Get the support you need to grow an amazing garden this year
Virtual Garden Consulting
How does it work?
Book your appointment and fill out the short questionnaire. Your answers will inform the content of the garden consultation.
Meet virtually via your phone or computer with one of our experienced gardeners in your home or garden. We’ll answer your questions, share resources, tips, and tricks.
You’ll receive a follow up email with notes from the consultation, additional resources, and a link to donate to Growing Gardens.
“I was really so super impressed with the experience! I went from having a lot of seeds and tossing them back and forth and thinking about I was going to use them, and second-guessing myself, to having the tools to plan out my small garden plot! I’ve dabbled in gardening for a while, and it’s always hard to ask people things because a lot of people who know a lot about gardening talk about in a way that’s really inaccessible and make people feel like it’s inaccessible, and that’s not [this] at all. I’m feeling confident about growing my own food!”
“My wife and I received a wealth of knowledge from [the consultant], not just about how to best use the space we have and where to plant everything, but also regarding fun new vegetables to grow, which definitely adds to the excitement for us! We are so appreciative of the guidance offered to us in this consult.”
“I appreciated the way I felt when talking to [the consultant]. I didn’t feel embarrassed for not knowing how to garden. And asking questions was easy. [They] explained what grows best and where and followed up with an email on great advice. I highly recommend this service to get digging in the dirt!”
“In Portland, as [the consultant] put it, gardening can feel like a competitive sport. But the ability and care [they] put into making me feel at ease, giving me advice and offering explanations gently and with respect, and really reassuring me that I could indeed do this without being an “expert,” was nothing short of radical. This service you’re offering is awesome. Highly recommended.”
Let's meet in your garden!
Meet your garden consultants
Rima Green runs the Lettuce Grow program at Growing Gardens. She is a Certified Master Gardener with many years of gardening experience. She teaches Oregon State Extension’s Certificate in Home Horticulture in correctional facilities. Rima is available for consulting in English.
Emily Keeler was the director of the Home Gardens program at Growing Gardens from 2014 until 2020. She has 8 years of experience farming on 2-acre and .5acre plots, and 6 years maximizing her own vegetable production in her backyard. Over the years she has taught many of our classes at Growing Gardens and has helped many beginning gardeners get started with the education and support they need to be successful. Emily is available for consulting in English and Spanish.
Antonio Rodriguez is the Home Gardens Manager at Growing Gardens. He has decades of experience growing food on his family’s farm and in his own backyard. He has worked with hundreds of gardeners through our Home Gardens program, providing one-on-one mentoring and advice. Antonio is available for consulting in Spanish.
Amoreena has been the Youth Grow program manager since 2017. She has been working in child development and education since 2003 in roles ranging from Middle School Language Arts teacher to Family Garden Coordinator at an elementary school. She’s had the opportunity to design and expand two half-acre child and family gardens and teach in over a dozen school gardens throughout the Willamette Valley with students pre-K-8th grade. She is available to help provide age and developmental stage appropriate ideas for engaging your kids in your family’s garden or with outdoor exploration.
For More Information
Contact Emily Keeler at firstname.lastname@example.org
What does it cost?
The 30 Minute Home Gardening and Kids Gardening Consultations are offered at a sliding scale $10-$75 donation. You decide how much you want to donate once you’ve had a chance to experience the value of this service. We’ll follow up your session with an email that includes additional resources and a link to donate.
This program cannot happen without your donations. We pay living wages to the knowledgeable staff that make time to consult with you and work hard to provide you with meaningful information and resources. We hope that you find value in your consultation experience and that you are willing to contribute financially (if able) to make this program possible.
However, our goal is to make this resource available to everyone who needs it and we know that many people are struggling financially right now. If you are one of those people, we do not want cost to be a barrier for you to be able to successfully grow your own food.
Consider these questions when deciding how much to donate: How much time do you typically spend researching and sifting through information on the internet? How much time did you save by talking to someone who has years of knowledge and experience with food production in the Pacific Northwest? How important is it to you to contribute to community food security and healthy food access for all? What is your current financial situation? Are you able to contribute a little extra to help subsidize this resource for someone with less financial resources?
What are the difference options?
30 Minute Home Gardening Consultation
This is an opportunity to have an in-depth one-on-one gardening lesson with an experienced gardening professional. Each 30 minute session is tailored to your unique goals, garden-type, and budget for materials. We will walk you through the steps of designing, building, planting, caring for, and harvesting your own home vegetable garden.
30 Minute Family and Child-based Gardening Consultation
This option is for parents, professionals, or anyone who is interested in working with kids in their garden. Gardens are amazing places where real-life learning, and human development can be nurtured in kids of any age. Our school garden educators have years of experience using gardens to engage students in growing their own food, flowers and native plants. In addition they are practiced in using the garden as a learning laboratory for math, science, food exploration, and multi-cultural lessons. Each 30 minute session will provide you with age-appropriate approaches and lessons to turn your garden (or neighborhood trees and parks) into a fun learning and development opportunity for kids.
10 Minute Free Assessment
Want to learn more about our consultations and whether one would be a good fit for you? Schedule a 10 minute Free Assessment to learn more about our services and what you can expect from our experienced gardening professionals during a 30 minute session.
What will I learn?
We’re here to help you meet your gardening goals – to that end, we’re happy to talk about anything you want! Some examples might be:
- Starting your garden for the first time
- Planting by seed and starts
- What to plant when – seasonal planting guide
- Maximizing your harvest with succession planting
- Plant nutrition and soil health
- Using the garden as a hands-on learning with your kids
- Anything else you can think of! Let us know when you sign up
What platform do you use for virtual consultations?
We have the option to use Google Hang Outs, WhatsApp, or FaceTime. We can also do consultations over the phone, if you’d prefer not to have video.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule?
We understand that schedules change and things come up. We ask that you give us 24 hours notice before cancelling or rescheduling to give our staff time to adjust their schedules and/or open the spot for someone else.
Why do I need to provide my address?
We use this information to look up your garden site on Google Maps in order to better understand the conditions that you are dealing with at your site.
I haven’t received an appointment confirmation or follow up email.
Check your spam filter! Make sure that @growing-gardens.org is listed as “safe”. A lot of our messages are getting put into spam and we have not been able to figure out why .
You should receive a confirmation email no more than 2 days after submitting your request for an appointment.
You should receive a follow up email with resources no more than 2 days after your virtual consultation.
If you don’t receive either of them and you can’t find it in your spam folder, send an email to email@example.com.