For your convenience, here is some information about Branford Community Gardens, Inc.
Branford Community Garden Rules Branford Community Gardens, Inc. (BCG, Inc.) plots are available to residents of Branford. For returning gardeners, plot registration and payment must be received by March 1. There is a limit of one plot per resident or family. Payment of fees and submission of a signed garden Application and Waiver is required before you begin gardening. Unclaimed/un-worked plots will be reassigned after May 1. In this event the plot fee will not be returned.
- The building and play areas of the day care center, adjacent to the BCG, are STRICTLY OFF LIMITS. Do not disturb the staff and do not interact with the children of the day care center. You will NOT be able to use the restrooms in the school. Gardeners will enter and exit the garden through the area behind the parking lot.
- There is limited parking at the garden site. Do not park in the parking lot between 7:30 AM and 9:00 AM. This is to provide adequate parking during day care drop-off hours in the morning. Do not park in the circular driveway in front of the school. Do not drive any vehicles into the area beyond the parking lot during school hours (7:30 AM to 5:30 PM). If delivery of materials to the garden requires the use of a motorized vehicle it must be scheduled for weekends or non-school hours.
- Identify yourself with your ID badge when on the property. Family members are welcome to accompany you to the garden site. Please supervise any family members under 18 years of age so they don’t disturb other plots.
- Dispose of weeds and plant materials in designated compost areas. No debris of any kind should be left at the site. Gardeners may NOT put anything into the dumpsters. Carry all trash out with you when you leave.
- Pets are NEVER allowed in the garden. This is a health issue. Outside the garden fence, dogs must be leashed at all times, as is the case in all public spaces in Branford.
- Be considerate of your neighbors. Do not allow sprawling crops or tall ones to interfere with others, such as by blocking sunlight. Keep insects and weeds under control. Out-of-control weeds are an indication that the garden is not being maintained and can result in loss of your plot. Keep rocks out of pathways and borders. The pathways around the garden plots must be kept clear, including those next to the fence. Enough clearance for wheelbarrows to pass must be maintained inside the fence. Gardeners whose plots are adjacent to the fence are responsible for keeping that part of the fence completely clear of weeds. All gardeners are required to keep the pathways adjacent to their plots free of weeds and covered with woodchips.
- We require that gardeners volunteer at least one day during the spring to help prepare the garden for planting, and at least one day in the fall to help clean up after last harvest in addition to any special projects as needed. We require all gardeners to participate in at least two of the fundraisers. We provide vegetables to the Branford Community Dining Room from our “Seed, Weed & Feed” program, which is completely dependent on volunteers and participation is strongly encouraged.
- We require the use of only organic gardening techniques. NO herbicides or non-organic pesticides may be used at any time in the gardens. Do not use Preen or RoundUp. Gardeners are responsible for determining the nutrient requirements of their plots. The CT Ag Station provides FREE soil analysis (http://vvv.caes.state.ct.us/Soiloffice/soiltesting.htm) and can offer advice on organic soil amendments. Soil analysis (including organic matter, which is not included in the CT Ag station analysis) is also available for $13 from the Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory at UMass Amherst (http://www.umass.edu/plsoils/soiltest/).
- We are charged for water based on usage. The more we use, the more we pay. Help us keep the plot rental fees low by conserving water. Mulch the gardens with leaves, non-treated grass clippings, or hay to reduce water evaporation. Unattended watering is not permitted. Notify the garden administrator of any leaks in the water line. Make sure all faucets are off when you leave the garden. Keep hoses neatly rolled up.
- Borrowed tools should be cleaned and returned to the storage area after use. Tools are not to be taken home overnight. Close the gates in the garden when you leave.
- The bulletin board is a way for all of us to stay in touch. Please use it only for any garden-related purposes. If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please contact the garden administrator.
- The garden gates need to be closed at all times, even when you are working at the garden, to prevent wildlife from entering.
- Notify the garden administrator if you are no longer able to tend your plot, will be absent for a long period of time, or have asked a friend to tend your garden. If there are any extenuating circumstances, such as medical issues, that prevent you from maintaining your plot, please notify the garden administrator and we will try to work with you. If vandalism or theft occurs, notify the garden administrator immediately. Help us discourage losses by questioning unfamiliar faces.
Your compliance with the above regulations is mandatory and failure to comply could result in the loss of your plot. Your cooperation will help everyone have an enjoyable and prosperous garden.