Urban Harvest Community Garden Program
At Urban Harvest, our mission is to create thriving communities and increase access to fresh and local food. Our Community Gardens program provides resources and education to over 140 affiliate gardens – supporting communities in growing their own food and creating sustainable greenspaces. Our goal is to connect and support long-lasting gardens that will provide for their communities for years to come.
If you are interested in getting involved with an existing community garden in your neighborhood, check out our affiliate garden map. If you are interested in starting a community garden, find more information and upcoming educational events to get you started
How does your community garden grow?
Tips to make your garden sustainable, well-established and long-lasting:
- Meet monthly as a group with garden leaders and volunteers
- Develop a clear leadership team that makes decisions for the garden
- Inform gardeners of what goes on in the garden, day-to-day
- Build a large base of active gardeners
- Offer consistent events and programming
Houston community gardens create spaces for inter-generational interactions, connecting growers of all ages to the land, the neighborhood, & the people of the area.
These communal places improve mental well-being by providing a place to de-stress, meditate, and be productive in nature.
In low-income neighborhoods with limited access to fresh foods, community gardens introduce growers to new fruits and vegetables and make produce more accessible.
In the United States, food now travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from farm to table; Houston community gardens offer a local source of fresh fruits and vegetables, and reduce the local food system’s carbon footprint.
Locally-grown food from Houston community gardens are harvested at peak ripeness and reduce “food miles” that are required to transport nutritious food. This makes for foods that are fresher, more nutritious, and tastier when they reach the plate.
We support over 135 affiliate gardens, spanning 100 miles across the greater Houston area.
65 gardens are in food deserts, and 25 donation gardens provide nutritious produce to shelters, food pantries, corner stores, and meal centers.
Since March 2017, we have provided over 12,160 transplants to affiliate gardens, creating the potential for over 270,465 pounds of organic, locally-grown produce through our seasonal hub distributions.
We give away free & seasonal seeds to affiliate gardens, along with planting guides on growing fresh fruits and vegetables in Houston’s unique climate.
Our Community Gardens program accounts for over 7.3 acres of diversified,
productive greenspace across Houston.
We educate affiliate gardens on how to grow fresh fruits and vegetables through free organic gardening classes & hands-on demonstrations.
Gardening During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Together with our Community Gardens Committee, Urban Harvest has developed the following “COVID-19 Recommended Guidelines for Safe Community Gardening”. We encourage all gardeners and community members to follow these guidelines and develop additional guidelines specific to their space while working in the garden.
- It has been recommended by the CDC that adults wear a protective mask or covering over your nose and mouth when in spaces where other people are present.
- Always maintain at least a 6 foot social distance from others in the garden.
- Bring your own hand sanitizer! Try not to touch your face, nose, mouth or eyes until you can thoroughly wash with soap or sanitize your hands.
- Bring your own tools and disposable gloves. Do not use shared gloves. If you use shared tools, sanitize them before and after use.
- Bring your own drinking water to the garden.
- If you are sick with fever, coughing or fatigue, do not come to the garden and do not send immediate family members.
- Use clean gloves if you are handling produce which is harvest to be donated.
- Communicate with other garden volunteers via email or text messages as much as possible to be aware of those in the space at the same time.