Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM MST
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Maricopa Ag Center 
37860 W. Smith Enke Rd
Maricopa, AZ 85138

Driving Directions 


Cristina Guterman 
University of Arizona Nutrition Network 

Small Acreage Farming Education and Research

Maricopa Agricultural Center

Plot Reservation Agreement

The mission of the Small Acreage Farming Education and Research (SAFER) Center at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center (MAC) is to provide beginning farmers access to land, irrigation, and technical support so they can enter the market in Maricopa and Pinal Counties. The Plots are managed by the Project Manager at Maricopa County Cooperative Extension (MCCE) and the MAC liaison. In order to provide stability and continuity, the following guidelines have been established for participating farmers. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in a consideration of crop plot revocation.


  1. The quantity, location and size of farm plots will be reserved on a first come, first served basis with priority given to farmers who have had attended Cooperative Extension trainings as well as farmers who sell at markets that accept USDA-SNAP benefits. A plot is considered reserved upon receipt of a signed Plot Reservation Agreement. The plot is assigned after full payment of a non-refundable, six (6) month lease of $90.00.
  2. The average plot size is 27 ft. x 30 ft. The reservation of one (1) plot per interested party will be allowed. More than one plot may be requested and assigned to an interested party if they can provide proof that they are selling produce from the plots to SNAP customers.  Multiple plots are not guaranteed, as additional farmers may be on a waitlist.
  3. By signing the agreement, the farmers are reserving their plots for six (6) months from the signed date. After six (6) months, the MCCE Program Manager and MAC Liaison will evaluate the farmer’s usage of their plots and reserve the option to offer another six (6) month extension or terminate the partnership.
  4. All farmers will have access to their plots from sunrise to sunset.


The University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center agrees to provide to the undersigned farmer(s) use of the assigned plot and access to water in the form of a ” threaded PVC pipe outlet, which is located in the center of the northern edge of the plot.  Farmers agree to abide by any applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations, and the Rules (attached) and any amendments adopted from time to time. Violation of applicable laws or regulations will be grounds for termination of this reservation agreement. By signing, farmers acknowledge their understanding of the rules and agree to:


  1. Plan, plant, weed, and harvest their plot during the reservation period and maintain the area around their assigned plot extending into the pathway. Farmers are expected to follow good crop production practices, and to plant and harvest within the time ranges established for the Maricopa area. The plots are to be used for growing flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruit and other edibles to be sold in Maricopa and Pinal Counties. The planting of perennial, permanent crops, including trees, is not permissible. Farmers will harvest all crops and remove all weeds on their assigned plot upon the termination of their use of the plot.
  2. Be considerate of how management of their plot affects other farmers’ plots and the overall space.  Do not walk in, harvest from, or alter neighboring plots. Weeds must be managed. The University of Arizona reserves the right to remove weeds with a labor crew at the farmer’s expense, which may result in damage to crops and/or irrigation system.
  3. The University of Arizona also reserves the right to manage Bermuda grass with glyphosate applications, if said grass and/or weeds continue to be a significant problem. 
  4. Significant pest problems must be reported to the MCCE Farm Project Manager so that remediative action can be taken to protect neighboring plots. 
  5. Ensure positive relationship with MAC employees and neighboring residents by keeping the site tidy.  Nothing is to be stored outside of the work shed.  Do not litter the plot space with any trash or other waste. Please pick up and dispose of trash.
  6. Land space is $90/plot/per six (6) month period. A non-refundable payment of $90 is required at the initiation of this contract.
  7. Farmers must provide all tools, seeds, plants, soil amendments, and other supplies and materials necessary for their gardening efforts. Some equipment (tiller, shovels, hoes, rakes, seeder) are available for temporary use, provided by the University of Arizona Maricopa County Cooperative Extension. After use, all tools must be cleaned of mud and debris before being returned to the work shed.
  8. Practice sustainable agriculture and limit use of synthetic chemicals and off-farm inputs.  The use of cover crops to improve soil fertility and tilth is strongly encouraged.
  9. Plots will be considered abandoned if there is no activity on the plot for 30 days.
  10. Prior to terminating the privileges of a farmer for default under this agreement, the MCCE Project Manager shall notify the farmer, in writing, at the address indicated on the farmer’s application form, stating the grounds for the proposed termination. If the problem is not corrected within two weeks of notification, or if satisfactory arrangements are not made with the MCCE Project Manager for the correction of the problem, the plot(s) will be considered abandoned and open for reassignment to other farmers.
  11. Smoking is not permitted at MAC.
  12. Farmers must notify and gain approval from the MCCE Project Manager for any structural additions to the field, altering the soil grade, or conditioning their soil with any additives. Approval is also required for any pesticide or herbicide use, as well as engineered seeds. See #4
  13. Farmers must collaboratively work to keep the work shed in a clean and organized condition.  Do not store personal, non-farming items in the shed.
  14. Farmers must provide the MCCE Project Manager with a cropping plan within thirty (30) days of signing the Plot Reservation Agreement. This must include information regarding what the farmer will plant, whether the farmer is planting seeds or transplants, when the farmer will harvest, and what will be done with the harvest (i.e. sold, donated, consumed). In the event that this crop planning changes, the farmer must promptly inform the MCCE Project Manager.


Reserving plots, length of use

  • First-come, first-served basis
  • Plot sizes vary, average 27’ x 30’
  • Priority:

       1. Farmers who have participated in our Beginning Farmer training program

       2. Farmers who sell at markets that accept USDA SNAP benefits


Reserving plots, length of use (cont.)


  • Crop plan is due within thirty (30) days of reservation start.  A form will be available at the mandatory orientation. The plan will include:
  • What will you plant?
  • Will it be from seed or transplant?
  • When will this be harvested?
  • What will you do with your harvest? Sell? Donate? Consume?
  • In the event that your crop cycle planning changes, you must update your crop plan and inform the MCCE Project Manager.


Mandatory Orientation

  • All farmers are required to attend a 6-hour orientation that will cover the rules and regulations of the program and:
    • Good Handling Practices
    • Good Agricultural Practices
    • EPA Certification required to work at MAC


Plot maintenance, workdays

  • Plots must be maintained on a regular and consistent basis, including planting, weeding, etc.
  • Weeds must be removed before they bloom or produce vegetative propagules. “Edible weeds” must be harvested before bloom.
  • Crop debris must be finely chopped and incorporated back into the soil, or removed from the site by the farmer.
  • Attendance at workdays is encouraged, but not required. You will be notified of workdays throughout the year, as days/times may change seasonally.
  • Sign in is required – the sign in will be available in the work shed
  • If unable to maintain your plot, contact us.
  • MAC site hours are sunrise to sunset. Please do not be at the field when it is dark.



  • Each plot has its own outlet.  Farmers are responsible for connecting to the outlet.
  • Water is on demand and farmers are encouraged to use solar timers to irrigate their plots.
  • Water is available for plots every other day. A master calendar will be available in the work shed to designate even day (plots with even number assignments) and odd days (plots with odd number assignments).
  • If a leak or break is discovered, water to your plot will be turned off and the MCCE Project Manager will call the number given to notify the farmer of the issue.


Using equipment and tools

  • Tiller: Must contact MCCE Project Manager to arrange time/date to use

       Refill gas tank after use with regular, unleaded gas.

  • Tools (including shovels, hoes, rakes, etc.): Farmers will have access to the shed combination lock code.  Please return tools to shed in an orderly fashion and lock the shed after use.
  • All tools, including tiller, must be cleaned of mud and debris before being returned to the shed.



Food Safety

  • No animals are permitted on the field
  • Smoking is not permitted at MAC
  • Do not litter the farm site with any waste or trash.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet and before harvesting crops.


Moving/Conditioning soil, Altering grade, Structures on field

  • Obtain permission and written approval from the MCCE Project Manager for all soil/grade/structural changes including the addition of any soil amendments or additives.


Pesticides, herbicides, seed sources

  • All farmers must obtain permission and written approval from the MCCE Project Manager for use of any pesticides or herbicides.
  • All farmers must keep a written log of pesticides applied, following all applicable laws regarding pesticide application and safety.
  • All farmers must attend the mandatory orientation to obtain a current EPA pesticide training card.
  • All farmers will use the 1080 forms (supplied by the MCCE Project Manager) when applying pesticides.






I understand that farm-related news will be sent to the email address provided by me on this form or as provided to the University of Arizona from time to time.


I understand that security for persons or property is not provided for those using the farm.


I understand and agree that neither The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona, nor any of its officers, agents, volunteers, or employees, shall be held responsible for or made the subject of any claim for damages or liability arising from personal injury, property damage or loss of any sort to me, my guests, or any other person, or loss of any other sort arising out of or related to participation in programs at MAC Small Plots, whether the result of the negligence of MAC, the other Gardeners, or any other person. The User is responsible for supervision of children at all times.






I have read, understood and will comply with this agreement, including the hold harmless provisions herein, concerning the use of a community garden plot.


Signature ________________________________________________________


Printed Name_____________________________________________________








Daytime Phone______________________


If you change addresses (home or email) it is your responsibility to inform The MCCE Project Manager.