If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the value of self-reliance and a greater appreciation of the freedoms that the great outdoors affords—which is exactly why community gardens are blooming everywhere in Atlanta! Keep reading for our favorite spots to learn how to garden, to plant your own garden, or to support local farmers.

Volunteer & Learn

West End Community Garden
Are you interested in learning how to create and sustain your own garden? How about learning the countless benefits of eating healthy, homegrown foods? Want to experience the amazing sensation of garden therapy? If this sounds like the place for you, then meet Haylene Green, the Garden Queen, whose goal is to teach people how to identify, grow and prepare healthy food, especially in at risk communities.

Volunteer: Volunteers are needed Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. (1 hour minimum). Yo might plant seeds & seedlings, build boxes, make compost, weed, help with general clean-up, recycling, food preparation, painting, or helping with the market.

352 University Avenue SW
Atlanta, GA
Online: thegardenqueen.com

Lakewood Environmental Arts Foundation (LEAF)
Operating in the Lakewood neighborhood, this 501C-3 has a house and 6 acres where they receive thousands of pounds of donated food every week that they distribute to individuals, families, churches and other non-profits in the Greater Atlanta area. Expect to find many weekly volunteers who help unpack and distribute food, and a handful of resident volunteers who help with distribution and maintaining the property, garden and compost.

Volunteer: LEAF is almost always looking for more hands to help with tasks around the property. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Cassie at cassie@leaftrust.net.

69 Schell Rd.
Atlanta, GA
Online: facebook.com/leaftrust




Plant & Maintain Your Own

Blue Heron Nature Preserve Community Garden
The garden is home to over 30 organic plots, and the largest plot is dedicated to growing vegetables for the St. Luke’s Crossroads Kitchen, a volunteer-based effort that feeds unhoused people in Midtown. This garden is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and annual fees ensure gardeners are given their own plot to tend. The garden is organic, and organic gardening principles must be followed: no chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Gardeners are also responsible for working together to maintain the common areas in the garden.

Membership Info: Contact the Garden team (gardenmembership@bhnp.org) for plot availability and waitlist. Annual dues are $100.

4055 Roswell Rd. NE
Atlanta, GA
Online: bhnp.org

Cabbagetown Community Garden
The Community Garden's mission is to leverage its unique urban location to engage the community, educate gardeners of all ages and backgrounds, and empower them to plant, grow and harvest healthy, organic food. The Garden is built on city owned property but not located on parkland. With the help of city council, Park Pride and CI, the city passed legislature to realize a community effort to created a shared gardening space.

Membership Info: Dues for the 2020 season were $42, and paid for the adoption of one plot in the Community Garden, access to onsite water and gardening equipment, maintenance of non-growing areas in the garden (lawns, pathways, beehives, table space), early access invitations to all Community Garden social events and fundraisers, and subscription to Garden-related news through the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association (CNIA). Membership is open to Cabbagetown neighbors having lived in the neighborhood between 0 - 10 years.

162 Berean Ave.
Atlanta, GA
Online: facebook.com/cabbagetown-community-garden

Shop & Support

Global Growers Network
GGN partners with people from diverse cultures who grow fresh food for their families and for local marketplaces. Together, they build and sustain networks of growers, land, resources, and markets in order to create a more equitable food system that is driven by cultural diversity, inclusive economies, and regenerative agriculture practices.

How to Support: Global Growers Network offers fresh veggies grown in Decatur through a safe, no-contact order and pick-up system. With support from the farm stand, new Americans are rebuilding their lives in the United States by using their agricultural expertise to nourish their families and yours.

Online: globalgrowers.org

Gilliam's Community Garden
Gilliam's is a 3-acre sustainable urban garden located in Atlanta's Westside neighborhood that produces beautiful vegetables, herbs, fresh eggs, and their very own dried spice blends. Gilliam's Community Garden serves as an outdoor educational center for local children, homeschool families and schools seeking unique science-based and STEM learning. They provide cooking classes for seniors, as well as learning tours and urban farming experiences for volunteer groups. Core to their mission is the determination to see more healthy, equitable communities across Atlanta.

How to Support: A mobile farmers market, known as their beloved "green machine, " allows you to have boxes of fresh vegetables delivered to families, as well as home-bound seniors, who otherwise cannot access it on their own.

1286 Oakland Terrace SW
Atlanta, GA
Online: gilliamscommunitygarden.org

—Shelley Massey


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