Growing a Garden That Gives Away Food (and So Much More)!
Giving Gardens are “safe spaces with a bold calling” as one of our tenacious interns so succinctly once said. While a Giving Garden does give food away, either some or all of it, its bold calling is inviting friends, neighbors and entire communities out of their comfort zones to work and play together for the common good.
Giving Gardens are spaces where people and ideas come alive and are unique to the places we call home. In return they provide healing, education, beauty, connection, reconciliation and abundant fresh food to those with the greatest need.They operate on the premise that “There are many types of hunger. Everyone is hungry for something, and everyone has something to give,” as Susan Sides, Garden Manager here at The Lord’s Acre always says. You’ll find such gardens anywhere there’s a bit of land (businesses, churches, prisons, retirement centers, schools, vacant lots, etc.) and a few people who see what is possible.
Whether you’re determined to start a Giving Garden, have an existing shared garden space and are hoping to take it to the next phase or are simply curious about the process altogether, our training manual, Gardens That Grow & Give Away Food, is a great place to begin. In 172 pages, we explore how to think about, start and maintain a Giving Garden of any size using various models and methods so you can choose and create what works for you and your community.
We start with Purpose & Principles and explore topics such as:
1. The Need (for Gardens that Give)
Purpose & Principles–The WHY Determines the HOW
Steering Committees/Board Wisdom
What Type of Food Initiatives Fit You and Your Community
3. Growing a Garden that Gives Away Food
3.1 What is a Garden that Gives
3.2 Quick Start Outline for Starting a Garden that Gives
3.3 Models for Gardens that Give Away Food
3.4 Growing Methods
3.5 Start-Up Costs
3.6 Getting Started: Site Essentials, Initial Supplies and Considerations
3.7 Jobs and Responsibilities
3.8 Garden Managers
3.10 What to Grow
3.11 Growing Food
3.12 Harvest & Distribution
4. Beyond Basics
4.2 Grant Writing
4.3 Events: ‘Fun’draising & ‘Friend’raising
4.4 Building a Base of Support
4.5 Connecting with Food Recipients
4.6 Engaging Community
4.7 Leadership Skills
4.9 Projects, Programs & Initiatives
5. In Addition
5.1 Beauty & Interest
5.2 Safety & Insurance
5.3 Gardens that Give Networks–An Outline for Getting Started
5.4 Empowering Others
Who are we? The Lord’s Acre, named after an initiative that began during the Great Depression as a way for neighbors to share food with their neighbors, has been successfully growing and giving away food and building community since 2009.
The creation of this important manual would not be possible without a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
“Healing the wounds of the earth and its people does not require saintliness or a political party, only gumption and persistence. It is not a liberal or a conservative activity; it is a sacred act. It is a massive enterprise undertaken by ordinary citizens everywhere.” -Paul Hawkens, Blessed Unrest