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Food Gardening and the Broader Community

Grow an Edible Garden with your Community

Being able to grow your own food instills a sense of pride and security, but expanding the effort to go beyond your yard can build and sustain your neighborhood and community. 

Share Resources:  When growing your food garden, also consider how you can grow as a neighborhood. Some ideas on how to grow with and for your neighbors:

  1. Swap seeds and seedlings: Saving and swapping seeds is how our ancestors passed heirloom species from one generation to the next. Here's more on saving and swapping seeds.
  2. Shop with and for one another:  Order bulk compost or mulch deliveries to keep delivery costs down and simplify delivery routes for your local landscape materials company.
  3. Share tools:  Declutter your garden shed by sharing tools instead of buying them. Examples of tools that only get seasonal use:  weed whacker, hedge trimmer, fruit picker, chain saw, rototiller.
  4. Plant Collaboratively:  Do you have a shade garden and your neighbor gets all sun? Collaborate on crop planning across fence lines. Plant the shade tolerant edibles (roots and leafy greens) and swap with your neighbor’s heat loving edibles (tomatoes, peppers and other fruit crops). Or plant different varieties of crops to get a more diverse harvest throughout the neighborhood.

Share your bumper crop with others in the community. Photo: Elaine Casap, Unsplash
Share your bumper crop with others in the community. Photo: Elaine Casap, Unsplash
Share your bounty: Now that you’ve started your food garden, you may soon find that you have more than enough to feed your family. Have you considered donating some of the extra produce beyond your friends and neighbors?  Many local organizations are working the front lines to get healthy foods to our neighbors who are struggling to get fresh food on their tables. Use this list of local non-profits that accept produce donations. Be sure to call or email first to get confirmation before bringing any produce donations.

930 Tamalpais Ave, San Rafael
Phone: 415-456-9062
Time: Fridays, 9AM-10AM (side door) OR: M, T, W: 11:30AM-1PM

Community Action Marin (CAM)  
CAM Central Kitchen, 4308 Redwood Highway, Suite 100, San Rafael
Phone: 415-491-4670
Time: Mon-Fri 7AM-12PM

North Bay Children’s Center
932 C Street, Novato (Admin Office)
Phone: 415-883-6222
Time: Mon-Fri 7:30AM-3:30PM

Homeward Bound of Marin
Phone: 415-332-5521
Email: Arey@hbofm.org

Phone: 510-599-9621
Email: lori@sanzuma.org
San Pedro Elementary School,
498 Point San Pedro Road, San Rafael

Use local social media outlets to offer free produce:  CropMobster, Facebook, Nextdoor, etc.