Community gardening in the United States encompasses a wide variety of approaches. Some influential community gardens, such as the Clinton Community Garden in the middle of Manhattan in New York City, and the Peralta garden in Berkeley, California, inspired by architect and community garden visionary Karl Linn, are gathering places for neighbors and showcases for art and ecological awareness, with food production cherished but seen as one part of a much larger vision. Other gardens resemble European "allotment" gardens, with plots where individuals and families can grow vegetables and flowers, including a number (for instance, in Minneapolis and Ann Arbor, Michigan) which began as "Victory Gardens" during World War II. Even such "food" gardens can be very different — for instance, plot sizes range widely from as small as 1.5m × 1.5m (5 ft × 5 ft) in some inner city gardens and art gardens, such as the Dovetail Garden in Charlotte, North Carolina, to relatively large plots of 15m × 15m (50 ft × 50 ft) such as those at Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Some community gardens, in contrast, are devoted entirely to creating ecological green space or habitat, still others to growing flowers, and others to education or providing access to gardening to those who otherwise could not have a garden, such as the elderly, recent immigrants or the homeless — for example, the Community Garden for the Homeless, in Charlotte, is not far away from the very different Dovetail Garden. Some gardens are worked as community farms with no individual plots at all, shading into becoming urban farms. W
Organic Consumers Association, consumer protection and organic agriculture advocacy group based in Finland, Minnesota. It was formed in 1998 in the wake of opposition by organic consumers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's controversial proposed regulations for organic food. The OCA is an online non-profit public interest organization that has over 850,000 members in its database. The members include subscribers, volunteers, supporters, and 3,000 cooperating retail co-ops, such as in the natural foods and organic marketplace. The OCA is one of the only organizations in the U.S focused on promoting the interests of the nation's estimated 50 million organic consumers.
The OCA deals with wide range of current crucial issues for health, justice, and sustainability. The campaigns are issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, fair trade, environmental sustainability and other crucial topics. W
Food MythBusters, a new collaborative project to bust myths about industrial agriculture and share the positive story of sustainable farming through creative movies, an online action center, and grassroots events. Food MythBusters is an initiative of the Real Food Media Project, directed by Anna Lappé, and whose mission is to inspire, educate, and grow the movement for sustainable food and farming. A project of Corporate Accountability International, the Food MythBusters coalition includes some of the most important food and farming organizations in the country, including Land Stewardship Project, Family Farm Defenders, Food Tank, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Food and Water Watch, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Real Food Challenge, Slow Food USA, Small Planet Institute, and Sustainable Table. W
Seed Savers Exchange, non-profit organization based near Decorah, Iowa, that preserves heirloom plant varieties through regeneration, distribution and seed exchange. It is one of the largest nongovernmental seedbanks in the United States. The mission of SSE is to preserve the world’s diverse but endangered garden heritage for future generations by building a network of people committed to collecting, conserving, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, and educating people about the value of genetic and cultural diversity. Since 1975, Seed Savers has produced an annual yearbook of members’ seed offerings, as well as multiple editions of The Garden Seed Inventory, and The Fruit, Nut and Berry Inventory. SSE also publishes Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners. The nonprofit has sold seeds to about 600 retail stores in the United States and Canada. W
Greenhorns, non-traditional grassroots non-profit organization made up of young farmers and a diversity of collaborators. Our mission is to recruit, promote and support the new generation of young farmers.
Growing Power, an urban agriculture organization headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It runs the last functional farm within the Milwaukee city limits and also maintains an active office in Chicago. Growing Power aims for sustainable food production, as well as the growth of communities through the creation of local gardens and Community Food Systems. They implement their mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance. W
Slow Money, a movement to organize investors and donors to steer new sources of capital to small food enterprises, organic farms, and local food systems. Slow Money takes its name from the Slow Food movement. Slow Money aims to develop the relationship between capital markets and place, including social capital and soil fertility. Slow Money is supporting the grass-roots mobilization of investors through network building, convening, publishing, and incubating intermediary strategies and structures of funding. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Boulder, Colorado. W
Sustainable Table, created in 2003 by the nonprofit organization GRACE to help consumers understand the problems with our food supply and offer viable solutions and alternatives from sustainable agriculture. Rather than be overwhelmed by the problems created by our industrial agricultural system, Sustainable Table celebrates the joy of food and eating from sustainable food systems. W