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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Grant list compiled by NC DENR Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs

Tags: funding

This is a list of upcoming and ongoing grants pertaining to environmental education. Many of them fund community and school/youth gardens or similar programs. The list is compiled by the good folks at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs.

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Ground Rules: A Legal Toolkit for Community Gardens

Community gardens offer a place where residents can gather to grow fresh foods, socialize with neighbors, and get a little exercise. In many communities, individuals or other private entities (including nonprofit organizations) own land that could be used for community gardens – but landowners may be reluctant to allow their property to be used for this purpose, fearing liability issues, damage, or vandalism.

This toolkit is designed to help overcome the legal and practical barriers to establishing community gardens on land that is not municipally owned. It provides several model agreements and other documents that can easily be tailored, simplifying the process of building an agreement that benefits both landowners and the community.

Published by ChangeLab Solutions (formerly nplan).

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Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting

Tags: compost

This guide for community composting covers the what and why of compost, various types of composting systems, model community compost programs, how to plan a community compost project and tips for composters. You’ll find lots of great information for community gardens! See if you recognize anyone on pg 61.

April 2014 | Hardwick, Vermont
Authored by Brenda Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance and James
McSweeney and Jenn Davis, Highfields Center for Composting

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Hart Seed Donation

Our goal is to distribute these seeds to deserving organizations or individuals for just the cost of shipping & handling.

If you are one of the following:
• Missionary interested in taking seed overseas
• Teacher looking for seed for a classroom project or school garden.
• Cooperative extension service, community garden, or prison yard
wanting to grow produce for low-­‐income areas or food pantries.

All we ask of you is to send us a brief letter to describe your project including:
• Who is receiving the seed or produce grown from it
• What you are planning on doing with the seed
• Where you are taking the seed, or where the seed or produce grown from it will be distributed
• Why this is a worthy cause for us to donate seed to
• How the people receiving the seed will benefit, not just from the immediate donation, but how it will help them improve standard of living in the future

This listing is from 2013. In future years, check with Hart Seed to make sure the seed donation program is still operating. 

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Healthy Eating Active Living Guide: Project Overviews and Resources for Community Organizations

Throughout this guide, you will find numerous resources that community organizers and leaders have used to advance healthy eating and/or active living initiatives. Successful community projects depend on many resources — volunteers, funding, donations, training and more. This guide includes only some resources available to support community projects; it is not a comprehensive collection. Resource information is marked with icons.

The guide includes overviews of five innovative projects in Eastern North Carolina that are changing the way people eat and play in rural communities. Overviews include information on the organization, project and community as well as lessons learned and partnerships resulting from the projects. You’ll find a glossary on page 44 to help you better understand healthy eating, active living efforts described in this guide.


The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities’ Healthy Eating Active Living Intern, Madison Swoy, compiled this guide. Her many hours researching and writing were generously supported by the APEX Fellowship, which is administered by The College of Wooster.

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Healthy Urban Gardens: Your Soil Health and You

“In an effort to leverage the benefits of consuming and growing local food, urban gardeners need to understand and minimize risks posed by exposure to contaminated soils. Experts on this call reviewed best practices for locally-grown food initiatives, including measuring soil health, how to replace contaminated soils, how to compost safely, which plants take up what toxicants, and alternative growing methods. Communication of findings and use of the findings for decision-making purposes by gardeners, gardening organizations, health departments and regulatory authorities were also addressed.”

A link to speaker presentation slides.

This call is one in series featuring the Superfund Research Program by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment.

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Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost and Grass Clippings

Caution to Hay Producers, Livestock Owners, Farmers, and Home Gardeners. Many farmers and home gardeners have reported damage to vegetable and flower crops after applying horse or livestock manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings to the soil. This document explains the herbicides of concern, how to prevent herbicide damage to non-targeted plants, how to test for the presence of herbicides, and explains how responsible herbicide use leads to healthy farms and gardens. This is a publication of NC Cooperative Extension at NCSU.

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Hoticultural Therapy Garden Curriculum

Curriculum from The Horticultural Society of New York—Horticultural Therapy Partnership

    Growing in the Garden: A Curriculum for Practicing Horticulture with the Mentally Ill Growing in the Garden: A Curriculum for Practicing Horticulture with At-Risk Youth Growing in the Garden: A Curriculum for Practicing Horticulture with Inner City Children Growing in the Garden: A Curriculum for Practicing Horticulture with Incarcerated Individuals

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How to Create a Container Garden for Edibles in the North Carolina Piedmont

Edibles can be grown in containers in a variety of outdoor spaces: a small apartment balcony, a large deck space, or even a front stoop. People grow edibles for a variety of reasons. You may want to grow tomatoes for a sandwich or lettuce for a salad, or you might be providing herbs, vegetables, and fruit for a family. Regardless of the scope or size of your container garden, selecting the right containers, planting media, and plant combinations are the first steps on the road to success. In this publication you will find ideas to get you started growing your own edibles. Included are simple designs and potential settings for a single container, a small group of containers, and a larger grouping of containers. The benefits and challenges of various planting options will also be explored. Publication of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

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How To Organize a Community Garden (NC Cooperative Extension)

A community garden can help transform people who happen to live in the same place into a united community. It celebrates diversity in individual plots while creating opportunities for people to work together and learn from each other—about gardening, food preparation, and more. This publication from North Carolina Cooperative Extension gives a basic overview of important steps to take in developing a community garden.

The file here has low-resolution photos for quick downloading.

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How to Start a Community Garden (ACGA)

There are many ways to start a community garden. Whether you’re working with friends, neighbors, or a local organization, there are many things you’ll want to consider before you ever dig the first hole.

This fact sheet is designed to give many different groups the basic information they need to get their gardening project off the ground. These lists are in no way meant to be complete. Each main idea will probably trigger more questions, so an assortment of ways to carry out that idea are presented; pick and choose those that seem to apply to your own situation.

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Insurance for Community Gardens

Tags: liability

The American Community Gardening Association ( offers community garden insurance to members through a partner organization, Brunswick Companies. Gardens of all sizes can now be properly protected against unforeseen accidents and liability.  It is a simple and affordable solution to liability insurance for ACGA members.

Policy highlights include:

  Liability ranging from $100,000 to $1 Million Dollars
  Directors and Officers Liability - Package Optional
  Equipment Breakdown Coverage Available
  Annual Premium as Low as $350
  Interest Free Payment Plans
  A+++ Carrier

The process is simple and only available to ACGA membership. Become an ACGA member here:

Request a community garden insurance quote by visiting and completing the easy online application.

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