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P-PATCH COMMUNITY GARDENING PROGRAM

Plot Assignments

(For a full version PDF of P-Patch Plot Assignment Guidelines)

These guidelines explain how plots are assigned at new, expanding or rebuilt gardens. 

Plot assignments in existing P-Patch Community Gardens happen in the following ways:

The P-Patch Community Gardening Program, believes that “community” is the most important word in “community gardening.”  Just as a diversity of plants leads to healthy gardens, strong community is built when gardens are inclusive and representative of the neighborhoods in which they are located.  We understand that getting involved with the P-Patch Community Gardening Program is not yet equally accessible to all individuals, and we use the following strategic goals to help increase the ability for all members of a community to participate in their P-Patch community garden.

  • Individuals and groups who follow all requirements and program rules, as monitored by staff and garden volunteer leadership, have first option to renew their space annually.  In cases of personal hardship, staff may grant exceptions.
  • Individuals and groups who currently have a plot have the option to move within and between P-Patches.
    • Within P-Patches:  the gardener may request to be moved.  Staff, along with site leadership, honors requests in order received by P-Patch staff.
    • Between P-Patches:  the gardener may request to be transferred to another P-Patch.  Staff honor requests based on the gardener’s original Interest List date.
    • Gardeners who drop out and want to get back on the Interest List.  Gardeners, who have been in good standing, have one year to request reinstatement at their original date; after which they start at the current date. Gardeners who have not been in good standing, start at the current date.
  • The following principles guide staff plot assignment and help the program meet Department goals for inclusion and facilitate community building:
    • P-Patches reflect the diversity of their surrounding neighborhood.
    • P-Patches have adequate number of gardeners living directly from the surrounding neighborhood.
    • P-Patches assist populations underserved by the program.   These groups are, immigrants and refugees, children and youth groups up to age 24, people who need to garden in an accessible raised bed and groups that serve seniors.
    • P-Patch encourages the dedication of at least one area in each P-Patch to grow food for donation to food banks, hot meal programs or other forms of giving.
  • Individuals and groups who are on P-Patch Interest Lists*, including their garden preferences, are considered.  Refer to document, How the Interest List Works.

New & Rebuilt P-Patch Community Gardens-Plot assignments happen in the following ways:

  •  Individuals who help develop the new garden accrue hours. The total number of garden development accrued hours is the principle basis for assigning plots.  Only one plot per household.
    • Accrued hours can be earned through a variety of means such as physical labor, organizing, fundraising and administrative tasks for the garden development.
    • Other forms of payment may not be made in lieu of accrued hours.
    • Accrued hours towards garden development can be accrued by a potential gardener, family members and/or friends. 
    • In order to meet P-Patch Strategic goals (#3 above) P-Patch may reserve new plots for groups or individuals meeting those goals.
    • For rebuilt gardens, existing gardeners must participate in order to retain gardening space. 
  • Once garden space is assigned the interest List is merged with the list of individuals who accrued hours but were not assigned a plot. Subsequently, regular Interest List procedures apply.

Expanding P-Patch Community Gardens-Plot assignments happen in the following ways:

  • Individuals who help expand an existing garden accrue volunteer hours. The total number of garden development accrued hours is the principle basis for assigning new plots. Time spent on the Interest List is accrued at one volunteer hour per year and is included in the total.
    • Volunteer hours can be earned through a variety of means such as physical labor, organizing, fundraising and administrative tasks.
    • Other forms of payment may not be made in lieu of volunteer hours.
    • Volunteer Hours contributed to garden expansion can be accrued by a potential gardener, family members and/or friends. 
    • In order to meet P-Patch Strategic goals (#3 above) P-Patch may reserve new plots for groups or individuals meeting those goals.
    • Time spent on the Interest list is accrued at one hour per year and is included in the total. Subsequently, regular Interest List procedures apply. 
  • For gardens only adding garden space, people who already have plots, have option to renew their existing plot.
  • Once garden space is assigned, the interest List is merged with the list of individuals who accrued hours but were not assigned a plot. Subsequently, regular Interest List procedures apply. 

P-Patch Plot Size Management-Available gardening plot sizes are unique to each P-Patch

  • Each P-Patch has a minimum and maximum plot size ranging from 40 sf (square feet) up to 800 sf. It is based on the total size of the garden and the average interest list wait time.* In addition, plots offered through special programming may vary from this range due to overall space requirements, such as accessible raised beds and market gardening.  
  • At P-Patches with a mix of plot sizes:
    • Gardens may not increase plot size if the average interest list wait time is more than two years. The criteria for gardeners getting a larger plot will be established.
    • Size of plots (over 100 sf) may adjust annually based on the length of the average interest list wait time and size of garden.
    • Requests to increase plot size are granted based on the following criteria, availability of larger plots at the P-Patch, gardener is in good standing**, and gardener has fully utilized current plot for preceding year.
  • Gardeners are only allowed space at one garden location.

These guidelines apply to all gardeners
*The average interest list wait time is the amount of time, based on growing seasons that people on the interest list can expect to wait for a plot. The interest list is a list by P-Patch garden of community members interesting in having a plot.
**Good standing means that gardener has completed community hours for the previous year and has had no plot compliance issues.

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