After many trials and tribulations during the pandemic and the loss of our garden site, we have good news to share! Thanks to the hard work of our members and the support of the local community, we were successful in our petition to the Town of Garner to provide a new plot of land for our garden. We have begun the hard work of clearing and prepping the land to prepare it for our landscaping plans. You can read more about the landscaping plans on our Garden Blog, and there’s a beautiful bonus photo of the currently empty lot under a rainbow, taken by one of our members after a rain shower!
Garner Grows Community Garden is a collective in the greater Raleigh, NC area that aims to provide access to land, education, and resources to grow food in an environmentally sustainable manner. Our mission is to make fresh produce and horticultural education accessible to residents of the Triangle area (Wake, Durham, and Orange County). Our motto, “Share the work, share the harvest” emphasizes our focus on collaboration and community spirit.
How It Works
Membership Fees: Annual membership is $30 per household. The membership fee remains low in order to encourage participation of low-income households in sustainable living and gardening. We never want money to be a barrier to getting fresh food, so we offer free scholarships to those who can’t afford the membership fee.
Tending The Garden: Our garden operates through shared garden plots, where everyone shares the work among the entire garden. This allows for a larger variety of crops and a more plentiful yield, and allows novice gardeners to learn and benefit from the wisdom of more experienced members. Every member is a valuable resource, and we work to delegate a variety of tasks so that members of all ages, level of physical ability, and gardening skill can pitch in!
Harvesting Crops: We operate on a “Share the Work, Share the Harvest” model; splitting what we harvest on any given workday among those who worked that day. Members are under no obligation to work in the garden, but to be fair to other members we do encourage you to work at least 4 hours in a given month if you plan to take a share of the harvest. There are plenty of jobs to go around and we will work with you to find tasks that fit your skillset (even the kids find ways to chip in).
Funding: The cost of gardening tools and supplies can really add up, and since we want to keep our membership fees low, we participate in a number of different fundraising activities each year. These include things like: applying for grants, holding plant sales, organizing yard sales, selling BBQ plates, entering State Fair Competitions, and soliciting donations from businesses and the general community. If you’d like to donate online you can do so via PayPal. We are open to other ideas for fundraising as well, so if you have any out-of-the-box ideas or would like to lend your skills towards raising money for the garden, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is more than one way to get involved with Garner Grows. You can of course join as a member, but there are other ways you can participate or contribute as well!
Make a Donation – As a nonprofit organization donations are what keep us running! And don’t think that donations have to be monetary either. We accept donations of many other items and services as well!
Become a Member – We would love to have you as a full fledged member, in whatever capacity you have time for. We have no attendance requirement for membership. If you pay your fee and then life happens, keeping you from ever actually coming to the garden, then we thank you for your support! Know that your money will be well spent and appreciated either way.
Attend an Event – In addition to our day to day happenings here at the garden, we often have events that are open to the public. If you don’t have time to join as a member, you might like to attend one of our public events instead. This will give you a chance not just to meet some of our members, but there will usually be some benefit in the event for you as well!
Join A Mailing List – If you are interested in certain events such as plant sales, free educational workshops, and volunteer days, you can receive email notifications! Just sign up for the corresponding mailing list and we will send you an email before each event.
Buy some Plants – One of the ways we raise money for the garden is by selling some of our gently nurtured baby plants to the public! Come on down and buy some plants for your own personal garden. Your garden will thank you!
Buy a T-shirt – Our members often make quite the sight when we are out in public as a group. When we are all wearing one of these Garner Grows T-shirts we are like a giant wave of green coming your way! Show your support by purchasing one for yourself as well!
Garner Grows was founded in the spring of 2010 on a 1.5-acre site that fronted Highway 70 about a mile from downtown Garner. After being forced to move twice, we decided to petition the Town of Garner for a space, and hope that we have found our forever home at Thompson Road Park (550 Thompson Rd.)! It started as a way to make friends and it blossomed from there, successfully bringing people of all walks of life together for over a decade! We have worked with scout groups, students of all levels, and community members from a myriad of backgrounds to spread horticultural knowledge and more. We have grown so much since those early days, not only in numbers and in relationships and commitment to each other, but also in our knowledge of gardening techniques and processes. Direct benefits to our gardeners include delicious food, friendship, fellowship and free healthy exercise in the fresh air.
We are dedicated to creating a local food system where, as a community, we are able to produce nutritious foods with affordable annual dues. This allows members (novice or expert) to grow their gardening skills, as well as edible produce and flowers. The garden is a 100% volunteer-run organization which promotes a positive and sustainable environment for residents and neighbors to work together and grow strong community bonds. We prioritize giving back to our community by donating approximately 10% of our food to charitable organizations that distribute food in our community.