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 low-to moderate-income families or residents in Gloucester

Get-a-Garden, give-a-garden

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

 2018 Application Now open!

Apply Online today

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 25, 2017: Garden training & mentor 
  • April 8, 2017: Garden installation 
  • April 24-26, 2017: Spring seeds and seedling distribution at BYG
  • May 22-24, 2017: Summer seeds and seedling distribution at BYG
  • May, August, and October: Cooking Workshops

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.

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 2018 Spring seeds and seedling sale at BYG
  • May 2018: Summer seeds and seedling sale at BYG
  • Additional monthly workshop opportunities available throughout season


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.


Email for more information and to apply.