Are you interested in starting a community garden in Forsyth County? Please visit our Start a Garden page to learn about the process and access resources to help you get started. You can also view our Community Gardening 101 webinar (32 minutes) for a comprehensive overview of starting and sustaining a community garden. (When you’re finished, please fill out this brief evaluation!)

1450 Fairchild Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27105


FCG Documents

Community Gardens

On this page, you’ll find documents and forms to help your group: start a new garden (or strengthen participation and organization at an existing garden), submit soil samples for free pH and nutrient testing, apply for financial assistance to test for soil contaminants, track your harvest, or apply for a Forsyth Community Gardening microgrant (available to limited resource community gardens within Forsyth County).

If you have trouble finding what you're looking for, please contact Megan Gregory.

Organizing Your Community Garden

Forsyth Community Gardening has worksheets and templates for garden groups to use in all stages of starting and organizing a community garden – from recruiting new members, to setting up systems to share garden maintenance responsibilities. Please feel free to adapt and use these files with your garden group. Files are posted here in pdf format; please contact Megan Gregory for Word documents you can customize for your garden.

  • Use our Interest Surveys to identify potential garden members or volunteers, and learn their skills, availability, and learning needs with respect to gardening. Sample surveys are available for recruiting neighborhood garden members (in English and in Spanish), or school garden volunteers (in English and in Spanish).

  • The Intake Questionnaire will help organizers think through the many aspects of starting a garden, from land tenure to water to fundraising.

  • When you have an interested group of people together, use the Developing a Garden Mission Statement worksheet to identify and prioritize goals for your garden. This should energize and guide all your future efforts.

  • Use the Customize-able Garden Organization and Rules document to outline leadership positions, meeting and workday schedules, plot assignment procedures, and garden rules. Note: Information that should be filled in by each garden is indicated by yellow highlighting; these prompts can be deleted in the final version. Garden groups may also adapt the rules for their garden.

  • Use the Customize-able Plot_Holder's Agreement to draft a plot registration and gardener agreement form for gardens offering allotments to individuals and families.

  • The Garden Steward Instructions may be used by garden groups that establish a rotation of people to maintain and harvest the garden. The template contains suggested instructions for day-to-day maintenance and forms for seasonal instructions, a crop map, harvest log, and journal to record tasks completed, pests found, and other notes. It is accompanied by a packet of Resources for Routine Maintenance for reference by garden stewards.

Thanks to Janet Scharling of the Shallowford Presbyterian Church garden for sharing their garden maintenance instructions; the ones in this template are adapted from their garden notebook.

The Harvesting Vegetables guide in the Resources packet is provided courtesy of the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service’s Home & Garden Information Center. Thanks!

Soil pH and Nutrient Testing

Soil sampling is a critically important task that every community garden should should complete at least once every two years. Please contact Megan Gregory if you need help sampling your soil. Additionally, you can look at the soil publications listed on the Printed Materials page. When it is time to submit your soil sample, you will fill out the form below.

Soil Contaminant Testing Assistance

In urban areas, soil contamination may be a concern for groups planning to start an in-ground community garden. Soil contaminant testing can help a garden group decide if they can proceed with an in-ground garden, or if they need to construct raised beds with imported soil and landscape fabric beneath.

Each year, Forsyth Community Gardening can provide a limited number of garden groups that meet certain criteria with up to $150 to offset the cost of soil contaminant testing (for example, heavy metals, PAHs). For more information and to apply, please review the guidelines and download an application below:

For more information on soil contaminant sources and testing, as well as best practices to reduce exposure, please visit the Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities project.

Tracking Your Garden’s Harvest

How much produce did your garden grow this year? How much was shared with people in need? Which crops and varieties did well, and which did not? Are your yields per square foot improving with each year as you learn more about gardening?

Weighing and recording your garden’s harvest is a great way to answer these questions! Forsyth Community Gardening encourages garden groups to track this valuable information for their own use. Yield records can help you learn from successful (and not-so-successful) plantings and plan for future years, communicate your garden’s impact on availability of fresh produce, and advocate for programs that provide horticultural assistance to community gardens.

Garden groups may use the information and forms below to track their harvests. Though Forsyth Community Gardening is not conducting a comprehensive survey of harvest records, you are welcome to share your garden’s information with our program by contacting Megan. We would love to know if you feel that our educational programs have helped you achieve increased harvest totals and/or yields!

Please note, Forsyth Community Gardening is not formally compiling harvest records at this time, due to limited staff capacity to promote widespread and standard record-keeping. We hope to do this in the future, but for now we are focusing on educating community gardeners in best horticultural practices! That said, you are welcome to share your information with our program, as outlined above.

Microgrant Program

FCG microgrants support existing and developing community gardens that are located in, and/or engaging and benefitting, limited resource communities within Forsyth County. Each year, microgrants of up to $1000 are awarded to community garden groups for specific projects designed to enhance the garden’s long-term impact on nutrition, environmental quality, or social well-being. Gardens applying for a microgrant should have done significant community organizing, and have a strong leadership team and sufficient number of committed gardeners to maintain the existing or proposed garden space.

Applicant groups must include either a Community Garden Mentor OR someone who commits to attending the next Mentor Training (for more information, see the Mentor Program of our website). This person must commit to being active in the Mentor program and providing guidance to the applicant garden for, at minimum, the upcoming growing season.

Applications are accepted once per year: from late November – early January. Site visits to finalists take place from late January – early February, and awards are announced by February 15 to allow for spring garden projects. For exact dates each year, please sign up for FCG’s monthly newsletter, and/or check the FCG website, in early November.

To apply, please follow these steps:

  1. Review the Microgrant Program Description and Guidelines to learn if your group is eligible for a microgrant and for guidelines on developing your project.
  2. Download the Microgrant Application to begin planning your project with your garden group.
  3. All applicants are required to attend a Microgrant Program Orientation Meeting in late November. FCG staff will clarify eligibility requirements, provide guidance on the application process, and offer tips on planning and evaluating your project. Dates will be publicized via FCG’s monthly newsletter (sign up here), and on the FCG Home Page.
  4. Work with your garden group to complete your application. Applications should be filled out electronically and emailed to Megan Gregory. If you need assistance, please contact Megan at 336-705-8823.

How do I know if my garden is eligible?

One of the requirements to apply for a microgrant is that the garden "be located in, and/or actively engaging and benefiting limited resource communities." The garden must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be in a census tract with more than 20% of the population living in poverty. You can verify this by entering the garden address in the Population with Income Below Poverty map and clicking on the census tract.
  • Even if your garden is not located in one of these census tracts, it is eligible if at least one-half of all gardeners are of limited resources and/or from under-represented communities (including, but not limited to, people of color, immigrants, and people with disabilities).

Other eligibility requirements are outlined in the Microgrant Program Description and Guidelines.