When the Big Garden began, some of us naively assumed that community gardens were only needed and desired in urban areas. Then in 2008 UMM staff conducted a survey of United Methodist pastors serving rural communities in Southeast Nebraska. We made several discoveries that led to the creation of the Big Rural Garden, including: many small towns did not have quality fresh produce available for sale; there was a far greater interest in farmers markets than there was availability; Food Stamps and WIC recipients seemed to desire more fresh produce than was available to them. In 2009 we applied for and received funding from the USDA's Community Food Project to create community gardens in Sarpy, Washington, Cass, Richardson, Otoe, Nemaha, Saunders, Dodge, Johnson, and Pawnee counties as well as rural areas in Douglas County. Our gardens follow the model of the Big Garden, utilizing partnerships between congregations and non-profits to build community while building gardens. Information about our rural garden sites is listed on the pull-down menu.
Interested in gardening with the Big Garden? Use the site tab to find the contact information for individual garden sites. Each site has its own policies for new gardeners; some gardens have plots available to be adopted, while others grow food for food pantries, or choose to have all gardeners share the harvest.
Interested in volunteering for the Big Garden? Please contact the Big Garden to make arrangements.