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 3,100 pounds of produce to local food banks in 2016.  All levels of gardeners are welcome to join!


Growing Together - Duke Farms Community Garden from Duke Farms on Vimeo.


Community Garden Sold Out

All 2017 plots are sold out. Please check back in 2018.


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

Gardeners are required to fulfill the following 5 obligations annually in order to maintain ownership of garden plot(s):

1. EMAIL: Maintain a valid email address. This will be the primary form of communication between staff and gardeners.  


2. CONTINUING EDUCATION: Attend 1 gardening course of your choice through Duke Farms or another suitable vendor. Record title & date in the Gardener Log Book. NOTE: First year gardeners must complete 3 courses total: Orientation, Intro to Organic Gardening & a course of your choice.


3. VOLUNTEER: Complete 4 hours of volunteer time at Duke Farms for your first garden plot, plus 1 hour for each additional plot.  Record hours in the Gardener Log Book.


4. WEEDS: Keep your plot(s) weeded and well maintained including arranging for plot care during periods of absence.


5. GO ORGANIC!: Use only OMRI (organic materials review institute) or organic approved materials in your plot(s).


Please also review all safety, security and conduct expectations as stated in the Duke Farms Community Garden Handbook. (The handbook is available by download HERE or you may request a hard copy.) 


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

Upcoming Programs & Announcements


New Gardener Orientation

Saturday, 2/11/2017 from 10am to 12pm

Thursday, 2/16/2017 from 6:30 to 8:30pm

All new gardeners are required to attend one of these informative orientation sessions; returning gardeners are welcome and encouraged to attend as well.


Eventbrite - 2017 Community Garden - New Gardener Orientation

Please register to reserve your spot on your preferred date.



Intro. to Organic Gardening

Saturday, 2/11/2017 from 1 to 3pm

Wednesday, 2/15/2017 from 6:30 to 8:30pm


All new gardeners are required to attend one of these informative orientation sessions


Eventbrite - Introduction to Organic Gardening



Neighborhood Meet-Ups

Sunday, 2/26/2017


12 - 1pm: Cauliflower Corner & Tomatoville

1:30 - 2:30pm: Garlic Grove & Turnip Town

3 - 4pm: Broccoli Boro, Rutabaga Ridge & Cucumber City


Eventbrite - 2017 Community Garden Neighborhood Meet-Ups

Please register for your neighborhood’s session.  If you garden in more than 1 neighborhood, you may choose which you attend.



Opening Day!

Saturday, 4/15/2017


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!



Garden Assistance Hours

Stan and/or Melissa will be in the garden during these regular times beginning on March 2. For alternate hours, please contact them to schedule in advance.  Please schedule bulk deliveries during these times with at least 24 hours’ notice. (link to bulk deliveries)



Monday 5pm-sunset

Wednesday 10am-2pm

Thursday 5pm-sunset

Saturday 9am-1pm


Additional hours by appointment

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