Want to grow your own food—right in your yard? The Food Project believes that everyone who wants to grow their own food should have access to adequate, toxin-free growing space. To this end, we have built more than 1,800 raised-bed gardens through our Build-a-Garden initiative. Do you want to start growing this year? 

Build-a-Garden: Greater Boston
The Food Project’s Build-a-Garden initiative supports low- to moderate-income households in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan and organizations who want to grow their own food. We provide you with:

  • A raised-bed garden filled with healthy, safe soil.
  • 12 free seedlings in May of your first year.
  • Free Garden Planning & Planting workshops and a Growing Guide.
  • Ongoing support through drop-in open hours at the Dudley Greenhouse.
  • An annual sale for gardeners to purchase high-quality seedlings, compost, and other supplies to keep our neighbors’ gardens growing.

Eligibility Priorities and Gardener Expectations: 

*Please note that we receive a high number of applications in the springtime each year. If you apply during the spring/summer, you may not receive your garden bed until fall or later, depending on demand and capacity. However, it is still recommended that you apply sooner rather than later to get yourself on our waitlist!*

Residents of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan are welcome to apply. Priority is given to those with financial need and to families with children. Gardeners are expected to: 

  • Attend a 2-hour introduction to gardening workshop session and complete a post-season survey.
  • Plant and maintain your garden on a weekly basis. We generally recommend spending at least 1-2 hours per week.
  • While not required, our hope is that participants will become engaged with our programs and other gardeners in their neighborhood.

No prior gardening experience is required; enthusiasm and a willingness to learn are all you need!

Download a brochure/application (PDF):
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Want to build your own raised bed?
Check out our DIY Raised Bed Installation Manual and check out these other handy resources and guides.  

Want to hear about our gardener events and workshops? Email to join our email list, and follow Dudley Grows on Facebook.

Looking to connect with other neighborhood gardeners?
The Dudley Greenhouse typically has open hours on Wednesdays from 1–5 PM and Saturdays from 9-1, at 11 Brook Avenue. Neighbors can grow together and help out. The Food Project’s farms and greenhouses are currently closed to the public due to Covid-19. 

For more information about Build-a-Garden, please contact the Build-a-Garden Coordinator at

Build-a-Garden: North Shore
The Food Project and the Lynn Food Policy Council collaborate with Lynn’s Parks and Recreation Department to build community gardens that enhance food access while cultivating community.

How do I start a garden?
All new community gardens require advanced planning and approval through Lynn’s Parks & Recreation Commission. Check out the New Gardener Checklist to be sure that you have met all of the requirements to apply. Applications and more information can be found online at the Parks & Recreation Commission website.

To learn how to start your own community garden, visit the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission website.