Community Garden Resources
Please register your community garden with USDA’s directory. To qualify, your garden should benefit the community, incorporate sustainable practices, and be a collaborative effort. This site tracks progress toward Michelle Obama’s goal of 10,000 new community gardens and other fresh food access points in 2013.
Surf the Internet for a myriad of available community garden grants, one of which is www.assoc.garden.org/grants sponsored by the National Gardening Association in conjunction with The Home Depot Garden Club that focuses on involvement of children and youth as young learners. Other funding options at www.kidsgardening.com/grants.asp and www.communitygarden.org/learn/resources/funding-opportunities.php.
The Internet offers a plethora of information on starting a community garden. For starters, visit www.communitygarden.org/learn/starting-a-community-garden.php and www.communitygarden.org/docs/startup_guide.pdf. Foodshare.net offers a month-by-month look at starting a community garden at www.foodshare.net/toolbox_month01.htm. Urban Harvest includes sections on benefits, getting starting with school and youth gardens, and information on organic gardening at www.urbanharvest.org/cgardens/startguide.html. Cornell Cooperative Extension also offers a helpful guide on how to build safe, raised beds for vegetable gardening at http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/chemung/agriculture/publications/raised-bed-garden.pdf.
There are many different kinds of garden design software available. Here are two inexpensive online resources. Plan Garden offers a discounted subscription rates to schools and qualified non-profit institutions for use of their garden software to design and manage vegetable gardens. Another option is www.growveg.com.
Download the Let’s Move! Community Garden Guide to find resources for starting a garden, funding possibilities and more.
For free seeds, please visit Operation Green Plant, a project of America the Beautiful Fund.
Dinner Garden is another source for free seeds.
Visit the Asheville Jewish Community Center’s website to find a children’s gardening curriculum.
Ample Harvest connects community gardens to local food pantries to help feed those in need.
The USDA People's Garden Initiative and Cooperative Extension Service offer a series of training sessions on a wide variety of horticultural and garden related topics.
Cornell Cooperative Extension offers a helpful guide on how to build raised beds for vegetable gardening.
Start a Junior Master Gardener (JMG) group.
Contact JMG state coordinators.
Order the JMG teacher/leader guide.
The National Gardening Association (NGA) provides grants & fundraising for school / community garden projects. Click here to apply.
Enter your school in the Healthier US Schools Challenge and the Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes. Learn more here.