Welcome to Erdman Farm
Community Garden Guidelines
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These guidelines outline how the community garden works and has tips to help you understand how the garden is set up.
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Community Garden Guidelines
Welcome to Erdman Farm! The following guidelines are meant to improve the gardening experience for everyone using our Community Gardens.
Adhere to Public Health instructions regarding distancing, masking, handwashing.
Bring and use your own tools.
Sanitize your hand prior to touching hoses, knobs, etc related to the irrigation system.
Becoming part of a community:
Greet your garden neighbors when you arrive and the owners if they are present. Help others in need. Ask for help when you need it. Share your garden knowledge with others, especially new gardeners.
Parking space is available near the gardens with an approach into the field. Best used when things are dry. The road or yard is safer when things are muddy.
Gardener’s pets are not allowed in the garden area, even on a leash, as they tend to relieve them selves whereever they want and no one wants dogs peeing on their vegetable. Pets are allowed in non-garden areas. Please remove your pet’s waste and ensure your pets do not negatively affect the use of the garden by other members or disturb the chickens.
Weed and Pest Control:
Erdman Farm is a pesticide free garden. No insecticide, herbicide, fungicide or synthetic fertilizers are allowed. Compost and organic fertilizers are allowed and encouraged. Composted material may be available in the community garden area for your use. No till or minimal till is encouraged. Rototilling destroys soil structure and is unkind to earthworms and beneficial soil fungi.
Waste plant material can be left on the soil of your garden site or placed in the compost bin/pile. No plastic or any other garbage should be left on the site.
Bare ground is not healthy for the soil bacteria and fungi community. Mulch of any organic type is encouraged, particularly on footpaths around the planted areas. Planted area are typically kept weed free but other areas around the garden may have volunteer grains and weeds left to feed the below ground soil biology. This is intentional. While this may not look clean, neat or pretty, it is better for the soil. This will gradually improve the topsoil health for the entire site and reduce previously degraded areas resulting from previous cultivation and farming practices. Areas around the garden plots may be mowed or whipper snipped intermittently by the owners to avoid shading planted areas.
Some mulches like cardboard and paper will blow away. These types of mulches are still useful but need to be covered with significant amounts of soil and compost to stay in place. Complete coverage helps avoid the wind from lifting up cardboard and paper. Remove all plastic tape from cardboard before using.
The only exception to the rule of “leave the weeds” is Canada Thistle. I find thisle never seems to degrade and stays sharp even when dried. Do try to remove Canada Thistle regularly from your garden and paths.
Plant diversity is healthy for the soil. Dense planting improves shading of weeds. Consider planting fast growing early vegetables in proximity to slower starting plants. Plant vegetables needing regular harvesting, such as lettuce, beans and peas, on the edges of your plot with once per season vegetables such as onions, corn, carrots and beets in the middle of your plot. Don’t worry so much about weeks on your paths unless they are shading your plot. Stepping on them while you work with your plants will add mulch to your paths and feed the soil.
Hoses and Watering:
This community garden is on a South facing slope and therefore heats up nicely in the spring and has great sun exposure. The slope allows us to use a system of swales to hydrate the garden. A swale is a trench on contour. The topsoil is added to the downhills side of the trench where a raised bed of about 3 feet is created. A narrower bed on the uphill side of the trench can also be productive and benefits from the water in the trench. Irrigation trenches can be filled using the hoses, allowing you to easily water established plants while you do the work of weeding or harvesting. Handheld nozzles or watering cans may be used for new transplants and newly seeded beds.
You will be shown how to turn on and off the irrigation system. Do not leave water running unattended. If others want to use the hose, limit your time to 10 minutes and take turns with other gardeners. Ensure the irrigation system is turned off when you leave. I recommend you use a reminder on your phone or some other visual/auditory reminder to prevent leaving it on (speaking from experience and having to drive back out to the farm…….)
Take care not to damage other gardener’s plants. Ensure you know where your hose is at all times for its entire length, particularly when moving or pulling on the hose.
Be aware the water is coming out of the creek and avoid overhead watering prior to harvesting vegetables. Do not overhead water lettuce and other greens. Wash all produce with potable water before consuming. Do not drink the water from the watering hose. Do not allow your pets to drink the water from the hose. Using the irrigation trench allows the water to percolate through the soil and prevents creek water from being placed directly onto your vegetables. Using the trench to irrigate your garden also prevents soil from being splashed onto your plant and this can prevent some diseases.
To limit spread of infection, bring and use your own tools. Please take your own tools home when you are finished working in the garden.
Plant tall plants, such as corn and sunflowers, 6 feet away from any plot next to yours as tall plants will shade your neighbor’s garden. Control spreading plants, like cucumbers and squash so they do not spill onto other garden plots. Consider a climbing trellis or plant away from adjacent gardens. These issues are less of a problem than with other community gardens as this garden is sloped with garden plots that are relatively narrow with generous paths in between.
Plants that are not allowed in Erdman Farm vegetable garden plots:
Bushes (example: roses and raspberries).
Shrubs and trees
Discuss planting of any perennials with the owners of the farm prior to planting. We may help you find a suitable location on the farm. They will become the property of Erdman Farm if you leave the Community Garden.
Fall Clean Up:
A compost bin/area will be available to gardeners for plant material clean-up. Plant material may also simply be left on the soil or path to degrade over winter. This can be pushed onto the paths when the bed is prepared for spring planting. This practice can improve snow retention and reduce erosion.
All non-plant materials must be taken home with you at the end of the growing season including, but not limited to; pots, fencing, plastics, paving stones, loose boards, tomato cages, decorations, plant pots, string, bags, and cans. Permanent structures/materials are not allowed in garden plots.
Smoking and garbage:
Smoking at Erdman Farm is discouraged but allowed. You must bring your own ashtray. Leaving cigarette butts or other garbage on the farm outside of appropriate containers will results in being asked to permanently leave the garden. NO exceptions.
If you can no longer care for your plot, let us know and we will discuss further plans to assist, transfer or take over the plot.
growing prohibited plants
using chemicals (pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers)
taking or damaging things from other gardens.
bringing your pets into the garden or allowing them to disturb other gardeners or farm animals
being disrespectful to other gardeners
planting tall plants next to your neighbour’s plot
putting up permanent structures without permission
If you are absent for an extended period, please arrange for someone to look after your garden. If you need some help, talk to other gardeners and make plans to look after each other’s gardens, or contact the owners of Erdman Farm.
Penalties for garden misuse:
You may be asked to clean up your garden within a certain time frame.
You may be asked to take a smaller garden plot the next year.
You may lose your garden.
We will give you some time and notice if issues arise, we do realize that life happens. But if you get a final notice after a fair warning, you may be asked to leave.
Theft from 2 legged (people) and 4 legged animals (rabbits, deer) is a possibility. There is currently no fence around the community garden. Other issues such as hail, strong wind etc can affect the garden and the material you may use in your garden. Erdman Farm is not responsible for losses due to theft, weather or other natural events affecting the garden.
Erdman farm community gardeners rent their gardens from May until October one year at a time.
Gardens are not transferable but requests may be taken in to consideration.
Garden plots will be allocated as follows:
Returning gardeners in good standing. Returning gardeners can request the same plot or request a change. Increasing plot size or moving to another plot will depend on availability.
New gardeners will be offered available plots, first come first serve.
Garden plots follow the contour of the land. With a 1 foot trench, there is approximately 1 foot of garden bed above the trench and 3 feet below the trench. The trench is included in the calculation but the paths are not. Paths vary in width depending on the contour of the land.
20 linear feet (approximately 80 square feet) $40
40 linear feet (approximately 160 square feet) $60
60 linear feet (approximately 240 square feet) $80
80 linear feet (approximately 320 square feet) $100
Smaller and larger plots available on request.
Payment by cash or etransfer to contact@Erdmanfarm.com.
Sign up with a friend! Sharing the joy of gardening also means you can share the work. This can make it easier to ensure consistent watering and tending to the garden. Frequent harvests can improve yields from some plants. This is also useful when holidays are planned and you are not able to tend to your garden plot while you are away.
The Market is open Saturdays Noon til 4PM during the growing season. This will be when garden planning takes place in the spring, and plots are designated. It is also a good time to meet up with the owners as the season continues whenever questions arise or just to talk. Happy gardening!