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Community Food Garden Basics



Community Food Gardens

The Texas Organic Research Center (TORC) partners with local nonprofit organizations serving neighborhoods that are predominantly low income to install and teach how to successfully grow fresh, nutrient dense vegetables, herbs and fruits. This will be accomplished by working with good soil, non-toxic pest control, compost, mulch and organic fertilizers. The crops produced will be as healthy to grow as to eat.


The primary goal of this program is to teach people how to successfully grow their own food, transform disused spaces into live gardens, and provide healthier opportunities.


The issues of food and nutrition insecurity and diet-related diseases have reached epic proportions in the United States. In September 2022, The White House held a Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health (over 50 years after the first ever conference in 1969) with the goal to "end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension." –Ending Hunger and Reducing Diet-Related Diseases and Disparities, paper presented at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (


Area Served

The Community Gardens program will operate in the North Texas area, starting with Dallas County and will focus on working with groups offering services in food insecure neighborhoods.




There are existing non-profit organizations in the Dallas and North Texas area that wish to set up gardens to support their neighborhood and teach people how to prepare and maintain food gardens. "Food deserts" are segments of urban communities that aren't served by large established retailers; food deserts are where there is a dearth of good quality and affordable fresh foods, meat, dairy, and produce. Gardens in these areas serve a critical need.


Howard Garrett's Organic Manual, Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening and the Natural Organic Gardening and Landscaping Course serve as the foundational documents for the Community Food Gardens program. These resources can be found on General topics include introduction to organics, healthy soil, planting and management, solving pest problems, identifying beneficial insects and pests, disease control, weed control, irrigation and sustainable maintenance.



Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. - Lao Tzu






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