As part of Rachel’s Table’s efforts to transform food insecurity, we began Growing Gardens in 2019. This program supports partner agencies in building and maintaining on-site gardens in which they can grow culturally appropriate food that reflects the needs and visions of the communities the agencies serve.
How The Program Works
Each participating agency has a two-year cycle in the program. Year 1 includes material and technical support in establishing a garden or further developing an existing garden, while Year 2 includes project sustainability planning and training in topics such as preserving the harvest, soil health, and Food Is Medicine. Each participating agency in the program is paired with a Liaison who serves as a communication conduit between the agencies and Rachel’s Table and as a partner in visioning and implementing the agency’s garden plan.
By the end of the two-year cycle, we hope agencies have necessary knowledge, skills, and community engagement strategies in place to continue to expand and refine their garden programs, including understanding where and how to access material resources, technical assistance, and further funding. Participating agencies remain part of Rachel’s Table’s vendor donation programs as well as the extended Growing Gardens network.
NOFA-MA (Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter) and FOCUS Springfield partner with us in Growing Gardens to provide technical expertise and digital storytelling, respectively. Learn more about these and other partners here.