Community Garden Beds Details & FAQ
Community Garden Bed Details
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: 9' deer fence surrounds the Community Garden Bed area.
Registration is open now Please check back here or sign up for our emails below to be the first to hear about registration!
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 following registration and payment.
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
1 Bed Each: Each household may lease one (1) bed per season
Picnic tables: There are two picnic tables for recreation use in the Community Bed area.
Community Garden Beds - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will the Community Beds be completed?
A: Construction of the beds was completed in January 2023. The Community Bed Garden area contains 150 raised beds, a 9' deer fence, water spigots, shed, and two picnic tables.
Q: When will I get my bed assignment?
A: Bed assignments will be provided via email for those who register and pay by April 1, 2024.
Q: When can I start gardening?
A: You may begin gardening upon completion of registration and receiving your bed assignment. You can access the Community Bed area anytime during daylight hours.
Q: Registration - Needham Resident vs Non Needham Resident?
A: Needham residents will be given registration priority. Registration for non-Needham residents opens at a later date.
Q: How long can I garden in my leased bed?
A: Gardening starts after registration payment and bed assignment. All beds must be cleaned up and all annual plant material removed and properly discarded by December 1 of each year. If you plan to renew your bed for the following season, you may keep any active/growing plants in your bed over winter.
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: Are the Community Garden Beds in the same area on the Farm as the Gardening Class beds?
A: No, the Community Garden Beds are a separate, enclosed area at 145 Pine Street from the Gardening Class Beds. The Gardening Class Beds are within the NCF production fields (the primary location of the vegetables that we grow and harvest on the Farm). The production fields and Community Garden Beds are adjacent to each other however, but separated by a fence.
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 Education pull-down on this website for class descriptions, pricing, registration dates, start times. and additional details. Our signature Gardening Class includes garden bed rental in the main farming fields and typically sell out.
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. Please review all rules here.
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. Please monitor all water use and only hand water; do not leave an unattended hose in your bed.
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. Please allow 5 business days for a reply.
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.
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.
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: NCF will determine the orientation needs of the gardeners in early 2024.
Q: How do I apply for a Scholarship bed?
A: Once registration opens, you can start the registration process here. When you get to Step 4 (Registration & Payment), you will find a link that will take you to the Scholarship Request Form.
Q. Can I park up near the Community Beds?
A. No, please do not drive up the road to the Community Beds, even if the gate is open. The ground surrounding the Community Beds road does not support safe parking, and the road must be kept clear.