FFGA Frequently Asked Questions
What is a community garden?
Community gardens are common spaces where people of different demographics come together to create, develop and sustain a gardening space in their locality. Through community gardening, the gardening culture and a greater sense of civic ownership is manifested among the public and private estates, schools and organisation. Not only does it beautify our villages with blooming flowers, vegetables, spices and fruits, it is an opportunistic platform for your neighbors, peers and colleagues to come together for bonding and sharing of knowledge and experiences. Especially in our multi-ethnic society, community gardens nurture the values of cooperation, volunteering, respecting diversity and creating ecological awareness.
What is an allotment?
An allotment is a piece of land on which one can grow ornamental plants and / or vegetables. The most important aspect of an allotment garden, is "the gardening". Gardening in an allotment park is an active recreation in which the activities are not limited to your own garden, but extend throughout the entire garden park.
Fortunately, there is still enough time left to enjoy a well-deserved rest after gardening.
What type of allotment gardens are there?
The sizes of the individual gardens vary from about 30 m2 (320 sq.ft) to about 100 m2 (1089 sq.ft).
There are 3 different kinds of gardens, namely:
A: Kitchen gardens: the smallest gardens in which the gardeners grow their own vegetables, potatoes and fruits. Only small sheds are allowed.
Future and potential plans are looked into for:
B: Day Allotment Gardens with a small hurricane & earthquake proof cabin (maximum 7 m2/ 80 sq.ft) only for day activities. It is prohibited for overnight stays.
C: Lodging Allotment Gardens with a hurricane & earthquake proof cabin (maximum 30 m2) and permission for overnight stay during the period from November 15th up to and including June 1st. .
Mind you a different allotment rental price applies for B and C category allotments. If applicable the garden plants, the cabin and any greenhouse that are on it, you take over from the previous owner through the FFGA board.
The cabin prices differ considerably from US$ 4,000 up to US$ 115,000 for a well-maintained and off-grid garden cabin. However, there are also allotment parks where only day centers are allowed and garden parks where no cabin may be placed at all.
Is there a community garden near me?
Have a look at our Key Projects page maybe there is a garden that might interest you now. In the future you can visit our “Find a Garden” page and zoom in on your neighborhood to find a community garden near you.
How can I join a community garden?
At first if you want to rent an allotment you need to be officially registered as a resident of Sint Maarten DWI.
Secondly it is mandatory to become a member of the Food Farm Gardens Association (FFGA) by completing this FFGA Membership Registration form online and paying your membership fee (see Terms & Conditions). Once we have received your application the Garden Manager will contact you to further complete your application and allotment size request. Please note that there are waitlists for most of our community gardens.
Can I volunteer in a community garden?
Yes! We have regular volunteer opportunities and can arrange for groups to volunteer. Click here for more information.
How can I start a new community garden?
Visit our “Start a Community Garden” page for valuable advice on starting a new garden. Once you have a volunteer leadership team in place, we’d be happy to meet with you to offer you advice.
Can you answer my specific gardening questions?
We recommend that you contact the FFGA Master Gardener hotline with your specific gardening questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have the aspiring membership. Do I keep paying a membership fee every year?
Every year (in January) you will receive an invoice for the contribution. As long as you are on the waiting list, you will continue to pay membership fees meanwhile you enjoy our membership privileges. If you become a member "Tenant Gardener", you also continue to pay the contribution. This is calculated in the annual costs.
What are the aspiring membership privileges?
As an aspirant, you have the right to register for allotments that are available for rent at the garden park where you are on the waiting list. Aspirant members are invited to the periodic meetings where information about all rights and obligations associated with having an allotment garden is explained. Aspirant members also receives the monthly newsletter “Early Bird” that elaborates on member of the month and new member introductions, all sorts of planned activities such as workshops, market garden, business and job opportunities. Aspirant members enjoys discounted ticket fees with regards to the FFGA Events.
What is the working method of the waiting lists at a community garden park?
Every garden park has a waiting list. These are different in length. In principle, allotments are allocated according to rank number. This means that the person who has been registered the longest has the first rights if a garden plot is offered. Further information about this can be obtained from the management of the relevant garden park (s).
The approach of prospective members with regard to selling a cabin differs per park. Keep a close eye on the website of the garden park where you are on the waiting list and visit the garden park regularly. The cabins for sale are published on this website and or on the information board in the garden park.
I joined in the 4th quarter. When will I receive a contribution invoice again?
The contribution period runs from January 1 to December 31. You will receive a new invoice in January. In the 4th quarter, it is still possible to register on the waiting list at a number of garden parks. First check whether the garden park of your choice is still available before you become a member.
Can I also have my contribution debited automatically from my bank account?
Yes, this can be arranged by filling out this authorization form. After completing and signing the form, send it by email to email@example.com or drop it off at our office at Vicky’s Keys Volunteer Centre.
How can I cancel my prospective membership?
You can call us or send an email request for cancellation firstname.lastname@example.org. Your membership will be immediately terminated. If you have issued a direct debit, it will also be terminated immediately.
Can I also have my annual costs (contribution) deducted automatically?
Yes, this can be arranged by filling out the authorization form. After completing and signing the form, send it by email to email@example.com or drop it off at our office at Vicky’s Keys Volunteer Centre.
I have received the invoice for my annual payments, but the content is incorrect. Where can I go with this question?
The invoice for the annual costs is made according to the information that the FFGA office receives from the FFGA treasurer. If you have a substantive question, please contact the FFGA office. Do you have another question about your invoice? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone the FFGA office.
I am married. Does my partner also automatically own my allotment and or cabin if applicable?
If your partner is mentioned on the allotment registration form, he / she has a pre-emptive right and this pre-emptive right is assured in the event of death and divorce. It does not mean that your partner automatically owns your allotment and or cabin if applicable. For understanding partner, see the articles of association and regulations page 1.
I would like my children to be able to make use of a pre-emptive right to take over my garden cabin in the future. How can I arrange this?
Children can make use of their pre-emptive right by joining the Food Farm Garden Association. Children of the age of 18 can register for a membership to be put on the waiting list of your garden park with a note that they want to take over your allotment and or cabin if applicable in the future.
I have damage (burglary, storm, etc.), what can I do?
Download this form and submit it completed and signed (in case of burglary also the report to the police) to the board of your garden park, if possible supported with photos.
I would like to take out insurance for my garden and or cabin through FFGA. Where can I go?
Email email@example.com your request and we’ll assist you with getting your garden belongings insured.