Houserville Community Garden

Houserville Community Garden

Rules of Conduct

Some of the rules below have been provisionally amended in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Those amendments are italicized. Additionally, a trio of completely novel rules must be added:

  1. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, been exposed in the last two weeks to a person with symptoms of or diagnosis of COVID-19, do not come to the garden
  2. If you cannot come to the garden because of the above rule, please contact the garden coordinator so that he can ensure someone picks up the slack.
  3. Follow the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s “Help Stop the Spread” guidelines, which, if they contradict any rules below, take precedence.

A community garden requires being a good steward and a good neighbor. Our goal is a happy, secure, fruitful place where all participants can garden and socialize peacefully. In that spirit, if you are accorded a plot at the Houserville Community Garden, you agree to:

  1. check your email regularly for updates from the garden coordinator,
  2. assume full responsibility for the cultivation and maintenance of your plot,
  3. plant it no later than the first Sunday in June,
  4. keep within its 10 × 15' boundaries,
  5. keep it free of weeds, pests, and disease to the best of your ability,
  6. keep it absolutely free of weeds over 6" tall and weeds gone to seed,
  7. prevent weeds in it from spreading to a neighbor’s plot,
  8. remove weeds from the paths and fence lines immediately surrounding it,
  9. keep it free of trash and debris (e.g., plastic bags, empty planters, plastic jugs),
  10. work it no earlier than 7 AM and no later than dusk,
  11. promptly harvest edible plants,
  12. place organic waste, such as weeds, dead plants, and rotten produce in a designated compost area,
  13. not leave any of your trash behind, but instead bring it home with you,
  14. plant tall crops only where they will not shade neighboring plots,
  15. avoid touching any plants in any other plot without consent,
  16. abstain from all the following activities in the garden:
    1. planting illegal plants,
    2. smoking,
    3. drinking alcoholic beverages,
    4. using illegal drugs, and
    5. gambling;
  17. respect other gardeners, keeping at least 6 feet between you,
  18. allow guests in the garden only if you accompany them and they’re part of your household,
  19. be responsible for the behavior of your guests, who must be part of your household,
  20. return communal tools to their designated storage area no communal tools this year,
  21. keep the garden gate closed,
  22. not take anything from the garden that isn’t yours,
  23. report suspected theft to the garden coordinator,
  24. not bring animals into the garden,
  25. not overwater, remembering that the church is supplying the water,
  26. not sue the landowner,
  27. park only in designated parking areas, not blocking other vehicles,
  28. spend at least four hours during the growing season maintaining the shared areas of the garden (i.e., weeding the pathways, weeding the fence line, and maintaining compost area),
  29. ensure the presence of an adult unrelated to you in the garden if you are in the presence of a child unrelated to you in the garden no unrelated children allowed in your presence,
  30. donate at least 10% of your harvest to those in need,
  31. clean up your plot by the last Sunday in November, which even if you intend to renew your plot the following year nevertheless includes removing all:
    1. plastic coverings,
    2. tomato cages,
    3. garden ornaments,
    4. watering cans,
    5. compost piles, and
    6. plants and weeds except cool-season crops still producing, perennials, and cover crops;

    and which if you do not intend to renew your plot, also includes removing all:
    1. stakes (except the plot corners),
    2. fencing, and
    3. trellis structures.

Disregarding any of the above rules may result in the loss of your plot. If you fail to the observe the rules:

  1. you’ll receive a first warning by phone or email, then
  2. if you don’t respond satisfactorily to the first warning within one week, you’ll be sent a second warning by mail, then
  3. if you don’t respond satisfactorily to the second warning within one more week, you’ll receive an eviction notice by mail.

Upon eviction, your plot will be cleared, your gardening privileges revoked, and your dues forfeited. Your participation in the following season will be up to the discretion of Houserville UMC House of Hope and the garden steering committee.

In disciplinary and all other matters, Houserville UMC House of Hope will have final decision-making authority, with counsel from the steering committee. The church and committee will do everything they can to maintain a culture of harmony, respect, and mutual support.