Our community gardens provide a space for over 70 community garden participants to grow their own vegetables. These garden spaces function as outdoor classrooms, urban sanctuaries, and community centers for the families and individuals who grow in them. Each is created as a safe space for all who enter and a place where community can be built. We believe that the practice of growing food for yourself promotes resilience. This is the reason why we support two types of community gardens - Neighbor Gardens and New American community gardens. At these gardens we provide land, shared tools, opportunities to further knowledge and skill through education, and invest in community leadership.
Our neighborhood based gardens serve community members and organizations that surround the garden. Neighbor gardeners are not simply those that live nearby but also people who work near the garden, attend school, or are actively involved in the community. In our Neighbor Gardens we offer gardeners monthly training workshops and access to tools. The goals for these gardens are three-fold: to strengthen community ties, increase self-efficacy among participants, and grow organic produce that may be difficult to access locally.
McGruder Neighbors' Garden
McGruder Community Garden, tucked behind McGruder Family Resource Center, is a space where neighbors take ownership of their own plots to grow produce for themselves and their families. The garden's beautiful infrastructure has been in place since 2009, and in 2014 The Nashville Food Project began a partnership with McGruder Family Resource Center to increase community participation. Hundreds of community members and volunteer groups have since worked together to remove grass from the garden, prepare the raised beds for spring, and restore the adjacent fruit orchard.
Wedgewood-Houston Neighbors' Garden
At our Wedgewood Urban Garden, we partner with Fall-Hamilton Elementary school to offer 15 neighboring families monthly trainings and individual plots to grow food. This garden is unique in that it is multi-generational and multi-cultural. Many families work together to maintain their plots and you will often see grandmothers growing alongside their children and grandchildren. At the same time you may also see families that are brand new to the neighborhood. Gardeners are often seen helping out in each other's plots, sharing work in a larger community plot and enjoying all of the perennial herbs and flowers that this space has to offer.
New American Gardens
Our New American Gardens serve community members who originally came to the US as refugees or immigrants. These relationships were originally developed in 2013 as part of the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP) partnership between TNFP and the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of TN. The farmers attend regular on-site trainings covering best-practices for growing food in Middle Tennessee, but they also bring generations of farming knowledge from their home country. These thriving gardens provide growing space for New American farmers to grow fresh and culturally-appropriate foods and tools for success.
Wedgewood New American Garden
Our Wedgewood Urban Garden has plots for 25 families who originally came to the US as refugees from Bhutan. The Bhutanese gardeners grow crops familiar to any TN farmer, including tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant, alongside some of their favorites from home, such as bitter gourd and several varieties of hot peppers.
Community Farm at Mill Ridge Park
This is TNFP’s newest community garden site, located in Southeast Nashville at Metro Nashville's newest Regional Park, Mill Ridge Park. Through an intensive, year-long public planning process for the park, neighbors expressed a strong interest in growing food in community gardens. In 2019, TNFP opened community garden programming at Mill Ridge with 10 families, with plans to expand in 2020.
Interested in becoming a community gardener? We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019 growing season, but we’d love to keep you in the loop for 2020! Click here to sign up for email updates on the community gardens next season.
If you have questions, please contact Community Garden Manager, Kia Brown, at firstname.lastname@example.org.