Growing Gardens’ mission is to cultivate healthy, equitable communities through the experience of growing food. Our programs use gardening as a vehicle to provide fresh food access, science and nutrition education, and job skills in low-income communities, high-poverty schools, and correctional facilities across Oregon.
Our Youth Grow program provides hands-on learning in school gardens to help all children feel accepted and empowered to make healthy choices, become stewards of the environment, share their culture, and increase community resiliency. Our Home Gardens program partners with diverse and multi-generational families to build and sustain food-producing gardens, which strengthen the health of people, communities, and the environment. Our Lettuce Grow program provides educational and gardening experiences to incarcerated adults and youth in the state of Oregon, providing fresh produce for the facilities’ kitchens and area food banks, and horticulture related job credentials for individuals in the program.
Since Growing Gardens’ inception in 1996, we have helped over 1,500 families start home gardens, supporting fresh food access for over 5,000 adults and children. Since 2006, we have partnered with 15 schools to design and implement garden education programs for elementary school children. We are currently running gardening programs in 14 Oregon correctional facilities and 2 juvenile detention centers.
Volunteers are always welcome to co-teach kids in school gardens, build home gardens and facilitate garden programs in correctional institutes.