A display in a garden

Garden of Eatin’ Guidelines

Welcome to the Garden of Eatin’ Community Garden at Esperanza Lutheran Church!

Garden of Eatin’ is a community garden in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, inviting public participation to promote sustainable organic gardening practices, living and sharing from the bounty of our desert garden community. We strive to foster multicultural and multigenerational participation, provide educational opportunities, partner with other local organizations and give back to the community through food donation programs and other inspired ideas for a greener, friendlier world.

The following guidelines have been developed to formalize the policies that govern the Garden of Eatin’ Community Garden. Garden guidelines inform the gardener of the expectations of participating in the community garden, and provide a context for administering and enforcing policies.

    1. Plots are available to any member of the local community. Church affiliation is not necessary.
    2. Plots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Plots will be assigned by the garden manager in the following order: returning gardeners; new gardeners; returning gardeners wishing additional plots.
    3. All gardeners are required to complete an application form and have the annual (or pro rata) plot participation fee paid in full, in advance. Fees are listed in the application form.
    4. Plots are non-transferable. Plot participation fees are non-refundable.
    5. All gardeners are requested to sign up for one garden crew job, attend at least one community garden meeting and participate in at least one garden clean-up day, per season.
    6. All gardeners will observe organic gardening practices. If you are uncertain whether a fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide conforms to organic standards, please email [email protected].
    7. The garden is open from dawn until dusk. Please make sure all three gates are closed when you leave, even if you didn’t open them. They should not be left propped open. This is critical to keep javelina out of the garden at night.
    8. Parking is restricted to designated areas.
    9. Smoking in the garden, and surrounding environs, is prohibited.
    10. Weapons of any kind, including a bad attitude, should be left at home.
    11. Pets should be under close supervision and on a leash. Any pets that do not get along with other pets or humans or that might dig in a bed should not be brought to the garden.
    12. Children are welcome and encouraged. Children under the age of 12 should have adult supervision.
    13. Amplified music is not permitted in the garden.
    14. Maintain your plot and keep your adjoining path free of weeds and obstacles.
    15. Plant tall plants and vines in places where they will not interfere with your neighbor’s plot.
    16. Planting illegal plants is prohibited.
    17. Compost is available for use in your plot when you volunteer at a work day. Put dead plants into the compost bin, according to the recommendations of the compost crew. Put weeds and diseased or infested plant material in the trash, not the compost.
    18. Each garden bed contains an irrigation system. Each system consists of a battery-operated timer that controls drip-irrigation lines running throughout the bed. You’re welcome to make small repairs to the system if you wish, or you can contact the garden administrators for assistance. The gardeners are responsible for adjusting the timers and changing the batteries as needed. The garden will replace the timers or any other part of the system that fails during a rental period.
    19. Water for irrigation is covered by the bed rental fee, and we ask each gardener to be conscientious about conserving water. Over-watering is not only a waste of resources, but it also causes the concrete blocks to deteriorate over time. Frequent watering may be needed initially to help germinate seeds or start transplants, but please remember to adjust your timer to a less-frequent interval once the plants are established. Water to all beds is shut off automatically each night to help prevent large leaks from going undetected, so set your schedule to run when the water is available, currently 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you see what looks like a leak or signs of a leak anywhere in the garden, please contact the administrators as soon as possible.
    20. Any necessary tools are the responsibility of each gardener.
    21. Keep the garden tidy. Pick up litter. If anything needs maintenance, please email [email protected].
    22. Permanent structures (individual sheds, benches, etc.) are not permitted, due to space constraints. Kneelers, camp chairs, etc. may be used while gardening, but may not be left overnight. There is some space to keep small things like hand tools in the shed. If you need the combination to the shed, please email [email protected].
    23. You are encouraged to add fencing inside your bed to keep animals out. However, you may not make any modifications to the garden bed itself, including fastening anything to it with glue, nails, screws, etc. Please attempt to construct a neat fence that will not be an eyesore.
    24. If you do not plan to plant during a particular season, please send an email to [email protected]. All dead plants must be removed and disposed of properly and all gardens left neat and tidy.
    25. Please email [email protected] as soon as you know you cannot maintain your plot, either temporarily or permanently. In the case of a leave of absence, temporary assistance can be arranged or your harvest can be donated to the food bank.
    26. If any of the guidelines are violated, you will be contacted by phone or email and have one week to address the violation. After one week, if the violation has not been remedied, your garden plot may be reassigned. If this happens, anything left in your plot (plants, irrigation system, etc.) becomes the property of the garden.

Please be aware that by signing an application form, you are agreeing to all the above guidelines. No one may plant in any plot or install irrigation, pest fencing, etc. without signing an application form and paying the rental fee.