Are you interested in sharing your garden skills, getting to know Cape Ann's other gardeners, and giving back to your community this year? Mentor a new gardener!

IMG_6872 (1).JPG
File_000 (13).jpeg

Mentors are involved in all parts of the process, from training to building the garden beds, and help local families and older adults become life-long gardeners!

What is a BYg mentor?

The mentor program began in 2011 with our flagship program, the Backyard Garden Program.  With a team of just one -- founder and current Executive Director Lara Lepionka -- Backyard Growers (BYG) needed help training all the new gardeners starting the program.  Over the years, we have developed the mentor program into a more holistic volunteer opportunity that allows mentors to work with our backyard gardeners, our community gardeners, or with one of our partner gardens.  Mentors are encouraged to be involved in the entire program process, from distributing the seeds and seedlings to helping harvest!

mentor program.png
As a mentor with Backyard Growers I was given an intimate window to witness people learning the miracle of what the earth can yield. From the anticipation during the planning process, the pride of a healthy plant to the wonder of the kids as they ate their first real tomato.
— Nome Graham, mentor


Mentors allow 10 backyard garden and 40 community garden families each year become life-long gardeners, inspired by the power of growing their own food.

Who can join as a mentor?

A mentor at BYG is a gardener, a trainer, a volunteer, and an invaluable part of the Backyard Growers team. To be a mentor, you must be over 18 and have experience gardening or farming. Mentors should be a part of the Cape Ann community and committed to helping ensure access to fresh vegetables for community members in Cape Ann.

the mentor’s role

The mentor program is an 8-month (March to October) volunteer commitment. Mentors will be involved in garden trainings, building garden beds, growing and distributing seedlings, leading community workshops to build skills, and maintaining community and school gardens.

Based on your availability, skills, and interests, we pair you with specific community garden programs where you may also be asked to help with events such as:

  • Garden Bed Build Days

  • Spring/Summer Seedling Distributions

  • Weekly community garden programs

  • Community workshops

  • Community garden work days


Become a Mentor

To apply to become a garden mentor, fill out our Mentor Application online  or download it and either drop it off at Backyard Growers' office or email it to

DON'T FEEL QUALIFIED TO BE A Mentor, But want to be involved?

No worries! There are many ways to get involved with Backyard Growers. Contact our volunteer manager for details!