Due to lack of financial resources, FOG’s Gainesville Initiative for Tasty Gardens (GIFT Garden) program is closed indefinitely. We are thankful for the support through the years and proud we were able to offer a program that built almost 400 raised bed vegetable gardens and edible landscaping for low-income families and the institutions that support them.
The program served as a model for others, provided volunteer opportunities for many and gave birth to GROW Gainesville. By providing physical and educational resources, GIFT Gardens increased food production in Alachua County, increased self-sufficiency of community residents and beautified neighborhoods. We hope to be able to offer the GIFT Garden program in the future and continue to serve the community.
ABOUT GIFT GARDENS
Low-income residents of Alachua County and the institutions that serve those residents were eligible to apply for a free or reduced cost GIFT Garden, helping them become more self-sufficient and increasing their ability to provide for some of their own food needs.
Participants received all the resources they needed to have a successful garden including raised beds, fertile soil, seeds or vegetable starts, a GIFT Gardens Growing Guide and ongoing assistance. Each installation was unique to needs of the recipient and resources available. After the installation by FOGstaff and volunteers, participants planned and planted their gardens, allowing them to take ownership of the GIFT Garden and learn how to start, take care and maintain a vegetable garden plot. FOG did not help with the physical maintenance of the garden. All GIFT Garden recipients also received a free year long membership to Grow Gainesville.
Individuals could also purchase a GIFT Garden to grow healthy food nearly all year long if they did not meet income eligibility requirements for a GIFT Garden. The purchase of a GIFT Garden helped support the gifting of gardens for low-income Alachua County residents, therefore part of the cost is tax deductible.
GIFT Gardens could have been adapted to the participant’s physical needs as well, increasing the height to decrease need for bending down. A standard 8 x 4 x 1 ft garden was approximately $350 ($250 for the cost of the bed and seeds or plants plus $100 donation to go back into the program) depending on the need and location.
GIFT GARDENS AT ALACHUA COUNTY SCHOOLS
- Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center at UF
- Bell Nursery School
- Boulware Springs Charter School
- Eastside High School
- Einstein Montessori School
- Expressions Learning Academy
- Gainesville High School
- Hoggetowne Middle School
- Horizons Center Alternative School
- Howard Bishop Middle School
- Idylwild Elementary
- JJ Finley Elementary School
- Lake Forest Elementary School
- Lincoln Middle School
- Littlewood Elementary School
- Metcalfe Elementary School
- Morning Meadow Preschool
- Newberry Elementary School
- One Room School House
- Reichert House Youth Academy
- Santa Fe High School
- Shell Elementary School
- Sidney Lanier Center
- Stephen Foster Elementary School
- Talbot Elementary School
- Westwood Middle School
GIFT GARDENS AT ALACHUA COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS/INSTITUTIONS
- A Future and a Hope
- Acorn Clinic
- Addison’s Daycare
- Alachua County Downtown Farmers Garden at Alachua County Administration Building
- Arbor House, Inc.
- ARC of Alachua County
- Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County, Woodland Park
- Citizens Co-op Community Garden
- City of Gainesville Thelma Bolton Center
- Coworkers, Inc.
- Comprehensive Community Services, Inc.
- Gainesville Harvest
- Gainesville Job Corps
- Greens Group Home
- Interface Youth Program – CDS
- Krishna House
- Meridian Behavioral Healthcare
- MISA @ Veterans Hospital
- North FL/South GA Veterens Health System (VA Domicilliary)
- Oakridge Apartment Complex
- Palm Garden
- Parklands Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
- Parkview Baptist Church
- Peacock Houses
- Rose Garden
- Service Options Unltd Inc.
- S.E.T. on Success, LLC
- Shands at Vista Child and Adolescent Unit
- Sisters Helping Sisters in Need
- Turkey Creek Forest
- Twinlakes Fishing and Camping
- Vocational Industries
- YMCA Camp McConnell