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.) In 2018, as a fund-raiser for the Gardens, we started a CSA (community supported agriculture).
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.
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
|Amy and Cindy sort donated pots and trays.|
|Llyn preparing tomatoes for dehydrating.|
Every year we have been able to provide local food-pantries with a bounty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables from the Garden's surplus. We have given away thousands of surplus '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 shared through seed-swaps, and to those who will use it for non-commercial growing.
|OSU students re-potting 'starts'|
|Apples gleaned from our neighbors.|
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.