Each garden group should develop a plan to secure funding
and materials for establishing their garden, as well as for ongoing planting
Start-up costs may include grading, primary tillage (for
in-ground gardens) or materials for raised beds (lumber, hardware, and
topsoil), irrigation equipment (e.g., hoses and a watering-wand), a toolshed or
large lockbox, tools, fencing, path materials (such as rock dust), and any
perennial plantings (such as blueberry bushes or native perennial plants).
Ongoing expenses will include materials to repair raised
beds, water, compost and other soil amendments, fertilizers, vegetable
transplants, and vegetable seeds.
Fundraising plans usually involve some combination of the
grants: A list of grant opportunities for community and school gardens can
be found in the document Resources for Gardens in Forsyth County under
‘Grants.’ Grants are listed in two
sections: general community garden grants, and grants for educational gardens
involving children and youth. Specific
groups may be eligible for other grants.
For example, faith community garden groups should check with their
national denomination regarding small grant opportunities.
donations (or discounts): Prepare a brief summary of your project, who will
benefit, and the impacts you will achieve.
Use this to request donations from local businesses. Many will donate materials or offer
fundraising activities: For example, you could organize a concert in the
garden with a small entrance fee and food for sale.
from a sponsoring organization (for example, a faith community, school, or
a garden is an essential part of an organization’s programming, there should be
at least modest allowance for periodic and ongoing expenses in the
organization’s budget. This will allow
the garden group to focus on activities like soil preparation, crop planning,
and organizing workdays and educational activities.
fees: Many ‘allotment gardens’ (which offer spaces for individuals or
families to grow their own food) charge a modest annual fee, often on a sliding
scale, to cover expenses such as compost deliveries and water.
For more ideas, see Fundraising for Community Gardens and
Community Garden Grant Writing Tips.
Please note that Forsyth Community Gardening, as a program
of Cooperative Extension, is primarily an educational and capacity-building
organization. We can work with garden
groups to develop fundraising plans, but can offer only very limited material
resources depending on availability (for example, donated vegetable seeds,
cover crop seeds in summer and fall, donated raised bed frames, and occasional
materials giveaways to workshop attendees).
Mentor volunteers always have first priority for any available
materials. Learn more about the MentorProgram and how to get involved!