Moreland School District

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Community- Tell Me About » The Community Garden

The Community Garden


I. Overview

The Moreland School District (MSD) Community Garden is designed for a group of people who share a love of gardening; to beautify the neighborhood; to provide social and recreational opportunities; and give gardeners and their families an opportunity to produce inexpensive and nutritious food.  To preserve the community gardening program, the following rules, regulations, and guidelines have been established to:  


  • Ensure that the community garden is safe and well maintained for gardeners, neighbors, and the general public.
  • Establish fairness and equity among community gardeners.
  • Prevent damage to the land and groundwater.
  • Protect the future of the community garden in the Moreland School District.
As in any group endeavor, individuals must give up some of their individuality to accommodate the function of the group. Community gardening is no exception.

The Rules and Regulations are reviewed and revised annually in an ongoing effort to improve them and keep them relevant to changing conditions. However, unless official changes are made, you must abide by these rules and regulations as they are currently written. Failure to do so may result in the forfeiture of gardening privileges.


Everyone shares in the responsibility of enforcing these Rules and Regulations. If you have a concern regarding a rule violation, please report the infraction to the garden manager.  The MSD will be notified by the manager if the rule violation continues after steps have been taken to remedy the problem.


II. Who can participate in the Moreland School District Community Gardening Program?

Anyone age 18 or older who resides in the boundaries of the Moreland School District.


III. Plot Allocation, Registration, and Fees

The Moreland School District Community Gardening Program uses the following guidelines: 

  1. One garden plot per individual or household.
  2. A community gardener may not garden more than one garden plot.
  3. Two (or more) adults living at the same address can each have their own garden plot if they garden only their own plot AND if they file their taxes independently and neither (none) is claimed as a dependent of the other.
  4. The person whose signature appears on the Registration Form is considered the primary plotholder and is ultimately responsible for the garden plot. However, family and friends are welcome to participate.
  5. Garden plots are issued on a year-to-year basis, from
    January 1– December 31.
  6. Current plotholders in good standing have the option of renewing their garden plots each year.
  7. All plotholders must complete the MSD Community Garden Registration Form and pay their annual registration fee by the registration deadline before they can begin gardening. Those who do not meet the registration deadline will forfeit their gardening privileges and have their garden plot assigned to a new gardener.
  8. Plotholders who relinquish their garden plot for any reason must notify the garden manager either verbally or in writing.
  9. Plotholders who relinquish their garden plot may not directly transfer their plot to anyone else, including family or friends. Garden plots that become available will be re-assigned to new gardeners by the garden manager.
Fee and Payment Schedule

The fee for renting one plot is $125.00/year (check or money order ONLY) and must be submitted to the garden manager by December 30th.  If a current plotholder fails to pay their fee by the deadline, the next person on the waiting list will be contacted for consideration.  If you do not plant a garden by May 1st, you will lose the option to garden, with no refund of the plotholder fee. 

Make check payable to: Moreland School District

Send your check to:
Elisa Boydon, Garden Manager

4653 Student Lane

San Jose, CA  95130

[email protected]
Phone Number: 408-772-6121


IV. Gardening Guidelines

A. Organic Gardening

The Community Gardening Program adheres strictly to the gardening principles, concepts, and practices popularly called “organic.” Use of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or other such substances or practices inconsistent with organic gardening are prohibited and may result in the immediate revocation of gardening privileges. (Please refer to the “Garden Product Guidelines” for more information.)


B. Planting Schedule

  1. Community garden plots must be planted and maintained year-round.
  2. Summer gardens must be planted by May 1st.
  3. Remains of summer gardens must be removed by December 1st.
  4. To prevent the spread of rust, garlic is to be planted in November and harvested by May. When garlic is left in the ground for too long, it is possible for rust to form on the garlic and then spread to other gardeners’ plots.
  5. Plotholders must plant cover crops if they do not actively garden during the winter.

C. Planting Guidelines

  1. Plotholders may grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers in their plot.
  2. Plotholders may not plant trees or woody perennials in their plot. Those trees and woody perennials already existing in garden plots can be removed at the earliest convenience or when the plant goes dormant.
  3. Crops should be rotated.
  4. Unattended plot watering is prohibited.
  5. Plotholders should grow a variety of plants and should never grow less than two types of plants at any one time.
  6. Volunteer staff must approve planting of water-intensive crops such as taro and sugar cane. Growing of rice is prohibited.
  7. Respect the need of your neighbors’ plants for sunlight. Do not plant tall crops in a way that will cause excessive shading to nearby plots.
  8. Fruit tree pruning is scheduled for the third Sunday of January.  All plotholders are expected to participate with the pruning or clean up. NO PRUNING = NO FRUIT PICKING.  Take only your fair share of fruit when picking from fruit trees.
  9. Place all plants and trellises at least 12” inside plot perimeter. Do not construct or erect trellises more than 6’ high. Arbors are not allowed.
  10. Hoses and watering equipment should be returned to their original location in the same condition.  Gardeners should provide and use their own tools.
  11. Gardeners must use existing sheds to store supplies and materials.  No additional sheds or structures are allowed in the garden area.
V. Plotholder Responsibilities

Plotholders are responsible for the year-round maintenance of their garden plots and the surrounding pathways.  All plotholders must maintain a two-foot clearance around individual plots, including the perimeter of the garden between the fence line and any garden plot.

  1.  Do not plant anything close to the edge of the plot that will grow into the path.  Anything growing into the path will be cut back by the garden manager or district personnel.
  2. Plots and pathways must be kept free of weeds, trash, and other debris at all times (Pack out your own trash, such as wire, wood, plastic bags, soda cans, etc.)
  3. Weeds and Greenwaste should be on the street in the red zone to the left of the gate from Thursday – Monday only. (Do not block with waste)
  4. Common areas are maintained as a shared responsibility by all gardeners. Such maintenance will occur at garden cleanups scheduled by the volunteer staff and/or on an ongoing basis.
  5. Plotholders are required to attend scheduled garden cleanups or make alternative arrangements with garden staff to assist in the maintenance of the garden.
  6. Plotholders may contribute to the community garden in additional ways, such as making phone calls, writing newsletters, etc., as coordinated with the volunteer staff.
  7. Plotholders must attend garden meetings (if your garden schedules meetings). If you are unable to attend a meeting, you must make alternative arrangements with volunteer staff.
  8. Plotholders must be involved in the hands-on cultivation of their plots, though family and friends are welcome to share in the responsibility.
  9. Plotholders may not pay for someone else to garden their plot.
  10. In the event of a family emergency, illness or injury, vacation, or other unforeseen circumstance, plotholders may arrange for other people to tend their garden plot, but plotholders must also notify volunteer staff.
  11. Plotholders must notify volunteer staff of the following: water leaks or other irrigation problems; graffiti, theft, or vandalism; rule violations; pest or disease problems.
  12. Plotholders and their guests must comply with all rules and regulations.  Non-gardeners are not allowed in the garden without an escort from a plotholder.
  13. Primary plotholders will be held accountable for the behavior of their guests.

VI. Guidelines for the Community Garden

  1. HOURS OF OPERATION: Community garden is open from sunrise to sunset. 
  2. BEHAVIOR: Foul language or loud offensive behavior is not permitted.
  3. GATES: In general, garden gates should be kept closed and locked at all times.
  4. CARS: Vehicles are only allowed inside the garden area to drop-off/pick-up materials and supplies.  Vehicles must remain on garden driveway area.
  5. WATER: The amount of water used will determine future registration fees. No unattended watering. All gardeners are authorized to turn water off if it has been left unattended. Excessive water use may result in a fine as determined by the garden manager.
  6. BATHROOM: Proper bathroom facilities must be used. Urinating or defecating in the community garden is prohibited.
  7. GARBAGE: Pack it in, pack it out.  Discarding of garbage on the ground or in compost or green waste piles is prohibited.
  8. GREEN WASTE: Weeds and plant material should be composted on-site or placed in the green waste collection area(s). Green waste should not be thrown away or left in the pathways.
  9. NO SELLING: Produce from community gardens is primarily for family consumption. Excess food can be preserved for future use, shared with friends or neighbors, or donated to local food banks. You may not sell your produce.
  10. HARVESTING: Harvest only from your own plot. The unauthorized taking of produce from another gardener’s plot will result in the immediate and permanent revocation of your garden plot.
  11. IRRIGATION SYSTEM: Any alterations to the irrigation system must be approved by the garden manager. No alterations can be made to the irrigation system on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays because of the risk of an accident and the limited availability of MSD staff during these times. In the event of an irrigation emergency, you should contact your garden manager. Any alterations to the MAIN irrigation line are prohibited.
  12. SMOKING: Smoking is prohibited at all time.
  13. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES: No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs of any kind allowed.
  14. ANIMALS: Pets are not allowed in the community garden. 

VII. Violations of Community Gardening Rules & Regulations   

A.  Due Process

Step 1- Verbal Warning
Step 2- Written Warning – no more than two per year
Step 3- Garden Manager Final Decision
Step 4 (if necessary) – Garden Committee will serve as an Appeal Board
Step 5 (if necessary) – Dependant upon garden committee recommendation, Moreland School District will make final decision



  • The MSD community garden will establish a committee to oversee due process as an Appeal Board.
  • The committee does not replace the manager, but helps with difficult decisions.
  • The committee must be made up of at least five currently registered gardeners from that garden.
  • The committee should reflect the diversity of the garden as much as possible, including, but not limited to ethnic background, age and length of time a gardener has been at the garden.
  • The garden committee will follow the guidelines as set forth in the MSD Community Garden Program Rules and Regulations.


  • Theft of tools and equipment
  • Theft of produce and plants from another plot.
  • Vandalism of tools, equipment, and/ or district property
  • The use of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs of any kind
  • More than two written warnings in a calendar year
  • Failure to pay registration fee by the deadline