Frequently Asked Questions
We have a Garden and Orchard Development Process that groups will be led through by a staff member. The first step is to attend a New Project Orientation.
Asset-based community development is a community lead strategy for creating sustainable development. Unlike other strategies it focuses on mobilizing the unique strengths and assets of an existing community rather than what is missing. To learn more check out the asset based community development institute https://resources.depaul.edu/abcd-institute/Pages/default.aspx
Yes, all new gardens and orchards, even if already established, must attend a New Project Orientation. Once you have attended the orientation, your group will be assigned a staff member who will lead you through the Garden and Orchard Development Process. Once you have completed the process you will be added to the network.
A community project is a garden, orchard, or farm led by a group of community members. This could include a neighborhood garden where all of the members have their own raised bed. Or it could be a school that has a garden and orchard.
After you have completed the Garden and Orchard Development Process your garden or orchard is officially in the Seed St. Louis network. Being in the network means you gain full access to Seed St. Louis’ suite of services. This includes access to expansion grants, the Giving Grove program, wholesale seedlings, volunteers, and our tool loan program. The first step is attending a New Project Orientation.
Yes! Please review our blog post here regarding treated lumber.
Seed St. Louis no longer hosts the Great Perennial Divide. We will sometimes accept plant donations. Please contact [email protected] to learn more.
If you have extra seedlings you would like to donate please contact [email protected].
Seed St. Louis has an interactive map of all of our community and school garden and orchard network. If you find a garden or orchard that you are interested in, email [email protected] or call us at 314.588.9600 with the garden or orchard name and we can provide the leader’s information to you.
Seed St. Louis does not provide soil to purchase to the general public. All soil used in garden installations is through St. Louis Composting.
Compost and mulch available at the Bell Community Garden site varies and can change often. There are seven free compost/mulch sites around the City of St. Louis.
At this time we are not processing soil samples. You can find more information on soil testing and the dropoff locations at the University of Missouri Extension St. Louis website.
Since 1984, Seed St. Louis (formerly Gateway Greening) has connected people to their land, to their food, and to each other. We are a 501c 3 organization who supports a network of over 250+ community gardens, school gardens and urban orchards in neighborhoods throughout the St. Louis region. Our purpose is to provide communities with the education, resources, and a network to grow their own food.
For more information please visit our volunteer page. If you have additional questions please contact our Director of Engagement at [email protected] or 314.588.9600 x110.
For youth related events please contact our Director of Schools at [email protected] or 314.588.9600 x114. For all other events contact our Director of Engagement at [email protected] or 314.588.9600 x110.
We can sometimes donate extra seed packets to events. Please contact our Director of Engagement at [email protected] or 314.588.9600 x110.
Check Work With Us to view any current openings.
We do not sell trees to the general public.
You can purchase seeds and other items on our online store. We also periodically will have public plant sales. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications of in-person sales.
We do not provide volunteers to help at residential gardens. All of our volunteers are sent to community and school gardens and orchards in our network.
Take a look at our blog and YouTube channels. They have a lot of information on our preferred ways of dealing with common garden and orchard pests!
Check out the blog post we have written on these pests! The Vine Borer
Check out the blog post we have written on these pests! Japanese Beetle Trap
Our Director of Education has researched and found the best varieties of fruit trees and shrubs to grow in the St. Louis Region. (Have the variety sheet linked here.)
Check out the YouTube recordings of two classes we have done on pruning: Dormant Fruit Tree Pruning and Summer Pruning for Tree and Cane Fruit.
The best option we have found is using chicken wire. We staple it to the wood around raised beds. For in-ground gardens the method of burying the chicken wire fencing about 6 inches underground all the way around your growing space works well.
Squirrels are tricky! Besides completely enclosing the space with chicken wire (including over the top of a growing space) we haven’t found a great way to keep squirrels out.
Each of Seed St. Louis’ community and youth gardens are independently managed according to their own organizational principles, so some may allow individuals or families to adopt particular beds while others may require all beds be used communally. Typically, the majority of the food grown in community and youth gardens is used directly by the growers, although most gardens also informally donate surplus produce to neighbors or nearby food pantries. A few community gardens are run exclusively as food pantry gardens and donate 100% of their harvest, however such food distribution decisions are left up to each community garden’s discretion.
Seed St. Louis’ development process is simply a planning process we have developed for groups who want to create a community or school garden and/or orchard. This is a step by step process to help groups to plan how they will run their garden and/or orchard project. The steps in our process have been assembled based on our experience working with successful gardens and orchards and seeing what they have done as well as talking to our sister organizations in other major cities around the country.
Volunteer at a Garden or Orchard
Are you ready to volunteer at a Seed St. Louis garden? Volunteering with Seed St. Louis is a great hands-on way for individuals and groups to support their community.
Want to Learn with Us?
Seed St. Louis hosts over 40 free virtual classes throughout the year. Our staff provides a wide variety of classes for all gardening enthusiasts.