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Community Gardens

This is a community garden managed by the Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District, but a cooperative effort with costs, benefits, fun and work shared equally among the gardeners.  

The Growing in the Heartland Community Garden has done just that…. GROWN! Since it’s inception in 2014, this project of our District has proven to be a very successful initiative to provide citizens a location to produce their own garden of vegetables, fruits, herbs or fresh flowers with all the necessities provided by the District. The success of the Community Garden is proven by its full capacity of all 45 plots.
Susie Bishop, Executive Director, HSWCD
Growing In The Heartland Community Garden
Gardener Responsibilities & Rules Agreement
Enrollment & Renewal: 

Enrollment and renewal of garden plots occur in January and September of every year.  All new members are required to complete an enrollment and release form at the HSWCD office prior to receiving an assigned gardening plot.

Fertilizers and Pesticides: 

Only fertilizers on the market as approved to be safe for use in gardens are allowed.  Use of unapproved products will result in termination of this Agreement and the gardener’s right to garden in the community garden.  Keeping your garden carefully cultivated is one of the best defenses against pests and predators.

Plot Rental Charge: 

There is a $ 10.00 charge for each six (6) month garden season, payable during enrollment in January and July. Or, a gardener can pay for a full twelve (12) months rental in one payment.


Under no circumstances are pets of ANY kind allowed in the Garden.

Community Garden Work Days: 

Members are asked to participate in Garden Work Days on an as needed basis.  Participation by all gardeners will help us to keep the Garden grounds and equipment well maintained.  The work days will be scheduled and posted well in advance.


All community garden tools are to washed off and returned to the storage area after each use. The door to the storage area should be kept locked.


This is a valuable resource and should be conserved.  Sprinklers should not be kept running for more than twenty (20) minutes at a time and should never be run all night.  Pressure of water application should not extend beyond your plot into a neighboring plot; the walking path is ok, just please don’t water your neighbor’s garden too.  Water in the early morning during the summer, when evaporation rates are lowest.  Sprinklers and timers are allowed, but not provided.  When not in use, all hoses should be rolled and hung on hangers provided.

Surplus Food Donations: 

Any surplus produce can be donated to the local food bank in Highlands County. No surplus produce can be sold for payment to the gardener.


The compost product is here for all to use, so please limit how much you take to two (2) wheelbarrow loads per plot per quarter.  Please contribute your garden weeds, trimmings, and other plant waste such as grasses, leaves, kitchen scraps, etc. to the compost.  NO non-biodegradable items go in composter; please dispose of these items in the garbage can provided next to the shed.


Please dispose of any non-biodegradable items in the trash receptacle provided next to the tool shed. If any item is too large for the trash receptacle, then please take it with you for proper disposal.


Garden paths must remain six (6) feet wide and accessible at all times.  The paths must be level and clear of tools, debris, and overhanging vegetation.  Personal items such as buckets, stakes, and hand tools must be stored on your plot.  When they are no longer in use, please remove them off site.  Each plot is a 12’ x 24’ area, so the walking paths can be easily mowed.  Be sure to stay within these measurements with plantings, fences or hoses and do not extend to the exact boundaries of your plot for ease of mowing the walking paths.  Strive to keep your plot and its adjacent pathways clean.


Plot fences must not block paths or shade neighboring plots and they must be sturdy and maintained.  If a fence does not comply with the fencing rules, the gardener will be asked to remove it.

  • Fences and trellises are allowed only within a plot or on the plot border.  If a fence is constructed on the plot border, then vegetation must not be planted outside of the fence or encroach on neighboring plots.
  • Be sure your fence is not in the walking path so the mower blades don’t cut it and mower can fit between plots to mow.
  • Fences must not be taller than four (4) feet.
  • Products beyond typical fencing materials are not allowed. 
  • Fences must be kept free of weeds.
  • Broken or falling fences must be repaired or removed.
  • Broken, non-biodegradable materials must be taken off-site for proper disposal.