Community Standards


Revised February 21, 2016

This page outlines the rules, regulations, and expectations for the Ardmore Gateway Garden (AGG) at 426 S Hawthorne Road. Anyone participating as a gardener or a volunteer at the AGG site or anyone attending a program, workshop, workday, or event at the AGG site must read, understand, and abide by the terms outlined below.

General Policies

● Do not harvest, weed, or clear another person’s plot without first receiving permission.
● No open burning is allowed on the property.
● Excessive noise, music, and disrespectful or abusive language is prohibited.
● All use of tobacco and illegal drugs is prohibited.
● No dogs, leashed or unleashed, are allowed inside the garden property’s boundaries.
● Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied and supervised by adults.
● All volunteers participating in workdays must sign a waiver.
● Please be aware that AGG is an unfenced, public garden, and we are not responsible for the actions of passers-by.

Allocation of plots

Priority
In the event that demand for garden plots at the AGG exceeds supply, the following criteria will be used to determine plot assignment priority:
1. Queue developed on first come, first served basis using a web-based form. Form entries will be date & time stamped. This date & time stamp will be the official record to determine first come, first served status.
2. Higher priority given to those without suitable gardening space at home.
3. Higher priority given for those who live closer to the AGG site.

Trading plots
Two gardeners may agree to trade plots if desired by both parties, with the approval of Garden Manager or Board President.

Sponsored plots or other special circumstances
The Sustainable+Ardmore Board of Directors will consider appeals for subsidized or partially subsidized garden plots on a case-by-case basis.

Parking and Access
1. AGG is primarily a pedestrian- and bicycle-accessed public space. Parking is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis only for persons working on-site.
2. Obey all municipal parking signs when parking on surrounding streets.
3. Access to the tool shed will be provided via combination lock code. Only the garden manager, gardeners and Sustainable+Ardmore (S+A) Board members will have access to this combination.
4. The portable restroom on-site is available primarily for events. Access may be provided to gardeners on an as-needed basis.

Reporting Theft or Vandalism
Report all theft and vandalism immediately to the Garden Manager or the S+A Board President.

Enforcement
● If any individual at the AGG site is engaging in unsafe, violent, threatening, or illegal behavior, notify the police immediately by calling 911.
● The Garden Manager or any S+A Board member may ask any individual who is violating the general policies to leave the AGG site at any time.
● The Garden Manager may file an incident report whenever a gardener is in violation of the policies outlined in this document or the Plot Lease Agreement. The incident report will be kept on file with the Garden Manager and a summary of all reports issued will be provided at the monthly S+A Board meetings. Incident reports will be communicated to the offending gardener via email. Accumulation of five incident reports within a calendar year will result in forfeiture of plot.
● An injury report should be filled out by the Garden Manager or the supervising S+A Board or committee member for each and every injury. A first aid kit is provided in the tool shed.

Gardener-Specific Rules

Communications
● All gardeners must have a current contact information on file. The gardener is responsible for contacting the program coordinator with updated contact information.
● A list of current gardeners’ email addresses and/or phone numbers will be provided to the Garden Manager and the S+A Board President.
● Notify other gardeners if on vacation so plot can be harvested / weeded / cleared as appropriate.

Dates by which planting and end-of-season clearing must take place
● All plots must be planted by May 31st of each year. Plots not planted by this date will be forfeited, and reassigned June 1.
● Plots must be cleared by December 31st of each year. Failure to adhere results in loss of priority placement the next year.

Maintenance
● AGG provides a collection of tools and materials for volunteers and gardeners in the tool shed on-site. AGG does not guarantee the availability of any tools onsite. Gardeners should plan to bring their own tools.
● Keep weeds less than 6” in height.
● AGG may trim any plant inside a rented plot that exceeds the bounds of the wooden or brick frame of the rental bed, or encroaches on the public space and walkways between plots.
● Harvest crops in a timely manner. Please be aware that produce past peak ripeness may be harvested by AGG for donation. To avoid this, keep track of ripening and harvest just before peak ripeness. Doing so will also aid in keeping thefts and pests down.
● AGG common spaces (including paths between plots) will be maintained by volunteers.
● No trash or debris in plot.
● Plant debris must be placed in on-site compost. If the plant is diseased or infected with a fungus, we ask that it is placed in the yard waste cart located behind the fence near the driveway rather than our compost.
● Dispose of all trash and recycling in the appropriate yard carts, also located behind the fence near the driveway.

What can be grown
● Food crops for personal consumption or donation (food grown cannot be sold for profit.)
● Ornamental flowers and plants, as well as edible and medicinal herbs.
● Do not plant anything prohibited by law or listed on the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s list of noxious weeds or plants listed on the USDA Federal Noxious Weed List.
● Keep plants that spread or wander, such as mints, in pots or away from plot boundaries.
● Keep vining plants away from plot edges.
● Plants cannot be so high as to cause excessive shade in nearby plots.

Structures
Trellising is allowed so long as it is approved by the Garden Manager and it does not shade adjacent plots. No fences allowed in garden plots.

Pest control
1. All pesticides not labeled specifically for organic gardening use are banned.
2. Pesticides must be approved by the Garden Manager.
3. Organic pest controls must be applied or used so as not to affect surrounding plots.
4. Trapping of animals will be considered on an as-necessary basis. Submit requests and concerns to the Garden Manager.
5. Empty and store all containers of water in order to prevent mosquitoes.

Mulch
Only organic, plant-based mulches are permitted, such as straw, pine straw, composted leaves, wood chips or sawdust from untreated lumber. AGG provides wood chip mulch on-site that all gardeners and volunteers are welcome to use at the AGG site or within rental plots. Landscaping weed-barrier fabric, uncomposted grass clipping, and rubber/recycled tire mulch are strictly prohibited.

Compost
● Plant material from on-site may be added to the compost at the rear of the property.
● Gardeners and Volunteers may bring food compost from home. Acceptable materials include:
○ Eggshells, coffee grounds and filters (no K cups), raw vegetable and fruit wastes, raw or cooked grains (oats, rice, barley, quinoa etc), pulp from juicing.
○ No whole fruits or vegetables are permitted – please cut before composting.
○ We do not permit meats of any origin, dairy, animal byproducts, or oils/fats of any sort in our compost bins.
○ Please be mindful of large seeds – these may germinate in the nutrient rich bins!

Watering policy
● Buckets and watering cans are available for gardener use in the tool shed. Please fill up one bucket at a time for watering using the water available in our rain barrels at the shed first, then the faucet if the barrels are empty, and limit water use to only what is necessary and reasonable.
● Please do not attach watering hoses without permission from the Garden Manager.
● Interference with the irrigation timer or irrigation hose is prohibited.
● Report any leaks from the yard hydrant to the Garden Manager immediately.

Volunteering
All gardeners are expected to volunteer a minimum of two hours each month toward the ongoing maintenance of the AGG site.

Termination
The lease for any plot which is inactive for an extended period of time, or unplanted by May 31st (excluding gardeners joining after this date), may be terminated after notice to the lessee. “Inactive” includes failure to tend assigned plot for an extended period of time, and/or consistent failure to harvest / letting produce rot. Leases for inactive plots will be terminated to maximize the availability of plots for other members of our community who would like to be able to participate at AGG.