You are here

Starting a Community Garden

Starting A Community Garden

Gardening Matters is here to support your start-up process!

Our Start-Up Guide

Looking to start a community garden? Our Start-Up Guide will walk you through the steps! Please note, we're significantly revising the start-up guide, and this version is currently a draft in almost-finished form. We'll continue to update information and a finished version will be available soon!

Quick Tips

  • Ideally, you'll start planning a whole year before you first plant. Time spent planning is essential. Relationship-building and intentional planning will be your foundation for success.
  • Starting a garden is not a one-person show. Gather 5-10 people to co-create the garden. Start with neighbors and work from there. Door-knocking is encouraged!
  • Let us know you're starting, we can support you!
Garden Start-Up Workshops
The Start-Up Workshop is designed for groups planning a new garden or within their first year of a garden startup. To schedule this two-hour workshop, gather a group of 5-10 people who plan to start the garden. This workshop is interactive and participatory, focusing on exercises garden groups can replicate in their own communities. We can tailor the workshop to the group's specific needs. Participants will explore their visions for the gardens, learn consensus-building and shared leadership principles, and walk through planning exercises. Everyone should leave with next steps for getting their garden off the ground. Currently, we offer this workshop on a donation basis for community groups. Contact us to schedule.
Land Access

Looking for land to start a community garden?

Engage the community in the search

Spread the word, and keep an eye out for empty lots in the neighborhood. These could be residential lots or empty areas next to non-profit organizations, businesses, faith institutions, schools, railroad, etc...

Find out who owns that open lot

  • Hennepin County: Search by address or find the lot on an interactive map.
  • Ramsey County: Seach by exact address or street name. You may have to click on the previous year's tax statement to find the landowner or pay for a subscription to access advanced search features.

Minneapolis Community Garden Program

  • Visit Homegrown Minneapolis to see which city-owned lots are available to lease for community gardens. There is an application process.

City-owned lots in St. Paul

  • Email Mark Granlund, Arts and Gardens Coordinator, or call him at 651-632-2454.

Other resources

  • Find available space on Yards to Gardens, a site that connects people looking for garden space with people who have space available. The site has re-launched!
  • Check out the Twin Cities Agricultural Land Trust (TCALT), working for "Agricultural Land Permanence in the Twin Cities Metro."
  • Sample leases and information about acquiring insurance can be found in the Start-Up Guide.
  • Are you a renter? You can still have a garden! Find more in our Gardening on Rental Property resources!
Garden Sustainability Workshops
Do you already have a garden but still need some assistance? We offer a Garden Sustainability Workshop, designed to help existing gardens tackle their unique challenges and plan for greater overall sustainability. This two hour workshop is tailored to each garden's individual needs. Contact us to schedule. 
Liability Insurance
Additional Start-Up Resources