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.

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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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Soil Calculator & Recipe for Raised Beds

Tags: compost, soil

Use this Soil Calculator to figure out the total amount of soil you’ll need to fill each raised garden bed.  If you’ll be filling more than one raised bed, you may want to buy your soil in bulk — by the cubic foot or cubic yard.

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Soil Facts: Minimizing Risks of Soil Contaminants in Urban Gardens

This publication alerts prospective gardeners to some of the most common contaminants in urban soils, such as lead and other toxic metals, solvents, pesticides, and total petroleum hydrocarbons. Readers will learn how to minimize potential risks to gardeners and to those who consume garden produce. The document includes information regarding site characterization, common contaminants, soil testing, interpretation of results, and strategies for reducing exposure risks. To ensure quality site assessment and analyses, it may be necessary to engage trained professionals. Links to certified professional soil scientists, environmental consultants, and laboratories are provided. Publication of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

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the Green Desk

The Green Desk is a resource from the Natural Learning Initiative for early childhood educators, childcare providers, administrators, and professionals seeking the latest information to create high quality, healthy outdoor environments for young children.

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Therapeutic Horticulture

A web portal from NCSU with a wealth of resources about therapeutic horticulture.

Horticultural therapy is the engagement of a client in horticultural activities facilitated by a trained therapist to achieve specific and documented treatment goals. Horticultural therapy programs can be found in a wide variety of healthcare, rehabilitative, and residential settings and is sometimes used in community gardens.

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This Land is Our Land: A Primer on Public Land Ownership and Opportunities for Recreational Access

ChangeLab Solutions developed This Land Is Our Land to assist individuals and communities in understanding the complexity of public land ownership and some of the related legal and policy issues that may arise when partnering with public entities to create opportunities for physical recreation.

Armed with in-depth knowledge of the key issues, stakeholders should have the ability to transform public property into active public space – whether by creating a sports complex on a former farm managed by a state hospital, converting a naval training center into a vast state park, or transforming a vacant lot into a community garden.

This resources contains a case study about the Lafeyette Community Garden.

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Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens in the City of Raleigh

Food policies touch on several aspects of urban life with which City government takes an active interest, including zoning and land use, water use, economic development, public health, education, quality of life, and community building. Food policies encompass programs and initiatives large and small, public and private, from community gardens to urban farms. 

In 2010, Raleigh City administration formed a Work Group comprised of City staff and community advocates. The Work Group’s goal was to look at ways to remove obstacles to city-wide community gardening efforts on private property and examine opportunities for community gardening on public lands.

This April 2011 report documents municipal considerations, working group recommendations, zoning changes and use of public land. It also includes best practices in other jurisdictions.

Prepared by:
Department of City Planning
Office of Sustainability
Department of Community Development
Parks & Recreation Department
Public Advocates and Community Garden Working Group

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Urban Gardening: Managing the Risks of Contaminated Soil

Article from Environmental Health Perspectives on contaminated soils in community and urban gardens. Gives a list of best practices in gardens. 

Citation: Kessler R. 2013. Urban gardening: managing the risks of contaminated soil. Environ Health Perspect 121:A326–A333; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.121-A326

News Topics: Agriculture and Farming, Arsenic, Asbestos, Children’s Health, Food Safety and Regulation, Lead, Metals, Pesticides, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Soil Pollution, Urban Issues

Published: 27 November 2013

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USDA People’s Garden Fall 2012 Webinar series

The USDA People’s Garden Initiative promotes growing healthy food, people and communities. It encourages USDA employees and communities to plant gardens because the simple act of planting a garden can make a neighborhood a healthier place to live, work and play, while addressing issues such as hunger and the environment.

There are a lot of great gardening resources available online for gardeners of all levels - whether you are a beginner or have decades of experience. The People’s Garden initiative has put together a collection of resources - ranging from financial and technical information to garden-based curricula - to help communities find the information they need to start and sustain their People’s Garden.

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Vegetable Planting Guide for Eastern North Carolina

There is much to consider when planning a vegetable garden. When is the right time to plant? How long does it take? This guide is a starting place to help provide research-based knowledge to get growing. Each category corresponds to a column of information you need to know to successfully grow a vegetable garden. This planting guide is intended to encompass the growing region that begins in the coastal plain region and extends throughout the piedmont. Some areas may experience pockets of warmer or colder weather and should use this as a starting point and adapt information depending on the specific seasonal climate conditions. Gardeners growing on the coast may be able to start crops a week earlier in the spring and a week later in the fall than those listed. This guide was developed by Specialists at NC Cooperative Extension.

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WinterSown.org Seed Donation

WinterSown helps groups and persons to achieve their goals by providing seed to grow for educational use, fund-raising plant sales, family, community or food bank gardens, and beautification projects.

If you are a member of a worthy organization ~ school, youth group, senior center, garden club, service organization or any other well-intentioned group or person you may request seeds from WinterSown for your gardening project. Please submit the form below. At WinterSown we will review your request and provide you with seeds best suited for your purpose, location and growing region.

We will provide groups and persons with 200 seed packets of zone and region appropriate flower, vegetable and/or tomato seed. Please remember to circle your preferences in the upper right-hand corner of the request form. The seeds are free but we require a $15.00 postage and handling fee. Rush orders please add $10.00. (Rush orders are $25.00 total.)

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Youth Farm & Garden Grants

A collection of grants and funding agencies that might be useful for your programs.
From NCSU Cooperative Extension.

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