SFC's Grow Local program offers Central Texas residents the knowledge & resources necessary to grow their own food in order to alleviate hunger and bolster the health of their families, their communities, and the environment. We envision a world in which everyone can grow food using sustainable gardening practices and with the support of knowledgeable gardening communities.
SFC's Grow Local works to realize its vision by supporting home, school, and community gardeners with classes, trainings, and resources.
SFC's Grow Local program offers:
This three-part food gardening class is offered for free to low-income and otherwise underprivileged communities. The classes cover the basics of starting and caring for a food garden, including sun and soil needs, growing seasons, planting techniques, organic pest control, and composting. The curriculum and class structure emphasize participatory, hands-on learning, and students spend half of each class outside working in and observing food gardens.
Grow Local offers a variety of food gardening classes that equip Central Texas residents with the knowledge they need to start and sustain organic food gardens. Classes are hosted in SFC’s Teaching Garden. Prices start at $25. All proceeds from these classes support free gardening classes for families and communities in need.
For over 30 years, SFC's Grow Local has helped Central Texans start and sustain school gardens by connecting parents, teachers, and community members with the training and resources they need in order to establish, use, sustain, and advocate for school gardens.
SFC's Grow Local helps Central Texas residents start and sustain community gardens by providing education, consultation, and fiscal sponsorship. A community garden is a parcel of land cooperatively gardened by a group of people. These gardens offer individuals and families a place to grow their own food—especially those who don’t have space at home. Nestled into properties like parks, recreation centers, and apartment complexes, community gardens transform underutilized lots into vibrant neighborhood gathering spaces. They create opportunities for neighbors to collaborate and form lifelong friendships.
The J.P.’s Peace, Love, and Happiness Foundation Teaching Garden is SFC's site for gardening classes, school and summer camp field trips, volunteer work days, group tours, and drop-in visits. Located adjacent to SFC, the Teaching Garden demonstrates sustainable food gardening techniques that are well suited to Central Texas' semi-arid climate. The garden also includes a Children's Sensory Garden as well as a Teaching Apiary where children and adults can learn about honeybees.
Spread the Harvest seeks to reduce financial barriers to food gardening by providing Central Texas schools, low-income residents and not-for-profit gardens with free gardening materials, including:
Download our lists of Austin-area food pantries that accept fresh produce, recommended gardening resources, and funding opportunities for school and community gardens below: