SFC's Grow Local improves community health by helping people gain skills, access land, and find resources to grow food.
We envision a world in which everyone can use sustainable gardening practices to grow healthy food. We support community leaders in strengthening their local food system through home, school, and community gardens.
SFC's Grow Local program offers:
This three-part food gardening class series is offered for free at host sites located in communities facing health disparities and food insecurity. The classes cover the basics of starting and caring for a food garden, including sun and soil needs, growing seasons, planting techniques, container gardening, 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 in the fall, winter, and spring. All proceeds from these classes support free gardening classes for families and communities in need.
SFC's Grow Local helps parents, teachers, and community members in the Austin area start, use, sustain, and advocate for school gardens by offering trainings, resources, and educational materials.
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 healthy 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.
J.P.’s Peace, Love, and Happiness Foundation Teaching Garden is SFC's site for gardening classes, hands-on, TEKS-aligned school field trips, volunteer work days, group tours, and self-guided visits. Located adjacent to SFC in the St. David’s Foundation Community Garden, 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 view honeybees and learn about the importance of bees in pollinating food crops.
Spread the Harvest seeks to reduce financial barriers to food gardening by providing Central Texas schools, low-income residents and not-for-profit gardens, and other groups 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: