Resources and Tools

Find the information and links you need for your community garden

NCCGP is dedicated to providing helpful resources for all your community garden needs. We hope you find what you are looking for. Feel free to contact us about other resources you’d like to see added to this list.


Each resource has been ‘tagged’ with a descriptive word or phrase. All of these words and phrases are listed in the right hand column. You can quickly sort all resource entries by a particular tag by clicking either the tag beneath the resource title or by clicking the tag in the list.

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Compost Locator Map

Tags: compost

Looking for a source of quality compost? Search the US Composting Council database of composter members in North Carolina by company name or by zipcode.

Some of these facilities offer donations of compost or reduced prices to community and school gardens. You may have to pay for delivery costs. Contact individual companies to inquire.

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Container Garden Planting Calendar for Edibles in the N.C. Piedmont

You can grow and harvest vegetables, fruits, and herbs in the piedmont of North Carolina practically year-round. Container gardening offers flexibility over traditional gardening because the containers can be raised or lowered for easier accessibility, placed in a sunny or shady spot, moved to a sheltered area for extreme weather (low temperatures, snow, or tropical storms), and protected from wildlife (squirrels, voles, rabbits, or deer) that may damage plants or try to eat your harvest. By choosing the appropriate varieties and planting at the right time of year, you can enjoy the many benefits of gardening and create a beautiful space just outside your door. Publication of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

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Cultivating Community Gardens: The Role of Local Governments

Local government leaders are in a unique position to promote healthy eating and active living in their communities by supporting community gardens. Community gardens are places where neighbors can gather to cultivate plants, vegetables and fruits. Such gardens can improve nutrition, physical activity, community engagement, safety and economic vitality for a neighborhood and its residents.

Barriers, such as liability expenses, code restrictions and a lack of resources, which often make it difficult for communities to establish or maintain gardens in their neighborhoods, can be overcome with local government engagement.

This brochure offers case studies, best management practices, resources and tools for policymakers to develop creative, cost-effective solutions that reduce barriers and creation of community garden programs.

Published by: The Local Government Commission

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Eat Smart Move More North Carolina: Growing Communities Through Gardens

Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina: Growing Communities through Gardens is a planning and resource guide for anyone who is thinking about starting a community garden.

The guide describes a community garden, its benefits, how to find or start a garden and tips for growing, storing, preparing and enjoying fruits and vegetables. In addition it highlights state and national gardening resources.

Whether your “community” setting (worksite, faith community, school, etc.) is considering starting a community garden or you are thinking about joining a garden near you, the primer walks you through the options, steps and resources to ensure success.

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Establishing Protections for Community Gardens

Community gardens play a valuable role in creating healthier communities.This fact sheet explains how model policies from ChangeLab Solutions can help advocates work with local governments to create and sustain these important neighborhood resources.

Published by ChangeLab Solutions (formerly nplan).

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Farming Concrete Toolkit

Measure and track the activities and outputs in your farm and garden!

As part of the Five Borough Farm project, the Design Trust for Public Space co-developed this data collection toolkit with farmers and gardeners to fill the need for urban agriculture data nationwide.

The project team recruited over 30 participants for a day-long workshop called Making the Measure to identify topics they would like to measure and track at their farms or gardens. The farmers and gardeners brainstormed new ways of generating and collecting data about the things that mattered most at each garden to refine strategies for measurement that were simple, realistic, and achievable. Following the workshop, the project team refined the draft methods into a data collection toolkit that farmers and gardeners field-tested throughout the growing season. At the close of the harvest season, the Design Trust convened the participants who field-tested the toolkit to report on their efforts and discuss what worked and what did not work. Farmers and gardeners provided insights for revising and expanding the set of methods and tools.

Since then,  the Toolkit was expanded to include a total of sixteen protocols organized into five categories: Food Production Data, Environmental Data, Social Data, Health Data, and Economic Data.

The Design Trust established a collaboration with Farming Concrete to develop its online data platform to track the other meaningful contributions farms and gardens make to residents, communities, and the city at large. You can now enter in all the data you collect using this Toolkit right on Farming Concrete - this database mirrors the hard copy of the Toolkit by providing online forms for each of the sixteen protocols.

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Farms and Gardens Build Urban Value booklet

OPEN FOOD booklet series Volume 1: Farms and Gardens Build Urban Value

“We want this booklet to inspire city officials, non-profits, developers, investors, and other urban influencers to add community gardens, urban farms, and all sorts of food growing spaces into our cities. Farms and gardens can be social public spaces, public health assets, crime prevention projects, municipal cost savers, air purifiers, recreation areas, and job training centers.”— OPEN FOOD vol 1

This booklet series promotes participation in local and urban food systems. The booklets are small, easy to carry and easy to share, and are meant as a way to start conversations and spark ideas. Each booklet in the series introduces a different slice of local food, opening eyes to the importance and possibility of becoming a part of your food system. We talk about why local and urban food is so important, why different parts of it matter to your community, and then we point you in the direction of more information so you can dig in as deep as you want to go.

Booklet Series published by Community Food Lab LLC.

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Food Safety for School and Community Gardens Webinar

This webinar (~40 mins) on food safety in school and community gardens is part of the Plants, Pests and Pathogens webinar series organized by Dr. Lucy Bradley, NCSU Cooperative Extension. To view the recording, click on the link below to open Blackboard Collaborate. Skip to minute 35:22 to view the section on food safety. The speakers are Dr. Ben Chapman, Food Safety Specialist at NCSU and Ashley Chaifetz, a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill that has been working on this topic.

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Food Safety for School and Community Gardens: A Handbook for Beginning + Veteran Garden Organizers

A handbook for beginning and veteran garden organizers about how to reduce food safety risks. A must read for anyone working in any type of garden growing food.

It includes the following information related to food safety in gardens: vocabulary, site selection, soil, hand washing, water + irrigation, compost, garden design + pests, sanitation + tools, volunteer know-how, a sample garden lay-out map, frequently asked questions + additional resources.

This resource is published by North Carolina State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension with funding from Nourishing North Carolina.

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Food Safety Tips for School Gardens

Basic food safety precautions for planting, growing, and harvesting garden produce in a school garden environment.

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Food Sovereignty for All: Overhauling the Food System with Faith-Based Initiatives

Tags: faith-based

Interfaith Food & Farms Partnership: A Project of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and its Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns

Includes information on faith-based community gardens as well as community kitchens, buying clubs and other farm-to-congregation partnerships.

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Funding opportunities compiled by ACGA

Tags: funding

This is a list of grants and funding opportunities applicable to community gardens compiled by the American Community Garden Association (ACGA).

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