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Website Links:

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American Community Gardening Association
1777 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43203
(877) ASK-ACGA

ACGA thanks

Franklin Park Conservatory Logo ... nurturing plants and people

The Franklin Park Conservatory

and our Sustaining Members:

Eileen Duncan
Elizabeth Johnson

2011 Board of Directors

Executive Committee:
Bobby L. Wilson, President
Bill Maynard, Vice President
Christine Pardee, Secretary
Betsy Johnson, Treasurer

Kirsten Conrad Buhls
Kristin Faurest
Maree Gaetani
Rasheed Hislop
LaManda Joy
Karen Landry
Susan Leibrock
Zazel Loven
Chris Lowe
Monika McCurdy
Charlie Monroe
Christine Pardee
Edie Stone
Cathy Walker
Sandra Zuniga

News from the
American Community Gardening Association

August 2011

In This Issue

A Message from Bobby Wilson: New York City or Bust!

Greetings to all ACGA members:

Photo of an urban garden with beekeeping

Headed To New York City

2009 Columbus, Ohio, 2010 Atlanta, Georgia; 2011 Manhattan, New York, 2012 San Francisco, California and 2013 Seattle, Washington. ACGA is looking forward to our annual conference. There is no turning us back. It is all because of you and you our membership, supporters and friends that we are in an uphill trend moving forward.

As president of ACGA, I hope that you have made plans to be with us in the Big Apple (NYC) on August 18 -21, 2011. We have spent countless hours on conference calls, emails and telephone calls. There is no doubt in my mine that this will be one of the greatest conferences in the 32 years of service that this organization has provided for the people that we are called upon to serve.

Come and enjoy. Get educated, learn, and make new friends. See community gardens and leave energized to go back to your cities, towns, communities to make a positive difference.

We look forward to seeing you in New York City. 





President, ACGA

P.S. Please help the ACGA by bringing items for our Silent Auction event with you. (See article below).  Check out our website to get all of the details about the conference.  Go to and click on the link for the Annual Conference. 


2011 Annual Conference - Register Now!

ACGA Annual Conference:
Community Gardening Works!

Spread the word! 

Encourage local community gardeners to attend the ACGA Annual Conference. 

August 18-21, 2011 in New York City.  

What: The American Community Gardening Association‘s 32nd Annual Conference,
"Community Gardening Works!"
When: August 18-21, 2011
Where: Columbia University in New York City, NY.


For more information:


Going, Going.....Gone! the ACGA Conference Silent Auction

And our offer still stands - your item can be part of the ACGA Silent Auction!

Thank you to those ACGA members who have pledged to bring something for the Silent Auction - we will be happy to accept donations up until zero hour - so don‘t hesitate to bring something to NYC that you think a fellow ACGAer would like to take home.

While it may be silent, there is a great deal of enthusiasm for the ACGA Conference Silent Auction. Here is an opportunity for each and every member to make this fundraiser a success.

If you are creative, bring something that you have made, or bring a book, a piece of pottery, a garden tool, a gardening apron - any item you think your fellow gardeners would like to have.

As long as it fits in your suitcase and gets through security - we welcome all donations.

If you plan in advance, please me know what you will donate to the auction, please, at Or just bring the item with you.

So put on your creative thinking cap, and thank you all for helping to make the Silent Auction a successful crowd-pleaser.

August Experts Panel Conference Call for ACGA Members

The ACGA teleconferences are now named "Experts Panel Conference Calls"
These conference calls, which are open to all ACGA members,
are about one hour long, and offer a
very easy, comfortable, enjoyable and informative opportunity to connect with other ACGA members.
To become an ACGA member,  click here.   

 Join us for
the August Experts Panel Conference Call

Raised Beds
With Laura Lavid & Vicki Garrett, ACGA staff

Wednesday August 31, 2011
4:00pm Eastern
3:00pm Central
2:00pm Mountain
1:00pm Pacific

Help us, help you!  Questions about raised beds may be one of the most asked questions on our email discussion group, call and emails.  This month, we will compile our resources about raised beds (what are the best materials, what is safe, are they necessary, what are affordable options, etc) and we will ask you to share your experiences/lessons learned.  From this call, we will develop a Raised Bed resource sheet which will then be available on our website.

Founded in 1979, the mission of ACGA is to strive to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across Canada and the United States.  ACGA works with community-based organizations throughout the United States and Canada to help residents and organizations address local, social, economic, and environmental issues by providing resources and assistance to develop sustainable community gardens. 


At least one week before the date, send an email to Please put the conference call title you‘re registering for in the subject line.  Please include the following:

 -ACGA membership number:
(If you‘ve just joined, please call the office and let us know, toll-free - 877-275-2242.)





-Description of your garden/program (25 words or less):

After registration you will receive an email from ACGA with instructions to join the call.  Conference calls typically last 60-90 minutes and involve time for discussion among the guest speaker and audience.

Growing Communities: Save the Date

Growing Communities Workshops

The next workshops will be September 15-17, 2011, Broward County, FL

For more information on these and other upcoming Growing Communities workshops, visit 

Bees!! Nature‘s Miraculous Workers

As more municipalities around the country make beekeeping in urban areas legal, beehives in community gardens are growing in popularity. Bees are hardworking creatures, and indeed a miracle of nature - essential to the circle of life celebrated in all community gardens.

Join us below for a conversation with West Coast urban gardener Erik Knutzen, author with Kelly Coyne of "The Urban Homestead" and "Making It: Radical Home Ec for Post Consumer World." Follow them at 

Bee hivesStacked hives, known as Langstroth hives (above), and a top bar hive (below) host bee colonies at The Battery Conservancy Park in Lower Manhattan in New York City. Community Gardens and Bees
The bees pollinate what is growing at the urban farm at The Battery, originated this season by the environmental club at the nearby Millennium High School. The Battery Conservancy says that 650 students from 8 schools have now signed up to farm, and it is expanding the program to include community groups and people who want to do some digging, planting and nurturing.

Community Gardens and Bees
Honey bees leave and enter through the hive opening, oblivious and uninterested in a group of observers.

Photos by Olivia Sherman

Community Gardens and Bees
The beekeeper, Craig Winkelman, built and tends the top bar hive, opening it to check on honey production. A taste of honey is the reward for getting up close with the bee hives.

Top Ten Tips for Urban Beekeeping

1.)    Find out the ordinances in your community regarding beekeeping legality. The local county extension office or a Master Gardener will most likely have this information.

2.)    Contact a local beekeeping organization and start by working with an expert – inexperienced beekeepers are not appropriate in urban gardens, and beekeeping is work. Take a beekeeping class. Bee stings are not frequent when proper procedures are followed, and hybrid strains are more gentle.

3.)    Educate your fellow community gardeners about the many benefits of honeybee hives. Selling jars of honey is a fun fundraiser for children in community gardens.

4.)    Consider planting a patch of native wildflowers, to encourage these pollinators.

5.)    Assess your garden for the right situation for the hives – a shady, not windy area, a nearby water source (could be artificial) so the bees won’t wander too far or to an unfriendly area in search of water.

6.)    Plan to set up the hives during the right time of year (not late summer or fall) – and plan to have all equipment in place by then.

7.)    If the garden is large, consider an observational hive to educate school children and wary gardeners about the wonders of bee life.

8.)    Two or three colonies are fine for a start. This way colony growth and production can be compared, and more colonies can be added later. Plan the right number of hives for the area.

9.)     Practice beekeeping public relations – following the above tips and sweeten with a jar of honey – it goes a long way.

10.) Do not situate hives facing children’s play areas, or where they may bother others. A setting near a tall hedge forces bees to fly high and reduces chance encounter, as well as keeping the hives out of view of possible vandals or those with unfounded fears about stings.


Interview with Erik Knutzen

Q. What is the biggest roadblock to beekeeping in an urban area?

Community gardening and beekeepingSome people have an irrational fear of any kind of insect. Beekeeping is illegal in may cities. The irony is that the bees are here anyways, living in walls, hot tubs, bird houses etc. Having a community of beekeepers helps keep those bees where they are wanted, in hive boxes.

Q. How can bees help an urban community garden?

Bees provide important pollination services--at least one-third of all crops. Keeping a hive of bees at a community garden will increase productivity as well as giving those bees a good place to live. They are also a great way for people in urban areas to have a chance to work with livestock. Plus, they are just plain amazing. To see a hive at work is to peer deep into the mysteries of nature and see one of nature‘s most complex, self-regulating systems at work. Another side benefit is that it makes people more aware of the dangers of pesticides. Maybe if people see those bees hard at work they‘ll think twice about using poisons. What‘s dangerous for the bees is dangerous for us. 

Q. Is it necessary to have a expert beekeeper set up the hives, install the queen, and oversee the hives?

At the very least you need a mentor to help guide your beekeeping journey. That being said, beekeeping isn‘t all that complicated, particularly if you are taking a natural approach--The Complete Idiots Guide to Beekeeping and are great resources. 

Q. Do the bees need to be in a garden that has other gardens, parks or greenery nearby, so the bees can roam?

Bees can forage up to nine miles away from their hive. So a hive can be placed just about anywhere--a rooftop, an unused corner of a garden, an awkward space between buildings, etc. One of the great things about beekeeping in urban areas is that hive boxes can be placed in what would otherwise be an unused space.

Q. Is there a way to educate reluctant community gardeners about the benefits of bees and assuage their fears of being stung?

This may have to start with the way we educate children. Kids need to experience nature--plants, animals, insects etc. at an early age. Adults have a lot of ingrained, irrational fears unfortunately. But the fact is that if you want to eat many fruits and vegetables you need bees to pollinate them. 

 Q. Are there urban-specific safety precautions for beekeeping?

There are common sense rules about the way we interact with bees--foraging bees don‘t bother people, period. You also shouldn‘t walk up to their hive and bang on the box! Overly aggressive hives (it happens occasionally) should be relocated out of spaces like community gardens in the same way that you wouldn‘t keep a bucking pony in a petting zoo. Hive boxes should be arranged so that the bees flight path does not cross a pathway. Put up fencing around hive boxes to force their flight path up. Beekeepers need to make sure that their hive has room--add boxes as the hive grows and you‘ll prevent swarming. Should a bee make queen cells, do an "artificial swarm", i.e. put that frame with the queen cells in it in an empty hive box. You‘ll get two hives and the bees won‘t swarm.

Q. Can beehives be set up in all climates?

Honey bees live happily in North Dakota and the Sonora desert, so yes, bees are very adaptable. Keeping local stock and not ordering bees from distant locations is a great way to make sure you have bees that are adapted to your local climate. 

Spotlight on Community: Manna Meal Community Garden

This month‘s spotlight is on the Manna Meal Community Garden.  Manna Meal recently shared news about a "string bean fundraiser" that they held.  Read more about this event below!! 

Each month, we are highlighting a different community garden, focusing on how community gardening builds community. If you are interested in having your community garden spotlighted you may email

Manna Meal Green Beans!  
1.)    What is the Manna Meal Community Garden?

The Manna Meal Community Garden helps feed the hungry in this city and surrounding valley.  Manna Meal Soup Kitchen is in its 33rd year of operation. It serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week to all who enter its doors—no questions asked. It depends on the support of local citizens and businesses to keep it operational. It doesn’t receive federal funding. The soup kitchen leases the kitchen attached to one of the oldest churches in Charleston, St John’s Episcopal Church, and just received a one million dollar gift for a total kitchen renovation from a family in Charleston. This week was the dedication of the new kitchen!

GarlicExcess produce is shared with other non-profit shelters here in town and is often shared with folks who have little at home. The need for FRESH locally grown produce was great at the Soup Kitchen, and the executive director, Jean Simpson, and volunteers decided to do something about it. Thanks to the garden, additional fresh garlic, herbs, and vegetables are now available for meal prep. The garden effort has expanded the Manna Meal circle of friends and volunteers.

2.) Where did the idea for a "string bean" fundraiser come from?

The idea came when I looked at my old family journal photos and read some of my great-great-great grandparent’s history. Some of the local 19th century communities made bean string’n, apple butter  & sorghum production a community event…complete with country music bands. We liked their idea.

3.) Could you describe the fundraiser?

Green Bean FundraiserWe asked for friends to ‘buy a pound, donate a pound and string a pound’ The Capitol Market (our farmer’s market) sent out eBlast advertisements, the Soup Kitchen did the same with its volunteer email lists and the Charleston Gazette gave us attention and published our announcements. We began with a long list of volunteer ‘stringers’ and kitchen prep volunteers and gathered more throughout the four hour event. We invited everyone to join us in the fun. A local bluegrass band volunteered to come play for the entire event. Some of the Market vendors offered special deals on their green beans during the event. Everyone worked together!

4.) What are some of the things that attract volunteers to working in your community garden? 

Our Kanawha County Master Gardeners receive CE credit for helping at our garden and events! We love them….When some of the other volunteers tire out about mid-year, the MGs keep on coming back to help and are rewarded for so doing. Actually our volunteers are like family now and the garden provides great therapeutic benefits.

5.) Where can readers find more information about Manna Meal?

We invited everyone traveling through Charleston, WV to stop and eat at Manna Meal Soup Kitchen! Tour the state of the art kitchen, arrange to tour the garden or volunteers! See our website at where up to date information about the garden and soup kitchen is posted in blog format. You will find contact information there. You may also contact: Myra Dolan at or Jean Simpson, Executive Director of Manna Meal at

ACGA and Social Media: "Like" Us

How do you migrate a Facebook Group to a Page?? By asking all of our supporters to help! This is exactly what we have been doing—a concerted effort by ACGA staff and board members, from social media mavens like LaManda Joy of The Peterson Garden Project in Chicago to the capable and gifted executive director of ACGA, Beth Urban.

Facebook screen imageIt is a team effort to tell our story and we’d like your help! What we promise to offer in return is a steady stream of information, from articles by our member organizations to stories about individuals like each of you making a difference in the greening of your community. 

Step 1: “Like” the new ACGA Facebook page

Step 2: Tell a friend: “ACGA is retiring its Facebook Group, so please “Like” their new Facebook Page!"


Twitter screen imageStep 3: Follow ACGA on Twitter! That’s right—even if you’ve never set a toe into the Twitter-stream, we’re asking you to be brave and join us. This movement takes all of us working together, everybody in, to build a sustainable gardening network which stretches across North America. Even if you don’t Tweet, you can still follow us on Twitter at: @ACGA_CommGarden. Try it! It’s free, and you might learn some new things about other gardeners from across the states and Canada.

Here is the link:!/ACGA_CommGarden

Step 4: Please let us know your Twitter handle (e.g., @ACGA_CommGarden) so that we can follow YOU too, and be sure to use the hashtag: ACGANY when referring to our Annual Conference. This is a great way to find and connect with other gardeners leading up to and during Aug. 18-21!

Step 5: Get back out in the garden! We know you don’t have all day to stare at the screen, nor would we ever want you to. These days, you’ll find me with an iPad in one hand and a watering can in the other.

Writing you live from the Biblical Drought in Central Texas,

Susan Leibrock, ACGA board member since 2008

Curriculum Resources - Honeybees

As gardeners and environmentalists become increasingly interested in bees and beekeeping, many schools and youth gardening programs are starting to explore bees as a topic of study and exploration.  One such project was shared in the Massachusetts-based Contextual Learning Portal.   The Honeybees lesson outline provides a wide variety of ideas, worksheets and activities related to honeybees connected to Math, English Language Arts and Biology.  The Contextual Learning Portal - at -- is a forum for teachers and summer and after-school program coordinators to share "contextual learning" projects -- projects that apply academic skills to a real-life context related to students‘ lives, communities and to the wider world.

Has your school or youth gardening program explored bees and beekeeping or similar topics?  Email if you are interested in being featured in a future e-news. 


Events in:

Albany, NY | Ames, Iowa | Amherst, MA | Berkeley & San Francisco, California | Bronx, NY | Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Cincinnati, Ohio | Connecticut | Detroit, MI | Ecology Center, Milwaukee, WI | Eugene, Oregon to Washington, DC | Kansas City, KS | Los Altos Hills, California | Milwaukee, WI | National | New York, NY | Oakland, California | Port Townsend, WA | San Antonio, TX | San Diego County, CA | San Francisco, CA | Sedgwick, Maine | State College, Pennsylvania | Trumansburg, NY | UC Davis, California | UC Santa Cruz Farm | Whalan, MN |

National Farmers Market Week
August 7-13, 2011

Many markets across the country plan special events, and many states also declare Farmers Market Week. Support materials for publicizing Farmers Market Week are available from the Farmers Market Coalition.


Food & Farm Activist Retreat
August 10 -16
Sedgwick, Maine

Contact: Contact Food for Maine‘s Future for program information 207-244-0908 or

AUGUST 12-14, 2011
Amherst, MA

NOFA Summer Conference attendees register for an entire weekend of keynote speeches, over 225 workshops, a country fair, farmers’ market, over 100 exhibitors and vendors, a children’s conference, a teen conference, live entertainment and silent auction. Over the years, NOFA has presented a wide array of thoughtful, engaging and important keynote speakers, including Wendell Berry, Joel Salatin, and others. The 2011 Friday evening keynote will be given by perennial-edibles expert and award-winning author, Eric Toensmeier, from Holyoke, MA. The 2011 Saturday evening keynote will be given by Biology professor and anti-GMO activist Dr. Ignacio Chapela, from UC Berkeley.


Summer/Fall 2011 Educator Workshops
August 13-14
UC Santa Cruz Farm

The Growing Classroom: Introduction to Garden-Based Learning
This two-day workshop is ideal for those interested in supplementing their existing science program with garden-based learning. Using The Growing Classroom activity guide for grades 2-6, you’ll experience hands-on activities, learn basic science concepts and gardening techniques, and develop management strategies for a school gardening program.

Contact: Life Lab Garden Classroom

The New York Nut Growers Association Summer Meeting
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Trumansburg, NY

Topics will include finding suitable English walnuts for the Northeast, heartnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and pawpaws. Ernie Grimo and John Gordon, well-known plant breeders, authors, and nursery operators, will be the featured speakers. We will tour a walnut and a chestnut planting.

Cost: $15
Contact: For more information and/or directions to the BWW Farm, contact John Wertis, NYNGA President, at (607) 387 – 4331,

Farm Aid 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Kansas City, KS

Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews headline a Farm Aid concert to bring together a wide variety of musicians, farmers and fans for one mission: keeping family farmers on their land.


Permaculture Design Certification Course
August 13 - 21
Ecology Center, Milwaukee, WI

Permaculture training is based on the original certification course developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. The course meets all requirements for certification. Participants that attend all sessions of this class and complete the final design project will receive Certificate of Permaculture Design.


The American Community Gardening Association‘s 32nd Annual Conference,
August 18-21, 2011
New York, NY

Website: ...

2011 Hazon Food Conference
August 18 - 21, 2011
UC Davis, California

The Hazon Food Conference is a place where everyone from farmers to rabbis comes together to explore the dynamic interplay of food, Jewish traditions, and contemporary life. Enjoy four days of do-it-yourself food workshops, lectures, discussions, Shabbat celebrations, kids & family programming, and consciously-prepared food. Presenters include Joan Nathan and Oran Hesterman and others from a wide range of fields, including food justice, food systems research, culinary history, and Jewish tradition.


National Street Food Conference
August 21-22
San Francisco, CA

The 2011 Conference will
focus on the culture, economics and policy of street food with an extended
look at small business incubation nationally. It is intended to be an open
forum for ideas, an exchange between vendors, consumers, regulators and
dreamers, and, hopefully, a place where changes can be set in motion to
create more viable options for low-income vendors.


Environmental Justice Conference Detroit
August 23-26, 2011
Detroit, MI


Make Money as an Urban Farmer workshops
August 27-28
Cincinnati, Ohio

Presented by the Sustainable Commercial Urban Farm Incubator (SCUFI) program and sponsored by Findlay Market of Cincinnati, Ohio.


Growing Food and Justice for All Gathering 2011
September 9th - 11th, 2011
Milwaukee, WI

Sacred Soil: Cultivating Seeds of Community Transformation

Come early for Intensive Leadership Facilitator Training
September 7th - 8th, 2011


Farm and Food Leadership ConferenceFarm and Food Leadership Conference
September 12-13, 2011
San Antonio, TX

Speakers on critical issues facing food and agriculture in Texas and beyond will be at this gathering of activists, farmers & ranchers, consumers, and nonprofits who care about the state of our food and food choices. Learn about the latest developments in agriculture and food, and get the tools you need to help make a difference!


The Northwest Earth Institute‘s North American Gathering
September 15th - 18th
Port Townsend, WA

Join other community organizers, discussion group leaders, participants and NWEI volunteers from throughout North America to explore building more sustainable and healthy communities one conversation at a time.


1st US International Green Schoolyard Conference
Sept. 16-18, 2011
San Francisco, CA

Participate in this exciting conference to hear about cutting edge schoolyards and school gardens, meet like-minded colleagues from the United States and abroad, share ideas, tour fantastic local school grounds, and get inspired to bring these ideas back to your own community.


First International Green Schoolyard Conference
September 16–18, 2011
Berkeley & San Francisco, California

Come to the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area to join us for the first International Green Schoolyard Conference held in the United States. Invited visionary leaders of the school ground movement from Europe, North America, and Japan will share their experiences, case studies, and best practices. Participate in this exciting conference to hear about cutting edge schoolyards and school gardens, meet like-minded colleagues from the United States and abroad, share ideas, tour fantastic local school grounds, and get inspired to bring these ideas back to your own community.


September 16-17, 2011
San Francisco, CA

The conference: JUSTICE BEGINS WITH SEEDS will be a space for movement building to actively address the the symbol of the corporate food regime: genetically modified food, address the many layered implications of GE/GMO food, and build strategic coalitions and deeper collaborations amongst diverse stakeholders more widespread political action addressing GMOs in varying levels throughout the state of California.

Contact: The California Biosafety Alliance

Summer/Fall 2011 Educator Workshops
Friday, September 23, 2011
UC Santa Cruz Farm

Plant It, Grow It, Eat It: Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education
This one-day workshop will help you make the connection from seed to table. In a fun and delicious way, you will explore ways to teach nutrition to elementary and middle school students through gardening, harvesting, and meal preparation.

Contact: Life Lab Garden Classroom

Summer/Fall 2011 Educator Workshops
October 6-7
UC Santa Cruz Farm

The Growing Classroom: Introduction to Garden-Based Learning
This two-day workshop is ideal for those interested in supplementing their existing science program with garden-based learning. Using The Growing Classroom activity guide for grades 2-6, you’ll experience hands-on activities, learn basic science concepts and gardening techniques, and develop management strategies for a school gardening program.


NCSU‘s 12th Vermiculture Conference
October 10-11, 2011
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A conference about earthworm farming and commercial vermicomposting taught by industry experts. This conference is for beginners or seasoned earthworm farm operators.


Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference
October 14-16 2011
Bronx, NY

The Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference connects growers, eaters and organizations across the country to nurture the health and well being of Black America and the environment as a whole. Attendees explore issues of race, class, health and food through panel discussions, workshops, films and conversations. Resources are exchanged. Ideas are pollinated. Solutions are born.


Summer/Fall 2011 Educator Workshops
Sunday, October 16, 2011
UC Santa Cruz Farm

Sowing the Seeds of Wonder: Discovering the Garden in Early Childhood Education
This one-day workshop gives you the opportunity to see the garden through the eyes of a young child. Learn to set up a garden space to encourage children to explore, ask questions, and connect to the natural world. Learn activities to engage children’s curiosity and enthusiasm while introducing fundamental ideas in environmental science.


Permaculture Design & Regenerative Leadership Certification
October 23 - November 4th
Los Altos Hills, California

Join an unforgettable program in leadership, permaculture and
sustainable design in California with the world‘s most renowned
instructors and change your life, your community and your
planet. Not only do Common Circle Education courses offer the
most complete curriculum of any similar course, but the people
who come to the programs make this the most powerful leadership
training offered anywhere.


Connecticut Beginning Women Farmers: Whole Farm Planning Course for 2010-2011
November 2011

This program is sponsored by CTNOFA and includes:

◦ One-on-One Mentorships
◦ On-Farm Field Visits
◦ Business & Financial Planning Training
◦ Network of Women Farmers


CFSC‘s 15th Annual Conference
November 4 – 8, 2011
Oakland, California

Over the past 15 years, CFSC has worked to catalyze a broad and far-reaching food systems movement. Each year, CFSC brings people together to learn from each other and to shape the future of our movement. CFSC held its first conference with 170 attendees in Los Angeles in 1997 and this year we return to California for “Food Justice: Honoring our Roots, Growing the Movement.”


Food Justice Tour
November 4th and 5th
Oakland, California

If you are planning to attend the Community Food Security Conference in Oakland in November, or if you will be in the Bay Area November 4th and 5th, consider joining a Food Justice Tour. The half-day to day-long trips will visit different parts of the Bay Area to meet with some of the most innovative, local grassroots food justice organizations.

Contact: The trips are co-sponsored by Food First and CFSC.

2011 Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference: Telling Your Story
November 6-8, 2011
State College, Pennsylvania

The conference will bring together farmers, growers, educators, agricultural professionals, and policy makers to share knowledge, skills, and stories for building a dynamic sustainable agriculture.

Website: ...

Fall Harvest Gathering for Women in Sustainable Agriculture
November 11-13, 2011
Whalan, MN

Women, Food and Agriculture Network, Women in Sustainable Agriculture - Minnesota, and Women in Sustainable Agriculture - Wisconsin present Conversations: Selling or Buying Land with Passion. The weekend will feature conversations around the theme, virtual farm tours, time to relax and meet new people, and storytelling by Catherine Friend, author of Hit by a Farm.


It Takes a Region - 2011 A Conference to Build Our Northeast Food System
November 11-12, 2011
Albany, NY

Work groups will address distribution logistics, research, messaging, access & nutrition, and policy advocacy (how do we influence the 2012 Farm Bill?). We will welcome new participants -- especially emerging food system leaders and community activists. Issues to be addressed include food system worker equity and growing biomass versus food. Explore scale, size, geography and cross-sector partnerships.


Permaculture Design & Regenerative Leadership Certification
December 17 - December 31, 2011
San Diego County, CA

Join an unforgettable program in leadership, permaculture and
sustainable design in California with the world‘s most renowned
instructors and change your life, your community and your
planet. Not only do Common Circle Education courses offer the
most complete curriculum of any similar course, but the people
who come to the programs make this the most powerful leadership
training offered anywhere.


2012 Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference
January 12-14, 2012
Ames, Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa is cooking up an agriculture with a blend of
profitable enterprises, healthful food, strong communities—and a
commitment to our future farmers


Sustainability Across America Bicycle Tour with Urban Permaculture Certification
June 1 - August 31, 2012
Eugene, Oregon to Washington, DC

This three-month intensive course combines our Urban
Permaculture and Regenerative Leadership Certificate training,
followed by a Wilderness First Aid training before we head on
the road cycling from Eugene, Oregon all the way across
America to Washington DC (we’ll be roughly following the
TransAM bike route – about 4200 miles), promoting and
learning about sustainable living and intentional communities.
The stunning places you will visit on this program and the
extraordinary people you will meet will challenge and inspire

Contact: Common Circle Education phone: 1-800-376-3775 web:

Funds for Community Gardens

STEMester of Service Grants
Deadline: Monday, August 08, 2011
STEMester of Service Grants support middle school educators at sites with large populations of disadvantaged youth in STEM subject areas (science, technology, engineering, and math) in engaging their students in a Semester of Service. The $5,000 grant (that includes travel and training at YSA’s Youth Service Institute in Philadelphia in October) supports teachers and afterschool program facilitators as they engage local partners and guide students in addressing local needs through planning and implementing sustainable service projects that launch on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January 16, 2012) and culminate on Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22, 2012).

Amount: 5,000
Sodexo School Engagement Grants
Deadline: Monday, August 15, 2011
The programs funded through this grant will engage teachers and students, grades K-12, in learning about the incidence of childhood hunger in their community, and in leading meaningful activities that facilitate access to nutritious food for all children; especially those most at risk. The Sodexo School Engagement Grant is designed to address the need to ensure that every child in the United States grows up with access to enough nutritious food. The program will be implemented through a service-learning “Semester of Service” focused on childhood hunger.

Amount: $5,000
Leopold Center‘s 2011 Request for Pre-proposals
Deadline: Monday, August 15, 2011
For: Iowa

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is looking for innovative ideas that will help fulfill its mission to identify and reduce negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of agricultural practices and contribute to the development of profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources. The Leopold Center seeks long-term outcomes of its programs regarding water and soil, people, energy and land management. The Center will accept pre-proposals from investigators representing any Iowa nonprofit organization/agency and/or educational institution, including soil and water conservation districts, schools and colleges, and regional development groups. Farmers, landowners and farm-based businesses are encouraged to participate in the pre-proposal process.

Website: ...
Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program
Deadline: Monday, August 15, 2011
USDA is accepting grant applications to assist small, socially disadvantaged agricultural producers and cooperatives in rural areas to spur job creation. Almost $3.5 million in competitive grant funds is available through USDA Rural Development‘s Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program. Funding is available to cooperatives or associations of cooperatives where at least 75 percent of the governing board or membership is small, socially disadvantaged producers. USDA Rural Development Cooperative Programs requests proposals from eligible cooperatives and associations of cooperatives for a competitively awarded grant to fund technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas. The maximum award per grant is $200,000.

Website: ...
Value-Added Producer Grant
Deadline: Monday, August 29, 2011
USDA is accepting applications for grants to provide economic assistance to independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups through the Value-Added Producer Grant Program. Value-Added Producer Grants may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects. Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and agricultural producer groups. The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $300,000. Approximately $37 million in competitive grant funds is available for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011.

Website: ...
Indiana Farmers‘ Market Cost Share Program
Deadline: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
For: Indiana

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has $10,000 available through the ISDA Farmers’ Market Cost-Share Reimbursement Program to reimburse farmers’ markets in the state of Indiana for advertising. Farmers’ markets may receive up to 50 percent of the cost of advertising, displays or promotional materials with a cap of $500. Market reimbursement is available for expenditures made 11/1/10-8/31/11 as long as receipts are provided.

TKF Foundation National Awards Initiative for Integrated Design and Research
Deadline: Thursday, September 01, 2011
Open Space Sacred Places: The Healing Power of Nature Awards. For teams with the intent to study and communicate the impact of urban public greenspace on users.

Amount: Funding pool of $5 million
The Green Thumb Challenge
Deadline: Friday, September 30, 2011
Green Education Foundation and Gardener‘s Supply Award

Who May Apply: Schools and youth groups who submit chronicles of their garden projects. The award is designed to support the continued sustainability of an exceptional youth garden program that has demonstrated success, and has impacted the lives of kids and their community.

Amount: $5,000
Website: ...
Captain Planet Foundation
Deadline: Friday, September 30, 2011
The Captain Planet Foundation primarily makes grants to U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $3 million. Grants are made for activities that conform to the mission of the Captain Planet Foundation which is to: promote and support high-quality educational programs that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through learning experiences that engage them in active, hands-on projects to improve the environment in their schools and communities.

Amount: $2,500
Northeast SARE Sustainable Community Grants
Deadline: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
For: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Sustainable Community Grants make a direct connection between community revitalization and farming. Projects must address specific key issues such as farm finance, marketing, land use, water use, enterprise development, value-added product development, or other delineated topic areas. To apply, you must be affiliated with Cooperative Extension, a municipality, a state department of agriculture, a college or university, a community organization, or other institutional entity.

Mirassou Bright Ideas™ Grant Program
Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2011
Mirassou Winery‘s Bright Ideas Grant Program will award five $3,000 grants to individuals with bright ideas to help turn their ideas into reality. In addition, the five grant recipients will also be voted on at the Mirassou Winery’s Facebook page, with the highest vote earner being awarded an additional grant of $5,000. Applications may not exceed 1,000 words and will be judged on criteria that includes relevance of the bright idea to the Mirassou spirit of entrepreneurism, innovation and empowerment.

2012 Mantis Awards for Community and Youth Gardens
Deadline: Thursday, March 01, 2012
Each year, Mantis presents the Mantis Awards to charitable and educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life in their host communities. NGA selects 25 outstanding applicants to receive Mantis tiller/cultivators. Any nonprofit garden program may apply. In the past, winners have included schools, churches, correctional facilities, parks departments, youth camps, community gardens, and many others. These are groups turning slim resources into bountiful gardens with far-reaching benefits, from increasing their community‘s access to fresh nutritious foods to educating the public about the importance of gardening in our nation‘s history.

Website: ...
GRO1000 Grassroots Grants
Deadline: OPEN
Who May Apply: Garden and green space beautification projects that incorporate the involvement and engagement of neighborhood residents and foster a sense of community spirit. Applications are invited from U.S. organizations with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and from groups and projects with an eligible nonprofit fiscal sponsor.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has established GRO1000, a commitment to install 1,000 gardens and green spaces in the United States and select international sites by 2018.

Amount: $1,500 consisting of in-kind and monetary contributions
Donors Choose
Deadline: OPEN
Public school teachers post classroom project requests and interested individuals sign on as sponsors.

Amount: Sponsor may give any amount to a project.
Simply Organic 1% Fund
Deadline: OPEN
The Simply Organic 1% fund supports and promotes the growth of organic and sustainable agriculture. They support research into organic production methods and crop improvement; educating farmers on organic growing techniques, certification standards and documentation; educating the public on the value of organic agriculture; developing projects that help organic farmers to be more efficient, produce better products, and add value to their products. Electronic applications may be submitted.

Website: ...

ACGA Member Discount Partnership

Our garden friends at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, a long time promoter of sustainable and organic seeds and agricultural supplies, have given ACGA members a gift for the 2011 growing season. Take a look at their selection of organic seeds, starts and fertilizers, weed & pest controls, cover crops, and all manner of season extenders. 

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply offers a 10% discount on first-tier items featured in the main catalogue. For larger purchases (generally 10 or more of the same item) there is 5% off second-tier pricing. A few items are exempt from this offer.

To start your discount, please fax (530-272-4794) a copy of the American Community Gardening Association membership card. A discount will be subtracted from each order, and your card will be on file.

Thank you Peaceful Valley!

ACGA Partnership with ARTichoke T-Shirt Company

ARTichoke T-shirt companyACGA is please to announce a partnership with ARTichoke T-Shirt Company.  ARTichoke will donate 10% of their profits to ACGA.   All ARTichoke‘s tee‘s are hand printed with water based ink for the best eco-friendly choice. Their website is Every T-shirt purchased benefits ACGA!

ARTichoke t-shirt

Support ACGA This Year

As the plants in our gardens settle in for a strong growing season, now‘s the time to plan your group‘s trip to the ACGA‘s annual conference in August in New York City.

Please support the ACGA in 2011!

  • Join ACGA or renew your membership
  • Tell a friend about ACGA
  • Invite fellow gardeners to join ACGA
  • Participate in a teleconference or conference
  • Make a donation to support the work of ACGA
  • Encourage colleagues to attend the August 2011 ACGA Conference

Contact Information

ACGA Staff:
Beth Urban, Executive Director,
Laura Lavid, Programs Manager,
Vicki Garrett, Project Coordinator,
ACGA Toll Free number: 877.ASK.ACGA (275.2242)

Connect with ACGA on Facebook:

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And follow ACGA on Twitter

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