Community Garden Rental Agreement 2023

Welcome to Groundswell’s Permaculture Garden

We Supply:
Garden bed with soil, composting system, hose & water, a fenced location, and if everyone keeps the gate closed – a deer free location.

You Supply:
Seeds, love, maintenance, harvest & cleaning up after harvest. The tools you bring to the site are your own responsibility.

Soil Amendments and Mulching
Some efforts to provide these for gardeners, by Groundswell, may occur. According to this relationship agreement, amendments and mulching are generally the responsibility of bed-renters. A bulk load could be cost-shared by gardeners or brought in from personal sources. Cured products only – no fresh manure is allowed. The gardens follow Permaculture methods. Workshops and tours are made available for you through if you would like to learn more. Experienced gardeners are gardening all around you so “just ask” if you have questions.

Gardener Participation:
Each gardener will be asked to attend an orientation session where bed-renters can meet, and plans for the growing season will be illustrated to participants. You will receive an email invitation in early May. Please contact Community Gardens Coordinator to arrange a meeting time if you have not heard.

As well each renter is required to volunteer a minimum of 3 hours a month to tidy up the area around the beds, trim weeds and grass around beds, assist with watering for someone who is away, or help weed in flower or herb beds that are common to all.

Spring clean-up: The first volunteering is spring cleaning the common area in the community garden you are in and helping with composting and preparing the garden for the season. This is a group effort, fun and semi-social.

Fall clean up: In the fall you are responsible to put your bed to sleep for the winter using permaculture methods. Cover the soil with burlap sacks, straw or cardboard and secure with rocks or bricks.

A communication book on-site and a Groundswell Facebook page plus a Mt Nelson Facebook page will be accessible to gardeners for communication purposes. Options for alternative communication strategies can be discussed based on participant needs.

Conflict Resolution:
From time to time, small conflicts may arise. Whenever possible, problems, concerns, and questions should be taken to the Community Garden Coordinator or Groundswell staff, to support the resolution of the issue. This will help keep the space a comfortable and enjoyable place to spend time together.

Weeds & Composters
There are bins on site, for composting garden waste and weeds. Each gardener is responsible for the weeds in and around their beds. It is recommended that you dig up the weeds when they first present themselves before they go to seed and take them to the compost bins provided.

Water barrels
You will see large garbage cans at the ends of rows throughout the gardens. These are kept filled with water whose purpose is 2-fold:
1. To provide you with water in which the chlorine has had a chance to dissipate making it gentler on your plants if you chose to use a watering can.
2. To have a water source available in an emergency if the district shuts the water off for any reason.
IMPORTANT: you are responsible for refilling the can if you use water from it. You are responsible for immediately calling the district to notify it if the water is shut down for any reason. And let your committee know so they can plan to truck water if necessary.

Pesticides and Herbicides
The gardens are a pesticide-free zone, no chemical herbicides or insecticides are permitted. Absolutely no use of biocides – organic gardening only, please.
We do expect our gardeners to deal with pest infestations mechanically and/or preventatively (i.e. physically remove eggs and pests, and avoid planting susceptible crops. Keeping your plants strong through good gardening practices is the best way to prevent insect problems.

Things to keep in mind:
Your rental bed is your bed for the whole summer and you can grow anything you want in it. Also, no illegal substances please – we are on school District property.

Adding to the garden: to make things fair for everyone you are not allowed to bring in decorations, containers, etc. without permission from your Committee. Please share ideas to improve the garden with the committee, they will go forward for discussion and board approval and can be implemented from there. Trellis are permitted as long as they do not shade or encroach on other garden beds. Note: both gardens presently have – bird houses, bee houses, and water for the birds.

Please make sure the gate is closed at all times. This is extremely important, as there are four-legged creatures that will happily eat everything in the garden in a matter of moments.

Please ensure pets are on a leash at all times. If your pet is a leg-up kind of pet, please lease it outside the garden in sight of you so it is not urinating in the garden. Make the garden fair for everyone.

Unattended Garden Beds. If garden beds remain unattended or are in no compliance, a notice will be given to the gardener to clean them up. If this is not done in a timely manner, the garden bed will be given to another gardener to tend.

Common Areas
Both gardens have Perennial beds to attract pollinators. You help care for the perennial beds as part of your volunteer commitment.
Herb beds – both gardens have herb beds and within reason, you can help yourself to fresh herbs from them. You help care for the herb beds as part of your volunteer commitment.

Greenhouse Garden – Special Items: We have a pond on sight. Supervision of children or any members of your group is fully your responsibility and must be ensured by you. Groundswell accepts no responsibility for this supervision and will not be held liable.

Mt Nelson – Special Items: the Mt Nelson garden is the home of the Student Gardener Food Sustainability program. The students have 7 beds and are responsible for some common area issues. They have reserved space in the shed for some of their gardening materials.

  • The Mt Nelson shed is locked and the padlock key is available for you to borrow tools, weed wacker, etc. to care for the garden (exception- the school materials and tools) Please always clean and return tools to their designated place. Please always return the key to its designated place.

We really appreciate your involvement and investment in productive and fun community gardening. We ask that you keep your plot well maintained and looking great. This not only makes for better production, it inspires and teaches others what good garden practice is all about.

Enjoy, Share, Ask and Eat!

I agree to abide by the rules set out in the Community Garden Rental Relationship Agreement.

Community Garden rental agreement form