Become a Backyard Gardener

Growing my own food, being outdoors, connecting with neighbors
— 2016 Backyard Grower in response to the questions "what do you like best about your garden?"

The Backyard Garden Program is Backyard Growers' founding program so it is near and dear to our hearts. This program was launched with major support from The Food Project. Our goal is simple: to encourage a love of fresh vegetables through the act of growing them in your own backyard. Read more on our two programs below to see how you can be a part of the movement. 

The Backyard Garden Program 

For income-eligible families or residents in Gloucester

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2018 Backyard Garden Program Applications are now OPEN! Print out application and return to Backyard Growers office OR send via email.

Backyard Garden eligibility guidelines

  • Low- to moderate-income Gloucester residents (see HUD income guidelines on application).
  • Garden area must have at least 6 hours of full sun and easy access to water.
  • If a renter, must have permission from landlord to participate in the program (we do not remove gardens once placed).
  • Commit to attending the mandatory garden training and cooking workshops, paying the sliding-scale participation fee, completing a participant survey, and participating in the program for two years.
  • Beginner and experienced gardeners are welcome to apply.
  • We also accept people into the program who already have a garden, but want to take advantage of the training, resources, and garden mentor.

Backyard Garden Participants Receive: 

  • 4 x 8′ raised garden bed with compost
  • Garden training and resources
  • Seeds & seedlings
  • Volunteer garden mentor
  • Services for two years
  • Community of backyard growers

Backyard Garden timeline

  • March 24, 2018: Garden training & mentor 
  • First week of April: Garden installation 
  • April 22-25, 2018: Spring seeds and seedling distribution at BYG
  • May 20-23, 2018: Summer seeds and seedling distribution at BYG
  • May, August, and October: Cooking Workshops


    Get-a-Garden, Give-a-Garden

    A sponsorship program where you get a garden and sponsor a family in Gloucester as well.

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    Applications for 2018 are now OPEN!

    Download and return the application or email us for more information and get your garden by the spring!


    The Get-a-Garden, Give-a-Garden is a program for those who are not income eligible for the Backyard Garden Program. When you participate in the Get-a-Garden, Give-a-Garden program, not only do you get a garden, but you make it possible for a low-income Gloucester family to have a garden just like yours! 

    • When you make a contribution of $600, we use half of it to build a garden for you, and the other half to build a garden for a low-income Gloucester family. $300 of your contribution is tax deductible.
    • Garden area must have at least 6 hours of full sun and easy access to water.


    Download our application and return it to us or email for more information. 

    Get-A-Garden Participants receive

    • 4 x 8' raised bed garden with compost
    • Access to gardening learning materials and a free seed packet
    • Special seed and seedling shopping day at BYG
    • The joy of providing another family with a garden and the opportunity to grow their own food

    Get-a-Garden TIMELINE

    • Nov 2017-March 2018: Registration and site visits open
    • April 2018: Garden installation 
    • April 22-25, 2018 Spring seeds and seedling sale at BYG
    • May 20-23, 2018: Summer seeds and seedling sale at BYG
    • Additional monthly workshop opportunities available throughout season