Only one person may register for a plot and only one plot is allowed per household.
The registrant is ultimately responsible for plot maintenance, rule abidance, and volunteer commitments, and reading information provided in FOG electronic communication. However, more than one person may garden in a plot.
Registration may be transferred to another person already gardening the same plot upon written request to GFN and completion of new registration paperwork. All other plot assignments are made through the FOG Steering Committee.
Fees are non-refundable (see rates on pg. 9 of the registration packet).
Registrants who honor rules & guidelines and fulfill volunteer requirements this season will be able to pre-register for the same plot next season, and are also eligible to lease a second plot.
All gardeners must practice ORGANIC methods (see FOG Organic Standards).
Gardeners must ensure their corner plot stake (bright orange) is visible and plot number is legible at all times.
No plants, structures or trees that shade other garden plots.
No plants encroaching on your neighbors’ plots. Put aggressive plants (i.e. brambles, mint) in the interior of your plot. (See list of forbidden plants here).
Do not enter another person’s plot without permission.
Maintain adjacent footpaths at a 5-foot width and keep them free of all obstacles (including plants).
Complete a five-minute mower training, and keep adjacent footpaths mown to a height of 6 inches.
Practice aggressive water conservation (see FOG Water Use Policy).
Plots must be cultivated by June 1. Otherwise, the plot will be reassigned.
Keep plots reasonably free of weeds (i.e., more cultivated plants than weeds in evidence) by the announced midsummer walk-through on July 15. Otherwise the plot will be reassigned.
Plots must pass an end-of-season inspection on November 3rd in order to renew registration for the next season. Gardeners who fail this inspection may, for a $30 administrative fee, have a one-week extension to pass their inspection. Inspection requirements include:
- Cut down and dispose of dead plants (remove from site if diseased) to discourage plant and soil-borne disease and over-wintering pests.
- Cut back seed-bearing perennials.
- Remove all non-attached objects (jugs, furniture, toys, tools, stakes, etc).
- Secure remaining structures.
Plantings within a plot are the property of the registered gardener. Plants not removed by November 1 become the property of the next season’s registered gardener. If a gardener fails to cultivate his/her plot by June 1, remaining plants become the property of the gardener to whom the plot is reassigned.
Due to concerns about permanence and mature height, only specific species of woody plants are pre-approved for individual garden plots. Permitted species are blueberries, currants, gooseberries, and grapes (must be supported; trellises must be less than 6′ in height). Any other species, food-bearing or ornamental, must be approved by the FOG Steering Committee before being planted on site. All plants and plant supports should be sited so as not to cast shade on other gardeners’ plots.
Bramble fruits such as blackberries and raspberries are not permitted in individual plots, due to their tendency to spread aggressively. Instead, we have established a community bramble patch on the eastern edge of FOG for all to enjoy.
We are installing a gravel driveway at FOG in Spring 2013. Therefore, on-site parking is not available until we announce that our driveway is complete. Once the driveway is in place, please minimize on-site car traffic. Ride your bike to FOG whenever possible to reduce traffic, erosion & pollution, and preserve our fragile roadways. If you drive, please park only in the areas indicated on signs, FOG is in a floodplain, so for your safety and the preservation of our roads & soil, please do not bring your vehicle into the garden when it is very wet.
The entire FOG site is a smoke-free zone.
For everyone’s safety, please supervise your children (FOG abuts two busy streets and the Mill River).
No dogs off leash per Northampton’s ordinance. Dogs must not damage or enter the Garden plots of others. Waste must be picked up and removed off site. Dog policy is subject to change if compliance is an issue.
Many people garden to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, and noise carries easily, especially to our immediate neighbors. Please keep radios, cell phones and conversations to a reasonable volume. Per Northampton’s noise ordinance, loud machinery (like mowers or rototillers) are not allowed between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
In an effort to maintain the garden’s natural beauty and reduce the risk of soil contamination, please choose biodegradable alternatives to plastic wherever possible (stakes, trellises, edging, ground cover, etc.) Do not use plastic to sheet mulch—it easily breaks apart and becomes scattered in the soil. Plastic chairs are not allowed at FOG.
We encourage gardeners to compost in FOG’s central compost sites (located in resource areas – see map). Please do not establish personal compost bins on your plot.
- Compost only non-diseased plant and vegetable material and cover fresh compost with soil, straw or leaves to discourage animals. Do not bring personal kitchen waste to the compost piles.
- Non-compostable material including metal, plastic, treated wood, glass, etc., as well as diseased plant material must be packed out of the site.
- No waste may be placed elsewhere – i.e. in paths, roads, wet areas, etc.
Garden carts, wheelbarrows and FOG tools are to be shared. After using, please clean and return promptly.
No structures installed on gardeners’ plots may be considered “permanent.” Where necessary for safety and to prevent winter damage, we reserve the right to ask gardeners to remove structures, including trellises and hoop houses, at the season’s end.
The registered Gardener for each plot (or plots) is responsible for completing three hours of community service work.
The FOG Steering Committee communicates to gardeners regularly through our electronic newsletter with the subject line “FOG Newsletter”. Gardeners agree to read these notices carefully and are responsible for being aware of the information published. This could include volunteer opportunities, events, changes in rules, deadlines, etc.. Send notice of email address changes to email@example.com, and notify us immediately if you are not receiving these emails. We are happy to accommodate non-email users on a case-by-case basis.
Violators of rules are subject to loss of plots and fees. Registrants must meet the requirements for plot maintenance and community service in order to register next season.