HCG Gardener Agreement

  1. I will begin plot maintenance by May 25th and continue through the fall.  I will clear my plot by October 25th, unless I have made a prior arrangement with the Garden Manager (GM).
  2. As a member of this community, I agree to participate in volunteer activities and complete volunteer hours set by the GM at my garden.  Completion of volunteer hours will be considered when reviewing applications for plots for the next season. 
  3. I will be respectful to other gardeners, their guests, neighbors, residents, and visitors to the garden. 
  4. I will keep the lock combination secure, and will secure the garden when leaving if I am the last person there.
  5. I will be responsible for pets, guests, and children that I bring to the garden. 
  6. I will keep weeds and debris to a minimum and maintain the areas adjacent to my plot including pathways and fence lines. 
  7. If I am unable to maintain my plot, I will notify the GM as soon as I am able  to and make arrangements for someone else to maintain it.
  8. I understand that if my plot becomes unkempt, is abused, or lays fallow, I will be contacted by the GM via phone and email and given two weeks to remedy/resolve  the situation.  If the issue is not resolved within that time period, I understand that my plot will be reassigned or tilled in and no refund will be given.  Any vegetables left will be harvested and donated.
  9. I will not plant perennials (plants that live more than one year) unless approved by the GM. (Examples are horseradish, raspberries, Jerusalem artichoke, and mint). Per Montana law, the growing of cannabis in HCG space is prohibited.
  10. Products grown in the Helena Community Gardens belong to the gardener once they are harvested. HCG suggests that  extra produce is donated to Helena Food Share, but gardeners may choose to share or sell their produce according to city-county regulations.
  11. To support community interest in gardening and garden capacity, gardeners may rent no more than two plots per garden unless approved by the GM and HCG Board. If there are no additional gardeners on the waiting list by May 1st,  a gardener could rent an additional plot(s) for the season.
  12. I agree to use water wisely by maintaining and closely monitoring my irrigation system to prevent waste and growth of unwanted vegetation. I agree to utilize water conservation methods such as mulching, drip or soaker hoses, evening/morning watering, and hand watering.  I will notify the GM of any water wastage I observe.  I understand that unattended overhead sprinklers (including overhead sprinklers set on timers) are not allowed and will be shut off immediately by the GM, as will any type of irrigation system that is leaking or watering a neighboring plot without the permission of that plot holder (if the water is shut off the gardener will be notified).  The GM makes the ultimate determination as to whether a type or style of irrigation is appropriate for the garden. For water conservation purposes, the GM has the right to press rain delay on timers or turn off running irrigation if soil appears saturated (gardener will be notified).
  13. I understand that all gardens are to be organically maintained and operated.  Synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are not allowed, and many non-synthetic  substances are highly discouraged.  Pest and weed control is to be achieved by organic means including crop rotation, mulching, weeding, mechanical cultivation, cover crop and/or co-cropping, trapping, and mowing.  Soil fertility issues such as structure and chemical composition shall be addressed through composting, mulching, organic amendments, and cover and/or co-cropping.  If I have any doubts or questions, I will contact the GM before implementing or applying any product, procedure, or substance.
  14. I will participate in composting efforts at the garden, and comply with the posted composting guidelines.
  15.  The GM for my garden will notify me by phone and email if I am in violation of any parts of this agreement and will specify a time period for correction.  If the violation is not corrected by the end of the specified time period, the GM may ask me to surrender my plot.  I can appeal the GM’s decision to the HCG Board by contacting the HCG Office. 
  16. I understand that HCG, the City of Helena, and/or other garden property owners are not responsible for my actions. I therefore agree to hold harmless the aforementioned entities for any liability, loss, damage, or claim that occurs with any use or product of the garden by me or my guests.