately to the GCG Advisory Board. If you witness vandalism or theft, please call 911 immediately.
16. GRIEVANCE PROCESS: Any disputes between gardeners shall be referred to the GCG Advisory Board. Appeal of decisions may not be made.
17. MANAGEMENT: Only persons authorized by the GCG Advisory Board and or the Knights of Columbus council 10407 are permitted to commit the council for any expense, represent, or act on the behalf of the Gardner Community Garden. All non-recurring purchases require a vote by the Advisory Board. Any individual who doesn’t follow this policy is in violation of the rules and may be discharged and/or not be reimbursed.
18. LEGALITIES: GCG activities are limited to the leased garden area. Surrounding land is private property. Individuals will be held responsible for their actions if caught trespassing on surrounding property.
19. PESTICIDES/HERBICIDES: Contact an Advisory Board Member for approval to use any pesticides or herbicides.
20. ORGANIC PLOT SECTION: No synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are allowed in garden area marked as “Organic” on the GCG map.
21. CHILDREN AND PETS: Gardeners are responsible for preventing their children and pets from causing damage to other plots. Dogs must be on a leash. Dog litter will not be considered fertilizer at GCG and must be removed from the garden site. Children must not be allowed to enter other gardener’s plots. Youth groups working in the GCG must have their own adult supervision at all times. No children under 15 will be allowed into the sheds without parental supervision. All children must attend an approved garden tool training workshop or make arrangements with the garden director or tech to be personally trained prior to any power equipment use, they must also have a release signed by their parents.
22. PLOT AND DEPOSIT FORFIETURE: At the discretion of the GCG Advisory Board, violation of any of the above rules may be cause for loss of good standing, termination of plot rental agreement, and/or loss of all deposits and fees paid. Grounds for such action include, but are not limited to, no gardening activity evident in plot by May 15; plot abandonment (defined as not maintained for any 3-week period between May 1 and October 1); three violation letters in one year; failure to complete fall plot clean-up; failure to complete volunteer service; unsafe practices; and vandalism or other unlawful activity at the GCG.