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Bedford Community Garden 2013 Garden Rules and Gardener's Responsibilities

MISSION: To feed and nurture the hungry and ourselves by sustainably providing for
the spiritual and nutritional needs of the community.

GOAL: 6 Stones, working in conjunction with a coalition of churches, non profit
agencies, cities and the school district desires to meet the needs of economically
disadvantaged people in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area. The community garden will
allow 6 Stones to help develop a sense of community and educational opportunities.

FOCUS: The focus of the Bedford/6 Stones Community Garden (The Garden) will be to
coordinate and involved residents of Hurst, Euless and Bedford to focus on and meet
the physical needs of the economically disadvantaged families in the same HEB area.

MANAGEMENT: The Garden is located immediately north of the 6 Stones offices at
209 N. Industrial, Bedford TX 76021. The Garden is responsible for registering
gardeners and assigning plots to each gardener. The Garden reserves the right to make changes or exceptions to policies where and when appropriate. The Garden will
provide technical assistance and skills training when possible. The Garden is
responsible for overall administration of each garden site.

RESOURCES: The Garden is responsible for providing water, a garden plot, mulch, compost, access to tools, knowledge and various educational resources to the general public to help facilitate the development and long term growth of the 6 Stones Garden. The costs of seeds, plants, amenities, transplant materials and the plot fee shall be borne by each gardener.

CONTINUING EDUCATION: 6 Stones will endeavor to provide educational classes and materials to the public in various areas of gardening through the cooperation with master gardeners, local educators, university extension services, volunteer organizations, corporate sponsors and city governments. 6 Stones anticipates that the continuing education topics will include topics such as: basic gardening, fruit to flowers, vegetables to trees, invited and uninvited critters, composting and others as needed. A nominal fee may be charged for classes for non plot owners, as well as gardeners.

EVENT SPONSORSHIP: Special events may be held to promote the community
garden and to seek additional financial support from the community in the form of cash donation and/or “in kind” products and to solicit the help of professional services and volunteers in order to attend to the daily operation of the Community Garden. 6 Stones will identify and feature it’s supporters in all available media in order to give them credit for the services and financial contributions provided to the Garden project.

Adopt A Plot Terms and Conditions:
Gardeners will cultivate their plot and plant fruits and vegetable throughout the 2013 calendar year. A gardener may choose not to have a fall or winter crop, but the plot must be maintained year round.

Each prospective new gardener will pay a one-time $10 non-refundable processing fee to the 6 Stones Mission Network at the time the prospective new gardener submits his application. Each prospective gardener must also complete a Background Check Form that must be returned with the application. Renewing gardeners do not need to pay this fee.

Annual plot fees are due on January 1 for the coming year. Renewals of licenses for existing gardeners will begin on November 1 of each year. Available plots shall be given to new gardeners before they are given to an existing gardener. New gardeners will start with one plot their first year. Should the garden not be fully leased on March 1, an additional plot may be leased by that same new gardener. The maximum number of garden plots allowed for each family or group is two plots. If a plot becomes available during the year and no new gardener applicants are waiting for a plot, a gardener may request an additional plot for that year only, provided that they have shown themselves to be committed to the goals of the community garden, have kept their current plot producing, properly maintained the plot, and share in the common work.

Annual Plot Fee Schedule: 4’ by 8’ - $20 4’ by 12’ - $30 4’ by 16’ - $40 Note: plot size is not exact feet but is measured by number of CMUs (Concrete Masonry Units). Fees are due are time of renewal or initial application.

Gardeners shall:
Use hand held watering devices. The use of watering timers is not allowed, as mechanical failure could create a loss of water and ruin crops. Water as necessary. Strive to be good stewards of the land and learn to use only ORGANIC gardening methods in order to produce more disease resistant, pest free plants and healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables for consumption.

Harvest their produce and donate A MINIMUM OF 50% of the harvest to 6 Stones for distribution in The New Hope Center.

Abide by the Weekly Harvest/Donation Schedule and coordinate the weekly harvest of produce with the operation hours of the New Hope Center. The harvesting procedure may be modified to allow for harvesting on a more frequent basis, with product harvested and deposited in the Pavilion. Current New Hope Hours are: Monday 10 – 5:30, Tuesday 3 – 6, Wednesday 10 – 1, Saturday 9 – Noon. Be responsible for planting and keeping their allotted plot and adjacent paths weed free. Gardeners are responsible for depositing plant materials in the composting bin; weeds and trash are to be removed from the garden premises in gardener’s vehicles. Bear all costs and expenses associated with the purchase of seeds, transplant materials, a cover crop (when plot is not in production) and keep bed grass, weed, dead crop free so as not to invite unwelcome pests. Be respectful of other gardeners, their crops and plot and not harvest produce or flowers from another plot without the owners’ permission. Plot owners shall inform Garden Committee/Garden Leader if they need help or can’t harvest ( health, issues, work) or maintain their plot. Support the community garden by committing 16 hours of volunteer work on the common property. Each plot owner will be required to work 4 hours per quarter and log in those volunteer hours on the binder in the Pavilion. There will be a work schedule and chore list posted in the Pavilion. There will be chores for all ages, also taking into consideration physical capabilities. Youth participation is encouraged with adult supervision.

Garden Team Leaders (Row Captain): Every row will have a Team Leader, referred to as Row Captain. Row captains will maintain the “flag” system. Colored flags will be displayed with WHITE (placed by garden plot owner) signifying “Gardener needs help” whether it be watering while on vacation, plant or pest control advice or any other scenario. GREEN (placed by the row captain) will signify harvesting needed, and YELLOW (placed by row captain) signifying need for pest control or maintenance. A chart will be posted in the Communication Center in the Pavilion, on the 6 Stones/Garden website and emailed weekly to gardeners. Additional flags may be developed as needed during the 2013 season.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS AND NOTES:

Irrigation
The garden uses reclaimed water, which is non potable water. While this water has been processed and is great for our irrigation, it is NOT drinkable water. The in ground faucet apparatus are very fragile; the PVC pipes can break off from their source very easily. Please DO NOT pull on them with the hoses. The apparatus that attaches to the in ground system is delicate and should be turned carefully. The best practice is to spread the length of the hose BEFORE attaching to the irrigation system. Please immediately report any leaks to 6 Stones. When returning the hoses to the Pavilion, kindly drain the water out of the hose so the floor of the Pavilion does not become soaked and destroyed.

Planting
The 2013 season will focus on food production for New Hope. Gardeners will plant basic crops needed for New Hope. This includes items things like: lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, melons, greens, squash. Please view suggested items at www.6stones.org/community-garden Flowers (except for pest control) and Non edible items will not be allowed. Please also DO NOT PLANT grapevines, blackberries, and other invasive vines and plants as they shade other gardeners plots and spill over into public areas, and they pull nutrients from the soil. Also, please do not plant herbs, we will have a “community” herb garden that all are welcome to “snip” from.

Harvesting
At least 50% of your total crop production MUST be donated to the New Hope Center. Every tomato counts,so don’t be lax and think that only one pepper, one tomato, 3 okra can’t make a difference. Products are grouped into bins and can easily make dinner for a family.

Please remember that produce can only be brought to New Hope during their hours of operation. Produce MUST be cleaned and logged before the donation is made to New Hope. Kindly remember, you can only bring clean, washed produce to New Hope on the hours that they are open. Monday 10-5:30, Tuesday 3-6. Wednesday 10-1, Saturday 9-12. If you can’t remember, visit www.6stones.org and right on the main page on the right side, the hours are listed. Just as you would prepare your harvest
for your own personal consumption, that would be how you would deliver it to New Hope Center. Clean, washed, picked over for insects, dead leaves. Be prepared to harvest when you come to the garden and bring a sieve/colander/strainer and a knife/scissors.

These are the harvesting procedures:
1. Take care to harvest produce when it is ready – do not wait too long.

2. Rinse all produce of dirt/residue while you are in the garden. The water in the garden is reclaimed water (non potable, non drinkable). You may wish to take your harvest home, clean it, and return to New Hope the next time they are open…just be certain to keep all product (except tomatoes) refrigerated.

3. Weigh all like produce together and log the information in the binder. The scale and logging binder will be relocated to the Pavilion. The binder is arranged by plot #. No quantity is too small, if you have 4 radishes, log them. Other gardeners are likely to have small quantities, which can be grouped together for clients.

4. Label bag with plot # (check the map in the binder if you are unclear), product name, weight and date of harvest.

5. Carry produce to the 6 Stones Warehouse. Please enter through the far overhead rolling door adjacent to the cooler (west end), NOT the New Hope doors. There is a sign on the door. Once inside the door, the cooler is on your left. Just past the cooler is the Harvest Table, which houses the binders, scales, plastic bags and tomato bins.

6. Put the bag(s) of produce in the produce refrigerator marked GARDEN right behind you. Place the produce in the appropriate bin. Bins will be labeled by produce type. When placing in the bin, place the produce behind what is already there so that what’s there will be used first. Tomatoes should be placed in the bins on the lower level of the table, outside the refrigerator. (Tomatoes should not be refrigerated)

Compost
The compost area to which you are actively contributing is the open area in the southernmost portion of the garden. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO THE SHEPHERD BINS, the wire cages that are to the north of the open area. The Open Compost area is divided into 4 sections. 2 sections (brown and green) will accept your contributions, a third is for mulch and the fourth section, the southwest quadrant, is finished compost that you are welcome to use in adding to your plot here in the 6 Stones Garden. Please do not take any compost home for use in other personal garden areas.

Add only brown material to the Brown Bin (Carbon). Do not add items that have been chemically treated. Examples are wood shavings, ps. brown bags, dried landscape waste, fall leaves, straw, sawdust, wood chips.

Add only green material to the Green Bin (Nitrogen). Do not add items that have been chemically treated. Stir in materials and recover with the tarp. Examples are alfalfa meal, coffee grinds, crushed eggshell, hair, fresh landscape waste, fruits and vegetables, tea bags.

Cut or shred materials into 2” pieces before adding to Brown Bin or Green Bin.

Weeds: Add weeds to Green Bin ONLY when seeds ARE NOT visible. Otherwise, discard them in the trash. When in doubt, do not add to the compost. We don’t want to share your weeds with the entire garden!

No Fish, Meat, Bones or Dairy Products
No Diseased Plant Material
No Poop from people and meat eating animals
No Plastics, Glass or Metals

Trash Cans
Please make an effort to carry home as much trash as you can. The bins near the Pavilion must be manually emptied by our Garden Team and we must transport your trash to the dumpster, there is no paid service that handles this. Row Captains will be responsible for keeping the trash cans emptied during their assigned month.

Plots
Please keep your plot area as weed free and grass free as possible. That includes the walkway areas around your individual plot. Inability to continue plot management- If you find that you are unable to continue gardening on your plot, kindly contact 6 Stones as we have a waiting list of folks who are eager to garden and harvest.

No chemical fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides will be allowed. Gardeners using chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides will lose their gardening privileges. It is the
Garden's requirement that all weeds be kept under four inches in height. It is the gardener's responsibility to control the weeds and trash in their own plots and adjacent
pathways, and to clear their plot of trellis materials and debris at the end of the season. Gardeners are also requested to assist with weeding common areas.
Cooperation and community

Each gardener must understand and agree to the following rules and responsibilities before gardening Bedford/6 Stones Community Garden.

Two ways to sign up:
1.  Email info@6stones.org to lease a plot or work on a team plot*.

2.  Volunteers who do not lease a plot and who are not part of a team listed on a Plot Registration form are not required to pay the background check fee. Simply sign up here and we will email the appropriate waiver to you.

*Team plots consist of individuals who lease a plot jointly ( Rotary Club Plot.)

 
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