At Friendship Gardens we believe everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food and the knowledge to grow it themselves. Through HomeGrown, we partner with Habitat for Humanity Charlotte homeowners, come out to their back yards, and dig in a garden with them so they can grow food for their families.
We support HomeGrown gardeners with a gardening manual, access to our workshops, and pair them with a gardening mentor who can answer questions as they learn to garden. Homegrown gardeners “pass on the gift” by joining a dig-in team for another new HomeGrown gardener.
In the application process, we ask aspiring gardeners why they want a backyard garden. Some of their responses include:
“We would like to eat more healthy vegetables without pesticides.”
“I grew up working a garden with my grandfather but I haven’t done it since and need help getting started again.”
“My daughter has medical issues and we need to eat more healthy food like organic vegetables.”
“For the fresh vegetables because sometimes I would do without vegetables because I could not afford them.”
“I want to teach my kids how to garden”
We can all relate to at least one of these motivations.
We have developed a procedure for HomeGrown that is specifically designed to get families started in gardening. With the homeowners and their families, we install a 4 foot by 4 foot raised bed garden and fill it with a compost, soil, peat moss, and organic fertilizer blend that is almost guaranteed to grow veggies. The base materials cost for each garden is $50. You can’t feed a family of four solely on 16 square feet, but you can get them hooked on gardening.
HomeGrown gardeners will have early gardening success that gives them motivation and encouragement to continue. The HomeGrown gardens will produce real food for real families, but they will also be seeds that we hope will blossom into more gardening, composting, maybe a trip to the local farmer’s market, and generally more awareness around where food comes from and how we choose to feed ourselves and our families.