Community Garden Coordinators are incredible volunteers who help gardens grow. This page includes resources to help you start, administer, and grow your community garden. Thank you for all that you do!
Starting a New Garden
- How to Start a Community Garden – a step-by-step guide to navigating the administrative, legal, engineering, and agricultural obstacles to starting a new garden in Marion and Polk counties.
- New Community Garden Interest Form – the Food Share’s garden network connects together gardens that are working to end hunger in our region, either by providing low-cost growing space to food insecure households or by donating to neighborhood pantries. You can submit this interest form to see if your garden is a good fit with the Food Share garden network and gain access to our gardening resources.
Managing a Community Garden
- Community Garden Best Practices – A new resource we are currently developing. Available spring 2017!
- Sample Gardener Contracts – Every garden renting plots to the public should have a clear contract in place that outlines the rules and responsibilities that apply to each gardener. This is our suggested template that network gardens can add or subtract from as suits their individual situation.
- Core Garden Agreement
- Supported Garden Agreement
- Food Share resource availability – Garden categories and their resource availability from the Marion-Polk Food Share.
- Gardener Survey – Administered in spring 2017!
Planting calendars are useful tools to help utilize your garden year-round. The examples listed below are useful to hand out to gardeners to understand crops grown in the Pacific Northwest. These examples were developed by the Oregon Food Bank and OSU Extension for the Seed to Supper introduction to gardening curriculum.
Identifying Common Pests
When garden pests damage anticipated fruits and vegetables, it can be very frustrating for gardeners. This hand-out about identifying common garden pests and what to do about them is a useful tool to let your gardeners know. Gardeners don’t need to invest in high-cost chemicals to stop pests from damaging their crops. It’s helpful to understand why some pests are on certain crops so then they can be dealt with accordingly. This hand-out is part of the Seed to Supper beginner gardening curriculum composed by the Oregon Food Bank and OSU Extension.
- OSU Extension Master Gardener courses offer a wealth of gardening knowledge to the general public. The Gardening Help Desk number in Marion County is 503-373-3770. In Polk County it’s 503-623-8395.
- Extensive online and print publications are available in both English and Spanish. Visit the office in person (1320 Capitol St NE, Suite 110) or go to OSU Extension’s Gardening Community Page.
- MSWCD hosts a free manure exchange connecting gardeners with livestock owners.
- Contact information: 338 Hawthorne Ave. NE Salem, OR 97301. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 503-391-9927 for more information.
Using SNAP Benefits to Grow Food
Many SNAP recipients don’t know they can spend their benefits on getting seeds and food-producing plants. Gardening can help extend people’s benefits at the grocery store if they grow some of the food they need already at home. Knowing that SNAP benefits can go towards purchasing plants to garden with can really help community gardeners living on a lower income.
- Not all SNAP accepting retailers sell food-producing plants and seeds even though they’re authorized to. Find a SNAP retailer located near you.
- If the cashier says that the plants/seeds are not eligible for SNAP, ask to talk to a manager and show them the resource page on what items are eligible to purchase with SNAP.
- SNAP eligible items to purchase.
- El Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program o SNAP