Community Gardening

Woman watering plants at a community garden (Copyright IStock).
Community gardens are plots of land, usually in urban areas, that are rented by individuals or groups for private gardens or are for the benefit of the people caring for the garden. Dig into these resources to learn about healthy, local food.

United States Department of Agriculture

People’s Gardens empower communities to participate in local food production and provide diversity and resiliency to the food supply chain. They also teach about the benefits of sustainable, local agriculture and how gardening can foster community collaboration, provide green gathering spaces, and benefit the environment.

University of Missouri. Extension Service.

A guide to planning, starting and sustaining a community gardening project. Identifies
questions to ask and things to consider when getting started.

CDC. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Toolkit for urban farmers and communities to plan soilSHOP events for soil testing for lead, education about safe gardening practices, and outreach to prevent lead exposure.

University of California. Cooperative Extension Service. Los Angeles County.

Guide to help neighborhood groups and organizations along the path to starting and sustaining a community garden.

Soil Science Society of America.

This guide to community gardens covers organizing a garden, location and landowner considerations in site selection, garden design, decisions related to building the garden, and soil amendments.

ChangeLab Solutions. 

Toolkit providing legal resources and information in plain language to support landowners, sponsoring organizations, and gardeners in “establishing community gardens on vacant or underutilized parcels of land.”
Includes model lease, gardener’s agreement, and garden rules, as well as discussion checklists.

USDA. Food and Nutrition Service.

Tips for every stage of the garden, from site selection and materials to harvesting and accepting donations.
Though designed with school gardens in mind, covers many issues also applicable to community gardens.

American Community Gardening Association.

Fact sheets, contacts, links, reports and a discussion group that assist in starting, finding and researching community gardens. See Resources for Tools and Community Garden Start-Up Guides.