Community Garden Handbook

Mission & Vision

Duke Farms opened a 240-plot Community Garden in Spring 2011 to provide people with the opportunity to grow healthy produce in a way that is friendly to the environment. To meet increased demands for space, the garden was expanded to 462 plots in 2014 and is now the largest allotment-style community garden in the country.  Our gardeners practice organic, sustainable methods such as no-till gardening, building soil biology and the use of natural mulches for water conservation.


As part of the Duke Farms Education Program, the Community Garden offers a wide variety of educational opportunities such as classroom lectures, “walk and talk” sessions and hands-on workshops.  We support a robust “Giving Garden” program which donated over 1,600 pounds of produce to local food banks in 2015.  All levels of gardeners are welcome to join!



Each garden plot is privately maintained by individual renters. Individuals who live and/or work in Somerset County, New Jersey are eligible to participate; commercial enterprises are not eligible to apply. Plots are rented on a first come, first served basis. New gardeners are restricted to 1 plot in their first year of gardening. Returning gardeners may rent a maximum of 3 plots and will have the opportunity to renew the same plot(s) each year should they wish to.


Plot sizes/Annual Fee

Garden plots are available in three sizes: 10 x 10 feet for an annual fee of $20; 15 x 15 feet for $40, and 15 x 30 feet for $60.



Each gardener is responsible for the maintenance and regular upkeep of their plot, including keeping the plot weed free and harvesting ripe produce. The Duke Farms Community Garden is open all year, subject to weather, with water available on site between March and October. Garden plots are offered in AS IS condition and need to be prepared each season by the participating gardener using strictly organic amendments (NO chemical fertilizers or pesticides will be allowed). Gardeners will also be responsible for providing their own seeds or plants and must use their own garden tools to tend their plots.


Participation Requirements

Each gardener must sign a Participation Agreement upon registration of their garden plot. Gardeners who fail to comply with the requirements will forfeit their garden plot.
      1. Maintain a valid email address to receive all communications

      2. New gardeners must attend Orientation and Introduction to Organic Gardening
      3. Attend at least 1 class per year (2 classes for new gardeners)

      4. Volunteer 4 hours for the 1st plot and 1 hour for each additional

      5. Abide by all Duke Farms Community Garden rules and regulations as stated in the Garden Handbook.


Phone number for security for reporting trapped wildlife:  908-722-3700 (dial 0 after the prompt)

Upcoming Programs & Announcements

Plot Registration for New Gardeners

Date & Time: January 4 @ 9 am.

Please review the Community Garden Participation Agreement before registering


There is no wait list for the Duke Farms Community Gardens.  Please check registration link to see if plots become available.


Eventbrite - Community Garden 2016 New Gardener Registration Round 2



New Gardener Orientation

All NEW gardeners are required to attend this informative orientation session.  


Orientation Dates & Times:

Sat. 2/6 @ 10a - 12p

Thurs. 2/18 @ 6:30 - 8:30p

Please register to reserve your spot on your preferred date.

Eventbrite - New Gardener Orientation



Introduction to Organic Gardening

All NEW gardeners are required to attend this course.

Have you been wanting to transition to an organic garden but weren’t sure where to start?  Are you a new gardener in the Duke Farms Community Garden? This class is for you!  Learn the basics of organic gardening from pest and disease identification and control options to soils, compost, planting and harvesting. 



Mon. 2/8 @ 6:30 to 8:30p

Sat. 2/20 @ 10a to 12p

Please register to reserve your spot on your preferred date.

Eventbrite - Introduction to Organic Gardening




Neighborhood Meet-Ups

Date: 2/27

We recommend that all gardeners attend this informative and casual meeting. 


Duke Farms Garden Staff will do a quick review of rules, requirements and important information for the upcoming season.  We will then moderate a discussion among garden neighbors.  Topics to discuss include plans for planting & maintaining the neighborhood giving garden, electing a mayor or other neighborhood officials, and desires to plan events or bulk deliveries. 


Eventbrite - Community Garden Neighborhood Meet-ups





Community Garden Opening Day!

Date: Sat. 4/9 @ 10a to 2p

A fun way to start your gardening season and meet you garden neighbors.  Staff, volunteers and visiting experts will be on site to help you get your plot ready for a productive year.  There will be tours, prizes, neighborhood meetups, a raised bed workshop and more!


No registration required.  See you there!

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