A unique and viable approach to establishing local food self-reliance and building stronger communities.

Overview of the Sharing Gardens

The Sharing Garden is a unique community-garden model. Instead of many separate plots that are rented by individuals, the garden is one large plot, shared by all. All materials and labor are donated. Share-givers (volunteers) typically come one to two times per week (at scheduled times) to help in all aspects of farming from planting, through harvest. The food we grow is shared amongst those who have contributed in some way as well as with others who are in need in our community (through food pantries and other charities.) No one is ever charged money for the food that is grown.

Amy and Cindy sort donated pots and trays.
Our project encourages community in a tangible way. Growing food together helps build relationships. The  Gardens have become a hub for distributing surplus building materials, garden equipment and supplies, canning jars, seeds and 'starts' and other related materials. Neighbors bring us their excess (or invite us to come pick it up) and we distribute it to those in need.  

Llyn preparing tomatoes for dehydrating.
The Sharing Gardens also has a strong educational component: share-givers learn about organic gardening, creating habitat for pollinators and other beneficial wildlife, saving “heirloom” seeds, pruning and other food-growing skills. We have also offered classes in cooking from scratch, using ingredients from the garden and encourage our share-givers to learn about canning and other food-storage techniques.

Each year we provide local food-pantries with literally tons of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. We give away over 2/3 of the hundreds of 'starts' grown in our green-house to other sharing-type gardens, and food-pantry customers. We save over 85% of our own seed which is distributed through seed-swaps, and to those who will use it for non-commercial growing.


OSU students re-potting 'starts'
In recent years we have partnered with Oregon State University's "service-learning" projects. Over the school year we host 150-180 students, for four-hours each (in groups of 4-6). These students help with all aspects of our project and learn about organic gardening, sustainable living and experience the joys of being in service to the community -- while receiving college credit.


Apples gleaned from our neighbors.
Currently our project gleans fruit from neighbors' trees and provides a drop-off site for gardeners/farmers to drop-off their surplus. This is then distributed to those in need. Since purchasing the land that hosts the Sharing Gardens, we have planted dozens of fruit and nut trees and berry-bushes. As these mature, we will be able to significantly add to the quantities of fresh, organic produce we can share in our community.

We have a strong commitment to providing habitat to birds, small-mammals, insects and reptiles. Our style of gardening provides food and shelter for many of these critters who's habitats' are shrinking due to humans' lifestyles habits.

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