Community Garden Beds Details & FAQ
Community Garden Bed Details
Registration Opens: Wednesday, February 15th at 12:00 noon
Through a generous grant from the Town of Needham, we have installed 150 raised beds for recreational gardening purposes. Of the 150 beds, a total of fifteen (15) have been reserved for income-eligible individuals and families.
Location: Community Garden Beds for lease are at our Pine Street location.
Fencing: Complete! 9' deer fence has been installed!
Registration opens on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 12:00 noon for Needham residents.
Registration for Non-Needham residents opens Wednesday, March 1, 2023.
Pricing: Needham Residents, $100; Non-residents, $125
Payment: Payments collected during online registration
Agreements: Participants are required to agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Sub-License Agreement and the Rules and Regulations Agreement
Self Guided: Seasonal use of a bed does not include instruction
Assignments: Bed assignments will be provided before April 1, 2023
Bed Size: All beds are 4’ x 12’. 135 beds have a height of 22” and 15 beds have a height of 30” to accommodate those with accessibility issues.
Supplies: A shed will hold gardening supplies for daily use
Discounts: Sign up for the NCF Virtual Gardening Class at a 50% discount when leasing a Community Bed.
1 Bed Each: Each household may lease one (1) bed per season
Community Garden Beds - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will the Community Beds be completed?
A: Construction of the beds is complete. The fence, water spigots, and shed will be installed starting in March, 2023.
Q: When will I get my bed assignment?
A: Bed assignments will be provided by April 1, 2023 via email for those who register by March 25th. For those who register after March 25th, additional assignments will be emailed weekly. If you are requesting that your bed be near the bed of friends, please register prior to March 25th.
Q: When can I start gardening?
A: Upon completion of registration and bed assignment you may begin gardening around April 1, 2023.
Q: Registration - Needham Resident / Non Needham Resident?
A: Needham residents will be given registration priority, starting February 15 through February 28, 2023. Registration for non-Needham residents opens March 1, 2023.
Q: How long can I garden in my leased bed?
A: Gardening starts April 1, 2023. All beds must be cleaned up and all annual plant material removed and properly discarded by December 1 of each year.
Q: How long can I access my Community Bed?
A: You will have access to your Community Bed from April 1, 2023 through December 1, 2023, between dawn and dusk.
Q: What is the cost of Renting a Bed?
A: The fee is $100 for Needham Residents and $125 for nonresidents; income-eligible families and individuals may apply to lease a bed at no cost. Please note that this fee is non-refundable.
Q: Is there a Lease Agreement?
A: Yes. During registration you will be asked to e-sign a Sub-License Agreement. The Needham Community Farm leases the land from the Town of Needham, and therefore the agreement to rent a bed for the season is called a “sub-license” agreement.
Q: Are there Community Rules?
A: Yes. During registration you will be asked to e-sign a Rules and Regulations Agreement.
Q: What Growing Restrictions are in place, if any?
A: Please read the full Rules and Regulations. Among other restrictions, growing cannabis is prohibited, and growing produce for sale is prohibited. Also, brambles such as raspberries and blackberries are not permitted, and gardeners will need to reasonably keep their plants within their beds so as to not block pathways. We prohibit the use of non-organic chemicals.
Q. Do I need to sign a Waiver?
A: Yes. During the online registration process you will be asked to e-sign a Waiver and Release. All adults who plan to come to the NCF Community Beds will need to e-sign this form.
Q: Do you offer Gardening Classes?
A: Yes. Please see the Sustainable Education pull-down on our website for class descriptions, pricing, registration dates, start times. and additional details. Our signature Gardening Class onWednesday nights include garden bed rental and sell out. If interested, we advise you to register right away. Community Beds participants may take our Virtual Gardening Class for half price.
Q: What are the Registration Requirements?
A: Registration is on-line. Electronic signature of three documents is required during registration and available during the registration process or can be viewed here.
Q: How do I Pay for my Community Bed?
A: Payment is on-line, after submitting the Registration Form.
Q: Do I have to provide you with all of my contact information?
A: Yes. Gardeners must ensure that their contact information is current. Contact information must include name, address, phone number, and email address. Community Garden Bed assignments and any other Community Beds updates will be sent via email.
Q: Where are the Community Beds Located?
A: The Community Beds are located at the Needham Community Farm’s Primary Site off the end of Pine Street - please see our Directions page.
Q: Where can I park, and how close is the parking to the Community Beds?
A: There is a parking area at the site. It is shared with the Needham Community Farm and the Needham Dog Park. All Gardeners must park in designated parking areas and must not drive past the gate. Please note that the walk from the parking area to the Community Beds entrance is about 100 yards.
Q: Can I bring my dog(s)?
A: No. Dogs are not allowed in the Community Beds area.
Q: Do you provide any seeds or seedlings?
A: No, gardeners must purchase their own seeds and seedlings.
Q. Can I play music while I garden? What other restrictions are in place?
A: Gardeners should be respectful of fellow gardeners and may not play music at high volume or smoke any tobacco products or cannabis products while at the Community Beds.. Also, alcoholic beverages may not be brought to or consumed at the Community Beds. Gardeners may bring snacks and non-alcoholic beverages and are responsible for removing and disposing of all litter.
Q. Does NCF provide tools for gardening?
A: Yes. The tools and materials available in the communal shed are for every gardener’s use. Tools should be used safely and for their intended purposes. Please return all communal tools and materials to the shed after you are finished with them. Also, gardeners are responsible for recoiling hoses after use.
Q: What happens if I notice an urgent maintenance problem or concern?
A: Please report any urgent maintenance concerns, reports of broken or damaged tools, water leaks and other infrastructure problems to NCF-Comm-Beds-ASAP@needhamfarm.org.
Q: How do I connect to provide non-urgent feedback?
A: For non-urgent matters, please report concerns, problems, or suggestions to NCF-Comm-Beds@needhamfarm.org. Note that this will be monitored on a weekly basis.
Q: Are the Community Garden Bed Gates Locked?
A: Yes. For your safety and the protection of the growing beds, the gates should be locked at all times. Each gardener will be provided with the code to access the beds. Please make sure you keep it handy in case you forget it.
Q: How many plots can I have?
A: Only one plot will be issued per household and is intended to grow vegetables and fruits for personal and family use. During our pilot year, households may request a 2nd bed. These will only be allocated if registration permits.
Q: What maintenance should I consider?
A: Please refer to the Rules and Regulations document for full elaboration. Gardeners are expected to clear weeds and keep the area neat for respect to other gardeners. If planning to be away, gardeners must make arrangements for someone to tend to their beds and advise the staff at NCF-Comm-Beds@needhamfarm.org when you will be away.
Q: What type of soil was used in the bed construction?
A: The beds are filled with compost provided by Black Earth Compost. Please note that the compost used in this soil blend is a food scrap compost that is community sourced. Black Earth turns waste into a nutrient dense soil amendment and at times this waste stream is contaminated with small items that end up in your compost such as fruit stickers.
Q: Will there be any orientation for Gardeners before the start of the season?
A: Yes, NCF plans to hold an orientation sessions prior to the start and at the beginning of the season to provide further information and allow Gardeners to ask questions. NCF expects that these sessions would be recorded and made available for reference throughout the growing season.
Q: How do I apply for a Scholarship bed?
A: Start the registration process. When you get to Step 4 (Registration & Payment), you will find a link that will take you to the Scholarship Request Form.