This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

plot costs

Our community garden is reviewing the rates we charge for annual plot rental. This year our fee was $25, but with water costs going up very fast, this rate does not cover much. What do you pay for your plot rental?

Please leave a message if you have more information about what your fees cover and where you are located.

Does anyone know the fees for Cambridge and Waltham Fields plots (MA, USA)?

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Blogger Lynda said...

Our Community Garden has a well. We charge $25 for those that can afford it...some gardeners chip in $50 and others pay nothing. The owner of the Industrial Park we are located on underwrites everything...he donated the piece of land we're on...we have 15 acres to work with.

January 23, 2011 1:19 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Thanks Lynda! That sounds like a great set up!

January 23, 2011 1:27 PM

Blogger Kay said...

Our garden is very new- less than one year old so I'm not sure if they have thought that far ahead. The plots are 10 x 10, and cost 20 dollars a season. Multiple plots can be purchased. They do supple water. The entire area is pretty small, it's a larger "round a bout" for a road.

January 23, 2011 1:33 PM

Blogger Stacy said...

Our garden rent is based on income. For new Canadians who don't work they are free, and if you make over 25,000$ a year you pay 40$. There are a few amounts inbetween for seniors and young families as well.

January 23, 2011 1:34 PM

Blogger MGR said...

My plot is about 12'x9' in downtown Ottawa, ON. and everybody pays $7 for the year.

January 23, 2011 1:50 PM

Blogger Randy Emmitt said...


I'm certain land taxes unless the garden is exempt would be more than these tiny fees. We own nearly 4 acres most is woods.

January 23, 2011 2:06 PM

Blogger Mal's Allotment said...

Hi Kathy,

Here in Edinburgh rents were pegged at £30 ($50) until 2005 when the local authority and the Allotment Association (to their shame) agreed to a £10 rise each year until they reach £100 ($165)!!! This year the rate is £70 ($115).

Given the costs inherent in running a plot successfully I would call this a blatant green tax (in the reverse sense of other green taxes). Because there is a waiting list in the city the Council is creaming off any profitability off the backs of those who spend hours and hours working to produce fresh wholesome food. I am very cross (in case you hadn't gathered)and preparing to take on both the Council and our Allotment Association!

January 23, 2011 2:15 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Randy, Our garden land is owned by the Town and leased to gardeners.

January 23, 2011 2:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Kathy!
Our community garden is run by the local parks system. We are in Northeast Ohio. The plots are 20x30 and cost $35 for the season. This includes water, the first till, and compost that comes from the Farmpark until it is gone.
Love your blog btw:)

January 23, 2011 4:06 PM

Blogger Nina said...

We started a new garden this past spring (SE Mass.) Most plots were 11 x 15 with 4 at 15 x 21. The cost was $30 for everyone. There were a total of 28 plots. We easily covered the owner's water bill with money to spare for little things like a first aid kit, lock for the shed and a few tools that we all share. There's talk of adding more plots this year and charging a bit more for the larger plots. No decision has been made yet about what that will be. The man who "manages" the garden is very diplomatic and won't do anything without input from the gardeners. How large is your plot, Kathy?

January 23, 2011 4:24 PM

Blogger Kim said...

I'm a member of a community garden in Duxbury, MA where the plot rental is 65 for a 10x12 and 110 for a 10x20 with irrigation. The garden is only on it's 3rd year and I'm surprised yours is so low. I think our price is a too high, but $25 with irrigation is very low giving the price of water. I'm actually off to a garden meeting today and will share what we discuss. Irrigation is a problem for us and we are still researching the best options. Your blog has been such a great resource ! Thank you

January 24, 2011 8:44 AM

Blogger Laughter said...

Our garden is run by the local community center. It's on an old farmsite, and the house that's still there is now a museum. The plots are 20x20 and 20x30, and well water and the spring till are provided. It's $50 per year (either size) and there's a waiting list for spaces.

January 24, 2011 8:57 AM

Anonymous Caroline said...

We have a community garden in part of a city park in Richmond, Virginia. Our 100-sq-ft plots are leased for $50 a year (though the fee can be reduced or waived). We use the money to buy shared equipment for our shed, soil amendments, organic fertilizers, etc. We also use the fees to help support two childrens' beds we run for the community.

January 24, 2011 10:10 AM

Anonymous Donald said...

6m x 3m $80 in downtown Hamilton Ont. its in a city park in a nice area of town that has a pool and baseball feild and butterfly garden in the same park. We have controlled acess through key pad entry.its fully fenced off each plot has its own water tap.Garden shed with tools and a cubicle for the gardener`s stuff are supplied.The city drop`s off free compost Its real state of the art place. They might jack up the price a bit this year. Its brand new only a year old.

January 24, 2011 6:51 PM

Blogger Cloud said...

I have a spot at my mother's house, a free plot in a church community garden near my apartment and I pay for a plot near my mother's house in Southborough, MA. The plots are located on a bit of farmland that has been carved out of a cow field. They are 20' x 20' and cost $50 a year for most people. However for students (that's me) and seniors the cost is $25. All proceeds go to the farm, who in return spreads aged manure and rototills the land. The town pays for the water to promote living green and healthy.

January 24, 2011 8:41 PM

Blogger Green Tamarind said...

I have been paying $0, about to go up to $10 (Canadian - but we're at par) for a 14x14 ft plot. Our land is a school division reserve, lent to the community group that runs the garden. Costs for the water bill, tilling, trenching in the water lines, compost and administration have been covered by grants to the community group. We will take over covering the water bill with our $10 fee, and should have a reserve left over. Labour to maintain the common areas, till, trench etc is provided by volunteer gardeners.

January 24, 2011 11:19 PM

Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

Hi Kathy, our plots are measured in rods. A rod is approximately 5.5 yards. We put the rents up this year (after 7 years at the same rate) to £5 per rod, or £4 for retired gardeners. The plots are various sizes I pay £50 for two 5 rod plots which I think is a great deal. We also pay £4 subsidy to help cover the cost of fuel and maintenance of machinery that plot holders can rent (strimmers etc); key replacement and for sundries on sale in the trading hut at prices better than in shops. This year we imposed a water levy on our site £10 per 10 rod plot and £5 per 5 rod to gather money to enhance the water supply and install more tanks. We have an association made up of volunteers who negotiate with our borough council, they lease us the plots and we charge each plot holder just a little more than they charge us so the sites can be supplied with rubbish skips, manure (if not donated), repairs to fencing, non drying paint to deter thieves and plot trashers. Our association has a waiting list of approximately 50 at the moment. All the labour involved in running the association and keeping the site in good shape is done by volunteers.

January 25, 2011 4:08 AM

Blogger next door Laura said...

We are in small town, Wisconsin in a city park that also has a rose garden, swimming pool, ball field and skate park. Plots are 12' x 24'. The city and university extension cooperate to host it. Charges are $25, or $35 for non-residents - which is how other parks and rec fees are set up.
The city provides water on all four sides of the garden and mowing between the plots. A local implement dealer has donated labor and machinery to till the plots initially and for each of our other two years in existence. An Eagle Scout built several raised beds for the garden with donations from service groups for the materials. We have used your blog as a resource for the creation of our garden. Thank you very much. Another model used was that of the Central Okanagan Community Gardens, in BC, Canada.

January 25, 2011 8:56 AM

Anonymous Svetla said...

Our garden, central PA, is run by the borough. Size: 54 single plots @ 300 sq. ft + 54 double plots @ 600 sq. ft. Watering is only with buckets, no hoses. We also get chips for the common paths, and 3-4 compost deliveries.
Fees: 2005, 2006 $15/$25
2007, 2008, 2009 $20/$30
2010, 2011 $23/$35
Here is a link to our page if you need more detail.

January 25, 2011 12:40 PM

Anonymous Svetla said...

January 25, 2011 12:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My plot is in Virginia, about 20 miles outside of Washington DC. The annual rental is $45 for a 20x30ft plot with free water supplied by the county.

January 25, 2011 7:11 PM

Blogger Tiny Gardener said...

My community garden charges $20 for the year, and this covers water, plants in the spring (only 3 or 4 choices, but nevertheless), and use of the tools/tool shed. We use mostly city water we get from the fire hydrant and we have only one rain barrel, and our plots are WAY smaller, just 4x12 ft...

January 26, 2011 8:27 AM

Blogger Frank said...

Wow, those are great prices... here in Zurich we pay roughly 500 CHF (which is roughly equal in dollars) a year, for a 200 square meter plot. That's city owned, and water from a source.

January 26, 2011 9:02 AM

Blogger Jill said...

In Cambridge (MA) the plots are free.

January 29, 2011 7:56 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Wow - the Cambridge plots are free!!!?? That's a good deal.

By the way, my plot is about 25 square feet. Our plots range from about 12 sq ft up to maybe 30 or 35 sq ft. Most are about 20 sq ft.

January 29, 2011 1:57 PM

Blogger Tom Cunningham said...

I'm pretty sure I paid $35 for Medfield, MA last year ($20 for the plot and $15 for the right to reserve my plot for next year). Town supplied water, wood chips for mulching, and they plow the plots.

February 01, 2011 7:30 PM

Anonymous Melinda said...

I'm from Sydney, Australia and living in an apartment. For over a year I have been looking to join a community garden. There are quite a few established in Sydney but for those that I would be eligible for, the waiting lists can be years long.
I would happily pay $300AUD for a plot but I guess that is justified by supply/demand for my area.

February 01, 2011 11:54 PM

Anonymous Patrick said...

Per plot is about $150 here in Amsterdam, and due to increase this year. Water can be had from local lakes or canals, or you can collect rainwater so it's not provided.

The actual cost of the plot is far less, but we pay a lot in upkeep fees. These mostly go to cutting the grass!! Can you believe that? All done with a gas powered mower and edging equipment. There are several play areas supplied for children, and city requires we keep the grass, so we can't save money by getting rid of it.

This is all because we used to get a lot more in subsidies, so no one cared if it cost a lot of money to cut the grass.

February 03, 2011 3:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pay $20 for a 4X8 foot plot (32 sq ft.) in a philadelphia cemetary.

February 09, 2011 10:49 AM


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