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 older adults in Gloucester

Our 2019 backyard garden program applications are closed!

Applications for the next growing season will go live in January 2020 - stay tuned!

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Backyard Garden eligibility guidelines

  • Low- to moderate-income Gloucester residents (see HUD income guidelines on application).

  • In 2019, we will be giving preference to households with members ages 62+.

  • 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’x 2’ raised garden bed with Brick Ends compost/soil mix (see below)

  • 2 hr Square Foot Garden training and resources

  • FREE spring and summer seeds & seedlings

  • Volunteer garden mentor

  • Services for two years

  • FREE entry to almost all Backyard Growers workshops, including 3 seasonal cooking workshops

Backyard Garden timeline

  • March: Square Foot Garden training & garden design with BYG and BYG Mentor

  • April: Garden installation and spring seeds and seedling distribution at BYG

  • May: Summer seeds and seedling distribution at BYG

  • June, August, and October: Cooking Workshops (FREE to attend)

Example of a 4’x 8’x 2’ raised garden bed.

Example of a 4’x 8’x 2’ raised garden bed.