Starting Community Non-profit Systems

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Virginia Tech


An open swath of land at a religious congregation in Sterling, Virginia was used to establish a community garden for the purpose of providing healthy, fresh, local produce to those in need. The purpose of this study is to take what we have learned based on our successes and our mistakes to provide guidance to other institutions (whether religious or secular) to facilitate their own establishment of gardens for providing fresh, local and healthy food to those in need. With the benefit of entering our fourth year of operation, the case study will also address the expansion of our mission beyond food to include an educational outreach aspect. Two forms of outreach are envisioned: (1) publication of a newsletter to the congregation to increase the level of interest and volunteerism and (2) the institution of on-site workshops to educate interested members of both the congregation and the public regarding as to how to establish a food garden.