2020 Huntingdon Community Food Garden Rules

In the midst of a global pandemic and economic shutdown, we understand the importance of access to local food and garden space.  We therefore plan to be operational this season but will be enforcing strict guidelines to ensure that garden volunteers and personal gardeners maintain safe practices while at the garden.  

  1. In order to become a volunteer or claim personal garden space, one must arrange a work session with Nick Miller, who can be reached at 814-386-9772 or thenickmillerproject@gmail.com.
  2. In order to set foot on garden premises, one must first sign our 2020 Huntingdon Community Food Garden Waiver of Liability.  Even if you have volunteered in the past you will need to complete the new liability waiver. 
  3. While at the Community Garden volunteers and personal gardeners are required to wear a mask and gloves and maintain a 6 foot distance from all other people on site, in keeping with Covid-19 safety protocols.  
  4. Tools and other objects are not to be shared, so it is important to bring one’s own tools.  We can provide some tools for volunteers, but these are also not to be shared during a garden session.  

Rules for gardeners with personal space:

This year we are inviting community members to maintain a plot of land to grow their own produce. In the past all produce grown at the HCFG was donated to local organization focused on feeding our community. We understand not every Huntingdon community member has a place to grow food so we are offering space to support our families! Please review the rules below to maintain a personal space at the Huntingdon Community Food Garden. 

  1. Under no circumstances are manufactured chemicals to be used on garden premises, including pesticides, inorganic fertilizers, fungicides, and the like.  Organic gardening is the only method permitted.  Free expertise on how to grow and manage an organic garden is always available by contacting Nick Miller at 814-386-9772 or thenickmillerproject@gmail.com.
  2. Covid-19 and general safety protocols must be maintained at all times while at the garden.  
  3. One must always respect others while at the garden and maintain a positive work environment.  Complaining about deer and rabbits eating your produce is an exception to this rule!
  4. Occasional help with the community food gardens marked for donation is required in order to have a personal gardening space.
  5. Personal gardeners are restricted from taking produce from donation gardens and the gardens of others.
  6. At the end of the season, personal gardeners are required to tidy up their gardens by pulling out dead plants and making beds ready for the next growing season.
  7. Failure to comply with our rules will result in losing your garden space.

History of the Huntingdon Community Food Garden

In the spring of 2016 we started the Huntingdon Community Food Garden. Central in our community, the garden is located on the corner of 5th and Moore Streets in Huntingdon.

This property has been maintained but had been sitting vacant for many years since it was previously used at the William Smith Elementary School. This project is a prime example of community revitalization; taking a property that was previously utilized by our community but sitting vacant and work to turn  the space into a thriving garden. The location has become a central visiting site for community members to participate in gardening, volunteering, and donating produce back to our community. Each year, Huntingdon residents, volunteers, students and organizations help at the Huntingdon Community Food Garden. To learn more click here.

FAQ's about our garden:

  1. How long has the garden been open?
    Spring of 2016 the garden plan was approved by the HCC Executive Committee.
  2. Was there a guide or plan that was followed in terms of community gardening?
    Nope. Just Nick Miller and his farming knowledge of in ground beds. We removed two vertical above ground beds that were on site and tilled 8 horizontal beds in the ground.
  3. What have been some of the biggest challenges the garden has faced?
    First year, deer/rabbits and getting volunteers. Second year, too many volunteers! Third year, expansion and fencing! Fourth year: COVID pandemic. 
  4. How many people from the community are involved?
    The land is owned by the Borough and leased to Huntingdon Community Center. We started the Garden Crew Members in the spring of 2017. We have had a different business or organization sign up for one month from May – September. They agree to come each month with 4-8 volunteers to assist with planting, mowing, mulching, weeding, harvesting, and watering.
  5. What is done with the food that is produced?
    The Borough and HCC both asked that we donate all produce locally. We donate to several organizations around town.
  6. How did you decide what would be planted?
    Mostly items that could withstand extremes and non gardening tendencies. Fragile plants aren’t a great choice with little handed volunteers. We have some weeks with rain for days and others that we are in drought and are unable to water. We have stuck with a few main items and hope to expand offerings as the garden grows.