The Gainesville Initiative for Tasty Gardens or GIFT Gardens builds raised bed vegetable gardens and edible landscaping for low-income families and institutions that support them. By providing physical and education resources GIFT Gardens aims to increase food production in Alachua County, to increase self-sufficiency of community residents and to beautify neighborhoods. To date there are GIFT Gardens at 257 locations across Alachua County, including 17 schools, 7 churches and 17 community centers.
Free GIFT Gardens
Residents of Alachua County with low incomes and the institutions that serve those residents are eligible to apply for a free GIFT Garden, helping them become more self-sufficient and increasing their ability to provide for some of their own food needs.
Participants receive up to 3 raised beds, fertile soil, seeds, vegetable starts, a GIFT Gardens Growing Guide and ongoing assistance free of charge. Organizations can receive up to 10 raised beds. After the installation by FOG staff and volunteers, participants plan and plant their gardens, allowing them to take ownership of the GIFT Garden and learn how to start, take care and maintain a vegetable garden plot. All GIFT Garden recipients also receive a free year long membership to Grow Gainesville.
For churches, schools, community gardens or other institutions and organizations.
GIFT Gardens Growing Guide
Fundraising GIFT Gardens
Individuals can also purchase a GIFT Garden to grow healthy food nearly all year long if they do not meet income eligibility requirements for a free GIFT Garden. The purchase of a GIFT Garden goes helps support the gifting of free gardens for low-income Alachua County residents, so part of the cost is tax deductible. GIFT Gardens make great gifts too, or donate a GIFT Garden in your name or someone else’s name to a low-income person, and receive the reward of knowing your gift has helped someone provide food for themselves and their family. GIFT Gardens can be adapted to your physical needs as well, i.e. increasing the height to decrease need for bending down. A standard 8 x 4 x 1 ft garden will cost approximately $200 depending on your needs and location. We can also install in ground gardens and additional edible landscaping. Prior to installation you will be contacted to schedule an appointment for a site visit. This site visit will be considered a consultation and we ask for $25 donation per site visit which will be added to your total. During the site visit one of our gardening experts will help you decide what kind of organic garden best fits your needs, where it should be located and to go over any other details necessary to insure you have a successful garden. After the visit you will be notified of the price based on what you and the coordinator have agreed to. The price will include the cost of the gardens plus a minimum $100 donation to Florida Organic Growers to go toward the GIFT Garden program. Should you decide to continue, a check will be requested in full, made payable and sent to the name and address listed above. The check will be deposited only after your gardens have been installed.
For more information contact Travis Mitchell at Travis@foginfo.org or send in the application form below and someone will contact you promptly to arrange for a site visit.
Struggling with your vegetable garden? Donate to FOG and receive a free consultation!
With a minimum donation of $75 receive a vegetable garden consultation from our Community Food Project Coordinator and resident gardener Travis Mitchell. Travis has worked for with the Gainesville Initiative for Tasty Gardens for the past three years and has built over 90 gardens across Alachua County. Each consultation will be roughly one hour in length, an cover a variety of organic gardening techniques including best watering and fertilizing practices, how to compost, weed prevention techniques and pest management. Upon request seasonal plants and seeds can also be included with consultation along with minor soil amendment and assistance with planting. Contact Travis Mitchell at Travis@foginfo.org or call 352-377-6345 for more information.
|GIFT GARDENS AT ALACHUA COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS/INSTITUTIONS
Villages at Forest Green
Turkey Creek Forest
Twinlakes Fishing and Camping
ARC of Alachua County
Comprehensive Community Services, Inc.
Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County, Woodland Park
Service Options Unltd Inc.
Shands at Vista Child and Adolescent Unit
Interface Youth Program – CDS
YMCA Camp McConnell
Greens Group Home
Sisters Helping Sisters in Need
MISA @ Veterans Hospital
North FL/South GA Veterens Health System (VA Domicilliary)
Gainesville Job Corps
S.E.T. on Success, LLC
Parklands Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
A Future and a Hope
Parkview Baptist Church
Oak Ridge Appartment Complex
Citizens Co-op Community Garden
Arbor House, Inc.
City of Gainesville Thelma Boltin Center
Alachua County Downtown Farmers Garden at Alachua County Administration Building
|GIFT GARDENS AT ALACHUA COUNTY SCHOOLS
Reichert House Youth Academy
Lake Forest Elementary
Eastside High School
Bell Nursery School
Einstein Montessori School
Expressions Learning Academy
Horizons Center Alternative School
Morning Meadow Preschool
Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center at UF
Lincoln Middle School
Howard Bishop Middle School
One Room School House
Hoggetowne Middle School
Stephen Foster Elementary
The program is made possible by grants from Alachua County, City of Gainesville, Satchel’s Pizza and Yes to Carrots, Inc.