Garden Rules & Terms

2018 Community Garden Use Agreement


  • This Community Garden Use Agreement (“Agreement”) outlines the rights and responsibilities of participants in the Blackacre Community Garden (“Gardeners”).  Gardeners who do not comply with this Agreement at all times in the Community Garden may be removed from the Garden and may be subject to permanent eviction.  An evicted Gardener will forfeit all rights to continued or future use of the Community Garden. Also note, evicted gardeners will not be reimbursed for any gardening expenses, including but not limited to the plot fee.

1.   Gardener’s Rights:

  1. Blackacre shall not interfere with Gardener’s rightful use of the Garden.
  2. Gardener may terminate this Agreement and relinquish the plot at any time by notifying Blackacre or the garden manager.  Gardener is responsible for removing any dead plants, weeds, fencing, garden stakes, netting, trellises, etc., installed on the property and clear it of all gardening residues before termination is final.

2.    Gardener’s Responsibilities:

  1. Gardener shall prepare site, cultivate and begin planting or maintaining by June 1st or within thirty (30) days of execution of this Agreement. The land shall be used by Gardener for the sole purpose of cultivating and planting a garden or maintaining a green space. Gardener shall accept the assigned plot(s) in its condition as of the time it is made available to Gardener. Gardener shall be solely responsible for maintenance of the plot(s) and prevention of nuisances during the term of this Agreement.
  2. Gardener shall not sublet the plot(s) under any circumstances.  Gardener has no authority to sublet or transfer the plot(s).
  3. Gardener shall keep the plot(s) under cultivation. Gardener shall notify Blackacre staff or garden manager if Gardener is no longer able to maintain the plot(s), will be absent for more than two weeks (i.e. vacation, medical reasons, etc.) or has arranged for another person to temporarily tend the plot(s).
  4. Gardener shall keep the plot(s) weed and pest free. In cases where a plot has not been planted, weeds are 14”+ tallor a plot does not meet other requirements of this Agreement, Blackacre staff or the garden manager shall notify Gardener by  phone, email and or postal mail.  Failure to correct the condition within fourteen (14) days of the  garden manager’s notice will automatic forfeiture of the plot.
  5. Gardener shall not sell crops in the Garden or on the premises unless part of approved program or Farmers Market
  6. Gardener shall maintain walkways adjacent to their individual plot(s) and shall help maintain the entire Garden area.
  7. Gardener shall be considerate of fellow gardeners and the neighboring community. Gardener shall level the plot(s) at the edges so that soil does not wash off onto other plots, walkways in the Garden, sidewalks, roadways, streets or sewers. Gardener shall not let weeds or plants creep into a neighbor’s plot and shall not spray on windy days.  Gardener shall not plant sprawling or tall crops that might cause a hazard or nuisance or that may interfere with another plot in the Garden.  A 12” clearance must be around the perimeter of the garden. Fences must also fall within 12” of the boundaries and the plants must fall another  12” within the fence line.  Gardener shall abide by any special planting requirements and/or limitations on the construction of structures (see the following section  h) as required by Blackacre Conservancy.
  8. Gardener may install structures, including but not limited to trellises, fences, high or low tunnels, in and around the plot(s). ALL FENCES ERECTED MUST BE FIRST APPROVED BY THE GARDEN MANAGER. Structures shall be kept neat and in good repair. Seasonal gardeners must remove their structures at the end of season, October 31st.
  9. Gardener shall conserve the use of water. Gardener shall use mulch with leaves, grass clippings or straw to reduce water evaporation. Unattended watering is not permitted. Gardener shall notify the garden manager of any leaks in the water line and shall ensure all faucets are off when leaving the garden.
  10. Gardener shall clean all tools before returning them to the tool shed. Gardener shall close the shed door when leaving the Garden. Only adults and children over the age of eighteen are permitted to use power tools.
  11. Gardener shall watch small children or pets they bring into the Garden to ensure no Garden plot is trampled and no fellow gardener’s produce is picked.  Gardeners shall keep pets on a leash at all times in accordance with the Louisville Metro Statutes.
  12. Gardener shall notify garden manager if vandalism or theft occurs.  Gardener shall not harvest other gardeners’ produce without permission.  Theft of any kind shall result in loss of plot.
  13. Gardener shall notify garden manager immediately in the event of vandalism or theft occurs. Gardener shall not harvest other gardeners’ produce without permission. Theft of any kind shall result in loss of plot.
  14. Gardener shall observe the speed limit of 5 mph on all Garden roads.
  15. All gardeners are encouraged to participate in a Fall Garden Clean Up day, where the plots are cleaned out for spring plowing. (usually held in October). During this time, seasonal gardeners will remove any remaining stakes, cages, hoses, tools, etc. If a gardener cannot attend, they are to make arrangements with the garden manager to inspect their plot to ensure the aforementioned items have been properly removed before Clean Up Day.
  16. Any ground cover or weed barrier used must be approved by the garden manager first.

3.    Forfeiture/Termination Guidelines:

  1. Forfeiture or termination of rental agreement is based on one or more of the following:
  2. Not adhering to the guidelines outlined in the terms of this agreement.
  3. Not in compliance with local and state regulations or laws (i.e., threatening. growing illegal substance)
  4. No full or partial refund will be given for forfeiture or early termination.
  5. Reassignment of an abandoned plot will be done through the garden manager. 
  6. Payment must be made within 24 hours of offer.
  7. The garden manager has the right to refuse assignment of additional plots to gardeners who do not fully maintain their garden or adhere to the contract of other plots.
  8. Access and begin use of a plots is only after a contract has be signed, approved by the garden manager and payment has been  received in full by Blackacre Office (date and time stamped).

4.    Indemnification and Hold Harmless Clause:

  1. Gardener shall indemnify, hold harmless, and defend Blackacre Conservancy, its elected and appointed officials, employees, agents and successors, the garden manager and the property owner, in interest from all claims, damages, losses and expenses including attorneys’ fees, arising out of or resulting, directly or indirectly, from the Gardener’s performance or breach of the contract provided that such claim, damage, loss, or expense is: (1) attributable to personal injury, bodily injury, sickness, death, or to injury to or destruction of property, including the loss of use resulting therefrom, or breach of contract, and (2) not caused by the negligent act or omission or willful misconduct the garden manager, the property owner, elected and appointed officials and employees acting within the scope of their employment.  This Indemnification and Hold Harmless Clause shall in no way be limited by any financial responsibility or insurance requirements and shall survive the termination of this Contract.I have read, understand and agree to abide by this Community Garden Use Agreement, including the Indemnification and Hold Harmless Clause above.
  • Please inform the garden manager of any changes to your gardening registration information.  The garden manager must approve all changes of designated Primary Gardener and Secondary Gardener, including the addition or removal of Gardeners to this Agreement.

Additional Information:

  • Submission of this document does not guarantee assignment of plot(s). Permission to enter Garden is restricted until confirmation of plot(s) assignment is received from the Garden Manager.
  • In case of a serious emergency, immediately call 911 and then Blackacre staff.

2018 Non-Certified Organic (NCO) Community Garden Use Agreement


  • Gardener shall keep the plot(s) weed and pest free.
  • No chemical weed killers or herbicides.
  • No synthetic insecticides. These chemicals kill beneficial insects including bees, butterflies, moths, and predatory insects
  • These chemicals also persist in the air, water, and soil.
  • No chemical animal repellants.
  • No synthetic or sulfur fungicides or soil fumigants (used to kill nematodes).
  • No pressure treated or painted wood, railroad ties, or plastic mulch. These can have harmful chemicals that may enter the soil.
  • DO use organic seed and starter plants whenever possible. Heirloom varieties are also encouraged.
  • DO use compost and mulch for both weed control, water conservation, and enriching the soil.
  • DO use only organically derived fertilizers (for example, there are many organic fish-based, seaweed extract, compost tea, worm casting based fertilizers).

Please direct any questions you have about organic gardening to Garden Manager, Susan Ballerstedt, whose flexible hours are posted on her office window, or Jen Shean (members of the ad hoc planing team).