Providing multilingual garden education, resources, and mentorship.
Did You Know?
While countless studies have shown that gardening can dramatically reduce overall food costs and improve both mental and physical well-being, nearly 40% of first-time home gardeners give up in the first year.
What We Do
We believe that growing your own food is a transformative experience that connects us to our land, ourselves, and to each other.
To cultivate a healthy and more equitable Oregon, our Home Gardens program pairs qualifying participants with neighborhood garden advisors who provide education, resources, and three years of peer-to-peer mentorship free of charge.
How We Do It
Qualifying program participants enroll through a garden advisor or by following the "Apply Here" button on this page.
Their neighborhood garden advisor works with the participant to assess their needs and create a plan of action.
We evaluate their availible resources and conduct a lead soil test to ensure their yard is safe, organic, and ready for growing.
We teach the participant how to design, build, prepare, and maintain a high-yielding garden bed.
We provide three years of free seeds, starts, supplies, and continue to serve with accessible classes, workshops, and resources.
We then strive to train and hire past program participants to work as garden advisors in their own neighborhoods.
Garden Bed Options
We understand that every home, family, and situation is going to be unique.
Growing Gardens offers a variety of garden bed options for qualifying participants:
Two 4×8 foot “in-ground” garden beds using existing backyard soil along with compost, amendments, and sheet mulching to create a lush and nutritious space for growing food. (No wood frame)
For residents unable to garden “in-ground”- we provide five-gallon plastic containers filled with soil. While this is a great option for those without backyards, it requires additional tending to be successful.
Accessible Raised Beds
One accessible 4×8 foot, 2 foot high wood-framed raised bed that can be tended from a wheelchair. This option is ideal for gardeners with health issues that prevent them from using in-ground beds.
First Year Gardner
“I liked that I was eating food grown by me for me. It did help me save money on food. I also got to meet some new neighbors and had more contact with the neighbors that I know. Also, the bed makes my front yard look much better.”
Third Year Gardner
“My son loves to eat everything we grow. If it came from our garden he’ll eat it. He loves the way it looks and how it feels to see the plants and eat the food. He also enjoys all the critters who live in the garden…bees, ladybugs, and frogs. Sometimes he helps with the weeding and planting of seeds and starts.”
Accessible Garden Education For All
Growing Gardens is actively building a healthy and more equitable Oregon. We proudly offer multilingual mentorship and accommodations that ensure accessible programming for EVERYONE.
How To Apply
Growing Gardens currently serves households meeting low-income requirements in the Portland Oregon Metro area. We are now accepting applicants in N, NE, SE, Gresham, Milwaukie, or Oregon City. But we hope to support additional neighborhoods soon! If you live outside of these areas we encourage you to apply now to save your spot on the waitlist.
In addition to residential gardens, Growing Gardens works with local organizations to develop their own community gardens and garden-based programming. Let our experienced team of advisors work with your stakeholders to conduct a needs assessment, create an action plan, and design the perfect community garden for your organization.Apply Here
Get The Fact Sheet
Since 1996, Home Gardens has worked with over 1,590 households in Oregon. Download our most recent fact sheet to see what they had to say about the experience...Get The Fact Sheet
Explore Our Programs
Follow the links to learn more about the powerful programs we offer at Growing Gardens.
Our Pre-K -12th grade Youth Grow curriculum gets children in the garden to learn about nature, nutrition, and food system sustainability.
Our Lettuce Grow program provides hands-on garden training, certifications, and workforce development opportunities to adults and youth living in incarceration.
Did you know that we offer sliding-scale garden consultations as well? Let our expert garden advisors tackle your toughest gardening questions.