Colony Farm Community Gardens Society

					Colony Farm Community Gardens 2008 Guidelines
Contents
Welcome ........................................................................................................................................................2 Goals of the Colony Farm Community Gardens Society ....................................................................2 The Community Gardens and Colony Farms Regional Park .........................................................................2 Who Maintains the Gardens? .........................................................................................................................2 Membership .................................................................................................................................................3 Plot Renewal in 2009 .................................................................................................................................3 Annual Fees ................................................................................................................................................3 Incomplete Work-in-Kind ..........................................................................................................................3 Member Responsibilities............................................................................................................................3 Member Services ........................................................................................................................................3 Manure ...................................................................................................................................................3 Tool Sheds and Tools .............................................................................................................................3 Pagoda ........................................................................................................................................................3 Your Garden Plot ........................................................................................................................................4 Environment ...............................................................................................................................................4 Planting ......................................................................................................................................................4 Plot Maintenance........................................................................................................................................4 Water ......................................................................................................................................................4 Mulches ..................................................................................................................................................4 Pathways in your plot .............................................................................................................................5 Plot Structure Guidelines ........................................................................................................................5 Guiding Principles ......................................................................................................................................5 Restrictions.............................................................................................................................................5 No treated lumber! .................................................................................................................................5 Storage of Construction Material ...............................................................................................................5 Structures ...................................................................................................................................................5 Cold Frames ...........................................................................................................................................5 Plant /Row Covers .................................................................................................................................5 Pole Bean and Pea Supports ...................................................................................................................5 Raspberries/Grapes ................................................................................................................................5 Trellises /Arbors .....................................................................................................................................6 Compost Boxes ......................................................................................................................................6 Water Barrels .........................................................................................................................................6 Fences .....................................................................................................................................................6 Personal Benches or Tool Boxes ...........................................................................................................6 Disposal of Materials .................................................................................................................................6 Guideline Enforcement ..............................................................................................................................6

Colony Farm Community Gardens Society
2008 Guidelines Page 2

Welcome

to Colony Farm Re-

gional Park Community Gardens Society. Our organic garden covers 7 acres, with 4 acres under cultivation. We currently have 220 members who tend 570 individual garden plots. In addition to looking after individual garden plots, each member is responsible for helping to maintain the common areas. We have lawns, a composting area, a berry hedge border, hedge row, perennial beds, butterfly garden and a small orchard. Collectively we take care of the land, maintain the fertility of the soil, maintain a balance and diversity of living organisms, and ensure that the gardens are available for future gardeners and future generations.

Goals of the Colony Farm Community Gardens Society
a) to provide gardening opportunities for community groups and individuals b) to participate in the natural process of food growing, and thereby improve the local food supply c) to provide a public demonstration of organic gardening and sustainable land use d) to work with the Colony Farm Park Association to demonstrate how agricultural, wildlife and passive recreation uses complement each other at Colony Farm Regional Park.

terms of our licensing agreement with the METRO VANCOUVER, and by the Colony Farm Regional Park Land Use Plan which requires organic gardening techniques. Examples of park rules that we must follow are: Fires are not permitted in the park. Pets must be leashed, under control, and their waste cleaned up. The METRO VANCOUVER garbage receptacle at the garden entrance is not for garden refuse such as plastic flats, peat moss bags, plastic pots, etc. Colony Farm Regional Park is a natural park. All plants added to the common area and hedgerows in and around the garden must maintain the natural character of the park. The common areas and perimeter are not for private use, composting, storage or dumping. The perimeter is a refuge for wildlife. We hold a group membership in the Colony Farm Park Association. The Park Association works with METRO VANCOUVER to make Colony Farm Park a place of enjoyment now, and in the future, for the citizens of Metro Vancouver.

Who Maintains the Gardens?
Tending the garden's common areas dayto-day, as well as long-term planning and development of the gardens, is done entirely by members. Central to the idea of a community garden is low fees made possible through member participation.

The Community Gardens and Colony Farms Regional Park
The gardens are situated within Colony Farms Regional Park, which is administered by METRO VANCOUVER. We are governed by METRO VANCOUVER park rules, by the

When you become a member, you have both the opportunity and the obligation to be involved in garden activities. Participation is a requirement of all gardeners, and is built into the annual plot and membership fees.

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Membership
Garden members elect an executive committee annually to provide administration, organize the work of the gardens, and arrange education sessions on organic gardening. General meetings are held quarterly between January and October. A short business session is followed by an education session.

Member Responsibilities

Plot Renewal in 2009

Members have the option to renew their plots from year to year, provided the plots have been maintained the previous season and are renewed by the plot renewal deadline. The deadline for membership and plot renewal with payment of fees is March 1, 2009. Members who are unable to attend either of the 2 dates for membership renewal must contact the treasurer prior to March 1. Plots that have not been renewed by March 1 go into the pool of available plots to be given out according to the waiting list.

Notify the secretary of any changes to your contact information Work your plots by May 1st. At a minimum, weeds and cover crops must be cut down. Maintain your plots and provide weed control throughout the growing season. Arrange for someone to look after your plot(s) if you are away or unable to tend your plots. Tell the plot co-ordinator who is taking care of the plot in your absence, so we know the plot has not been abandoned.

Member Services

Manure is purchased by the executive and is

2008 Annual Fees

Fees cover operating expenses of the gardens. Annual membership fees are $11.00 which includes a $1.00 Park Association fee Plot rental fees are $15.00 for each 10’x25’ plot In kind work: a minimum of 10 hours/year, comprised of an assigned task and participation in a community work party or alternative work committee.

available at rates that ensure our costs are covered. Ticket purchases are made at membership renewal, at meetings or from neighbourhood reps and executive members in the garden. The rate for 2008 remains at $3/wheelbarrow.

Tool Sheds and Tools
The tool sheds were built by members. They should be kept locked at all times. Please treat the community tools as if they were your own. Use tools in a safe manner, and clean them before returning them to the shed. Community tools are only to be used at the garden, and must be returned at the end of each day. Please leave a note if a tool is broken.

Incomplete Work-in-Kind

Gardeners who do not participate in a work party or work committee in 2008 will be assessed dues of $50, to be added to their annual membership fees at membership renewal in 2009.

Pagoda

The pagoda was built by members for the use and enjoyment of gardeners and the public. It can be booked for events by phoning the President or Secretary.

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Your Garden Plot
Environment
We are an organic garden. Herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers can not be applied anywhere unless they meet organic standards. If in doubt contact a member of the executive. Organic gardening works!

Planting
Plots must be gardened (i.e. not left in grass). Plants must not shade neighbouring plots, and must remain within plot boundaries.
Any planting in common areas must be approved by the executive. METRO VANCOUVER forbids the planting of the following invasive species: *English Ivy (Hedera helix) and varieties *Lamium (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) & varieties *Policeman’s Helmet (Impatiens glandulifera) *Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) *Morning glory (Convolvulus sepium) Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) Yellow flag Iris (Iris pseudocarpus) Periwinkle: Vinca (Vinca major, Vinca minor)
Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) *species we need to watch for, especially

Morning Glory.

METRO VANCOUVER restricts plants below to within plot borders or managed hedgerows. They must not be permitted to spread. Blackberry (Rubus discolor, Rubus lacinatus) The following may only be planted in containers, because they are hard to control.
Comfrey Hops (Humulus spp)

of your plot. Cover crops (winter rye, legumes) must be cut or dug under by May 1. Weeds and sods can be composted or buried on your plot. This will improve your soil fertility. If you are unable to bury this material, it can be added to the community compost area behind the new shed. Blighted tomato and potato plants, plants with club root , and morning glory vines should be bagged and removed. All non-plant material such as plastic or metals (i.e. garbage) must be removed and disposed of in your home garbage. (Not in a compost bin or METRO VANCOUVER garbage container). Gardeners are responsible for weeding and trimming all edges of their plots. Weeds must not be allowed to go to seed. Neighbourhood pathways must be kept clear of rocks, wire, garbage, tools. Maintain your plot throughout the year. Harvest your produce as it ripens. If you are unable to harvest, call the secretary to donate your produce to the food bank. Begin plot clean-up as you harvest, and have your plot clear of debris by November 1. (Winter crops such as kale, Brussels sprouts, etc., can be left to mature.) The consequences of not maintaining your plot are outlined in the section on Guideline Enforcement, p. 6.

Water
The water system was designed and built by members. All plots have access to a hose. Bring a nozzle or watering wand if you wish. We are connected to City of Coquitlam water system. We pay for our water by the cubic meter. Automatic sprinklers and drip hoses (unless connected to your water barrel) are not permitted. Share the hoses!

Trees are prohibited in garden plots.

Mint Horseradish

Plot Maintenance

You must keep your plot weeded and prevent plants from growing beyond the borders

Mulches
Mulches help to conserve soil moisture and we encourage their use. Acceptable materials for mulching are grass clippings, straw,

2008 Guidelines
leaves, peat moss, manure, corn stalks, fir bark and sawdust. Cardboard and newsprint are acceptable provided they are covered. Do not use western red cedar bark mulch, black plastic, hay or gravel.

Page 5

Storage of Construction Material

Pathways in your plot
Acceptable materials for covering pathways are landscape fabric (covered), fir sawdust, leaves, bark mulch (not cedar), straw, concrete blocks, stepping stones.

Materials can be left on plot, bundled neatly Old nails and screws must be removed Materials cannot be stored in pathways or common areas

Structures
Cold Frames
Maximum height 1 meter (39 inches) Maximum coverage 5 square meters (48 square feet) per plot No glass, and no treated wood Submit any proposed deviations to Executive for approval prior to construction

Plot Structure Guidelines
Structures include pole bean and pea supports, trellises, arbors, plant/row covers, cold frames, fences, water barrels and raised bed borders. Submit requests for exceptions to

the executive, with a drawing if appropriate.

Plant /Row Covers
Maximum height 2.3 meters (7 feet) Maximum area: 5 square meters (48 square feet) per plot Must be structurally sound and anchored within plot border Clear plastic covers must be of a durable thickness (5 mil) that will be windproof and will not tear. Winter removal is recommended. Fabric row covers must be thoroughly secured. Row covers must be kept in good repair Submit any proposed deviations to Executive for approval prior to construction

Guiding Principles

Be considerate of fellow gardeners

Do not place a structure on your plot that will shade a neighbour Structures must be aesthetically compatible with park and garden atmosphere Structures must be sturdy and safe. Avoid sharp edges, protruding edges, glass and treated wood Permanent structures must be monitored year round and repaired as required. All structures in common areas must be pre-approved by the executive.

Pole Bean and Pea Supports
No limit per plot for temporary seasonal supports, but must not exceed 2.3 m (7 feet) high

Restrictions No treated lumber!
Black plastic or plastic tarps (they become nesting areas for mice, voles, and slugs. Loose fitting netting (hazard for birds) Folding camp chairs are acceptable. Rubber tires are not permitted. (aesthetics)

Raspberries/Grapes
Must be planted minimum 2’ from the plot border. Must be trellised and confined so that they don’t grow into the pathway or neighbours’ plots. Must be properly pruned within the boundaries of the plot and kept below 7 feet.

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No materials are to be disposed of in the common areas, or adjacent to the community garden, or in the METRO VANCOUVER garbage container. Once each year (in May), a disposal bin will be provided for waste wood from garden plots.

Trellises /Arbors
Must be sturdily constructed and safely anchored Maximum height 2.3 meters/7 feet (from ground level to highest point) No treated lumber

Compost Boxes
Must be securely anchored METRO VANCOUVER box design recommended Plastic allowed. No treated lumber Maximum size: 1 cubic meter Must be located on Gardener's plot

Guideline Enforcement

Water Barrels
Maximum base height 10 cm (4 inches) Maximum 180 liter (45 gallon) container Must be stable and securely covered, e.g., fitted screening (safety factor) and lid during mosquito season Must be on a Gardener's plot One barrel per plot

Fences
Design must be approved by the Executive prior to construction Non-injurious materials permitting movement of light and air will be considered. No treated lumber. Maximum height: 42 inches (105 cm).

Personal Benches or Tool Boxes
Benches and took boxes require executive approval prior to installation. Community tools are available in the tool shed Community areas have been set aside to accommodate picnic tables & benches. Plots are for cultivation.

Every effort will be made to help gardeners understand and follow the guidelines. If the guidelines are not followed your plots may be revoked (see Bylaws, Part 13 Clause 77). Use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides not approved for organic gardening could result in immediate loss of plots. Guideline infractions will be handled as follows: 1) The gardener receives a phone call or email outlining the concern, steps to be taken, and a timeline. 2) An extension may be granted in certain circumstances. You have 1 week to call or email us to request an extension. 3) If you fail to address the concern within the timeline (usually 2-3 weeks) the executive reserves the right to remove the plot(s). Situations that could result in a loss of plots: Plots not worked by May 1st Plots neglected, causing the spread of weeds Use of treated lumber Use of materials or structures that do not meet the guidelines Use of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides that are not approved for organic gardening.

Disposal of Materials

Plot owners are responsible for removal and disposal of all unwanted gardening materials and lumber.

The plot structure guidelines are reviewed at the end of each growing season. Revision suggestions should be forwarded to the Executive before November 1st.


				
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