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We’re Growing New Gardeners!

Join our home gardening group and
receive raised beds in your own yard!

Edible Evanston encourages Evanston residents to grow and share locally grown food. We also provide opportunities for individuals to expand their knowledge of nutrition, natural systems and composting, and to experience the benefits of Evanston-raised produce for themselves.

What is the program about?

In the program’s first year in 2015–16 we installed and supported gardens for 20 families and organizations with assistance of a grant from the Evanston Community Foundation. This program is now self-sustaining through private contributions. With nearly 40 new gardens in Evanston, we have begun to make an impact and are continuing the program on a smaller basis each year.

Who is it for?

Evanstonians who have thought
about having their own garden
but do not know how to take
the first step should apply to let
us help you grow that “green
thumb.” Low-income families
are encouraged to apply.

Applications are open for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.

What you get from Edible Evanston:

    • Edible Evanston wants to help you build your own garden. We’ll provide materials for two raised beds, soil, and some initial plants and seeds.
    • You will also receive workshops, a journal to track your progress, plus your own personal garden mentor.

Some locations may receive containers if more suitable; others may receive city-provided rain barrels or compost bins.

What you provide:

  • Your time and labor to help us build and install your garden, as well as ongoing care and maintenance
  • Participation in required workshops to learn as well as to share your successes and challenges with fellow new gardeners
  • A written record of your experiences, growing conditions, and harvests
  • An ongoing commitment to food gardening

Your new garden can give you:

  • Delicious, nutritious, fresh food you can share with family and friends
  • Savings on grocery bills and knowledge of where your food comes from
  • Joy and lifelong skills you can share with family and friends


You pay only for materials. Typical materials are $175, but fees range from $25 to $300, depending on need and selections. Limited financial assistance is available thanks to other generous gardeners and the start-up grant from the Evanston Community Foundation.

How to apply:

Download our paper application or use the online application below. At this time Edible Evanston is building a limited number of gardens each year.

Our next round of gardens will be built in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 and you may apply here. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for review and building as time, funding and volunteer personnel allow. Questions: email newgardeners[at]edibleevanston[dot]org


Edible Evanston New Vegetable Garden Program Application

Please answer the following questions. Your responses determine if your household qualifies, and, optionally, if it qualifies for financial assistance. Your personal information will be kept confidential. Limited slots are available.
Optionally, tell us more about your gardening experience and current gardening situation as well as what the most important things are which you hope to gain from this program. Photos of your planned space are appreciated.

Limited slots are available.


You must reside in Evanston IL to qualify for the program.
General Questions
If you answered NO, do you have an alternative type of space (patio, etc.) for a container garden? Describe:
OPTIONAL. If you have a photo (gif, jpg, png, pdf no more than 4 MB) of the area you plan to use for gardening, please upload it. It should show surrounding area to enable us to see what might shade the garden or other issues.
Files must be less than 4 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf.
adults (18+)
(Optional) Please elaborate on what type of experience you have. If you currently grow food in a garden, please tell us where and what you are growing and how it's been going.
(Optional) Please tell us how being part of Edible Evanston's New Gardener's program will allow you to accomplish things which would otherwise be more of a challenge.
Financial Assistance
Without assistance, participation in the program is about $150 to cover materials for garden construction, due on the day of your build. All labor is done by volunteers and is free to participants. We ask for a minimum $25 payment from all participants. (By answering yes and signing this form you confirm that in the past 6 months you received benefits from one or more of the following: EBT/SNAP/Food Stamps; Medicaid Disability Benefits; WIC; Unemployment; School District Free/Reduced Lunch; or a Food Pantry.) 
Commitment and Program Requirement Questions
Planting, weeding, watering and harvesting and all other gardening are your responsibility. We will offer gardening-related workshops and personal gardener support through the season.
We will provide you with a journal and guidelines.
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