Community Garden Grant

GARDEN GRANT PROGRAMcommunity garden

I. Project Rationale                                                      

The Community/School Garden Grant Program is a partnership between the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Marketing Division’s Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) and the Tennessee Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (TNFAITC) designed to assist communities with vegetable gardens that make the public aware that agriculture is an integral part of our everyday environment. Farms, wildlife, forestry, people and cities are all interrelated with agriculture. The gardens can demonstrate the connection between agriculture, food, fiber, conservation, wildlife, and the urban environment. Education is a primary focus of the community garden mini-grant program. The entire community, from schools, churches and other non-profit organizations can benefit from a better awareness of the source of our food.

II. Criteria for Schools and Community Organizations

• Organizations (other than school groups, Extension/4-H clubs and churches) must show proof of non-profit or not-for-profit status.
• Project must be located on land with public access.
• Project should include best management practices (BMPs) as recommended by UT Extension.
• Community education is mandatory. (i.e. food production, processing, safety, agriculture literacy, etc.)
• Community awareness is also mandatory. (i.e. ribbon cutting, grand opening, signage)
• Cooperative efforts are encouraged. (i.e. service organizations and food pantries)
• Project must be advised by the County Extension Leader, Soil Conservation Leader and a Farm Bureau leader.
• Most importantly, the gardens must be vegetable/food gardens/greenhouses, not nature trails or butterfly gardens.

III. General Information about the Grant

Foundation officers and staff will evaluate each application for proper criteria and objectives before grants are awarded. Notification of acceptance or rejection of application will be delivered in writing. Checks will be presented by county Farm Bureau leaders. Applications will be accepted beginning February 1 through September 1, 2011. Grants will be awarded as long as funding is available. Up to $2,500 may be awarded per project. The organization must show matching funds for the amount requested. Organizations will receive two thirds of the funds up front and the remaining funds upon completion. Funds can be used for supplies, materials and/or equipment, including storage.

IV. Matching Funds

The following is a list of resources that may be able to provide matching funds for the garden:

  • Tennessee Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Resources Conservation Fund (check with the local Conservation District to apply), also Non-point Source Pollution RFP in September.
  • School system funds (subject to school system approval)
  • Local Farmers Cooperative
  • Agricultural businesses and organizations
  • Lumber yards, hardware stores, etc.
  • In-kind support, ex. equipment, labor, materials

V. Questions

Any questions regarding the Community Garden Grant Program should be directed to Chris Fleming at the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation: (931) 388-7872 ext. 2759 or

VI. Application