Community gardens grow healthy food and help develop strong neighborhoods. Gardening can be an enriching experience to help families and individuals learn sustainable practices, understand their local climate and support their own food supply.
Community gardens do much more than just grow fresh, healthy produce. They bring people together across age, experiences, as well as cultural and economic barriers. They unify neighborhoods, improve our health and add beauty to our environment.
Marion-Polk Food Share supports a network of more than 60 gardens in Marion and Polk counties, including gardens with plots that are available for rent.
Find a Garden
If you would like to grow food at a community garden, first, find the nearest public garden here.
Contact the garden coordinator listed next to that garden, they will help you get set up. You may also contact our Community Gardens team, listed below, to assist you in finding a plot.
Grow a Garden
Seed Exchange – Join us for our annual garden event held every March. Gardeners bring seeds, share seeds, receive seeds. Bringing seeds in not required and the event is free! It’s a great kick-off to the spring season.
Seed to Supper – We offer a free 6-six week gardening education course to low-income individuals and families late in the winter season each year. To learn more, click on this page or view the curriculum.
Support a Garden
Funds – There are many needs and you can support gardens which low-income individual and families use to supplement their grocery budget and provide healthy food for themselves.
Supplies – The following is a list of the most needed items:
- Plant starts
- Landscaping materials
- Small machinery
Get involved by using your time and skills.
We need support with large projects which are great for groups.
- Hauling wood chips or soil
- Building new garden beds
- Planting large crops
Long-term volunteers are also vital to support:
- Soil health
- Educational projects
Use SNAP to Garden
Many SNAP recipients don’t know they can spend their benefits on seeds and food-producing plants. Gardening can help extend benefits at the grocery store if you grow some of the food you need already at home. Knowing this can really help community gardeners living on a lower income.
- Not all retailers who accept SNAP sell food-producing plants and seeds- even though they’re authorized. 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