WHAT IS HOME GARDENS?
Growing Gardens’ Home Gardens Program is a three-year program that is free to Portland residents with limited resources. We provide a garden installation, plant seeds and starts, compost, tools and educational workshops. We match up beginning gardeners with more experienced gardeners (“Garden Advisors”) to provide one-on-one mentoring throughout the season. We believe that growing food is a transformative practice that connects us back to the land, our health, and community. Through this program participants are able to grow an abundance of fresh food, save money on groceries, spent more time outside, and experience the therapeutic value of tending to plants.
For organizations or companies looking for support in starting a gardening program at your housing facility, health clinic, or community center, learn more about our Partner Garden Program here.
Growing Gardens offers three garden bed options:
Two 4×8 foot “in-ground” mounded-earth garden beds that use the existing native soil in your backyard, add compost, amendments, and sheet mulching to create a lush and nutritious space for growing food.
Grow Anywhere Containers:
For residents unable to garden “in-ground” but have a sunny porch or balcony on which they would like to grow food. We provide five-gallon plastic containers filled with a soil mix in the spring for use that season. While a great option for those without backyards, these gardens require additional tending, watering, and fertilizing in order to be successful.
Accessible Raised Bed Garden:
One 4×8 foot, 2 foot high wood-framed raised bed that can be tended from a wheelchair. This option is for gardeners with health issues that prevent them from using in-ground beds. Because of the cost of wood and soil, we are limited in the number of wood framed garden beds that we are able to build, so please only apply for this type of garden if you have a physical limitation.
As part of the Home Gardens program, Gardeners Receive:
- • An initial garden consult to determine the best location for their home garden
- • Installation of garden beds or containers
- • Seeds and plants for 3 years
- • Compost bins, if desired
- • Help from gardeners through the Mentor Program
- • Free admission to Learn & Grow workshops
- • Our newsletter Seeds for Success
- • Garden resources in English and Spanish,
including a Planting Chart or Tabla de Siembras
How to Apply
We welcome all residents who live in SE, NE, or N Portland and who meet our income guidelines listed below. Gardeners can choose from our three garden types depending on their current living situation. We are also able to connect gardeners with nearby community gardens and to support gardeners in community gardens.
To qualify for this program, families must be at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. Below are the guidelines:
Download the fillable PDF below:
Submit your application online or mail to the Growing Gardens office at:
3114 SE 50th Ave
Portland, OR 97206
Your name will be added to our waitlist in the order with which it was received. Our waitlist is separated regionally (N, NE, SE) to ensure that we are evenly distributing our program services across the city.
Once your name reaches the top of our waitlist our staff will contact you to schedule a site visit and program orientation. We will come to your house, talk about where you want your garden located, take a soil sample for testing, and bring paperwork for you to fill out. At this point you will receive a schedule for your garden installation, seasonal classes, and supply distribution dates.
Garden installation! Our trained Crew Lead volunteers will help you and a small group of volunteers build a backyard garden.
Note: we build only build gardens in April and October.