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The Mission, History & Vision

Friendship Gardens:

  • Grows healthy food, making it available to all, especially those with limited access;
  • Creates community around local food traditions;
  • Shares knowledge and passion for sustainable food production.


Our story begins in a garden...

A scrappy little garden, with a lot of heart and many hands to tend it. There among the weeds and the wonder we thought why not gather gardens across town to grow food for the meals-on-wheels program and to grow the community of urban gardeners? Simple ideas are like seeds. They want to grow. And with a little care and feeding they become big ideas that produce a harvest of opportunity. Slow Food Charlotte and Friendship Trays planted this seed in the spring of 2009 and the Friendship Gardens grew. In May of 2010, The Women’s Impact Fund awarded a $70,000 grant to Slow Food Charlotte to support and expand the work of Friendship Gardens. We hope that you’ll take a moment to get to know us, read about our gardens, our projects, our partnerships and our vision. Join the team, volunteer, lend a hand, share your knowledge, drop us a line or better yet, plant a garden.

Friendship Gardens is an expanding network of community, school, faith-based, institutional, public, private, and backyard gardens. Most of our garden partnerships share their harvest for the benefit of Friendship Trays who provide over 750 meals a day to members of our community who have limited access to healthy food. To the community: we offer educational workshops, volunteer and leadership opportunities, community connections, and food access to those with limited options. Beyond the gardens, Friendship Gardens has developed a mobile market to sell fresh fruits and vegetables in food deserts and are currently working to add SNAP / EBT access for that service. At the heart of our mission is the development of an urban farm and learning center to grow food, train volunteers, educate our community and support the urban gardening community at large. With all this opportunity, our growth is often limited only by our resources and most of them are and will continue to be people. We’d love your help and welcome your interest, join us in the garden.