Florida Offers Community Garden Project Grants
By Space Coast Daily // September 2, 2012
Designed To Grow Specialty Foods
TALAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has announced that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is offering grants for the development or expansion of community and school gardens to grow specialty crops in Florida.
Local governments, school districts, food banks, and public or private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
“School gardens provide a hands-on learning environment for students in all subject areas, while community gardens encourage food production and the beautification of green spaces,” Putnam said. “Both are important to growing business and connecting Floridians with the food we eat.”
Eligible gardens can be located in a variety of locations, including state or local government and private properties. The venues may range from traditional open space (commonly referred to as “green space”) planting beds to classrooms, vacant buildings or rooftops, where hydroponic, container and/or vertical farming can be practiced.
Grantees will receive reimbursement for pre-approved expenses related to garden development and operation. The maximum individual grant amount is $5,000.
Community gardens provide business and income opportunities and encourage economic development in the local area. They present an opportunity for small business enterprises, education through extension, and the supplementation of nutritional feeding programs and food banks with fresh fruits and vegetables.
As part of the 2012 Florida Specialty Crop Block Grants, the purpose of these grants is to provide assistance to local governments, school districts, food banks and other charitable organizations in the planning and preparation of gardening projects that address community needs. Additionally, these grants provide educational opportunities for Floridians to become more knowledgeable about implementing community gardening projects with the state’s specialty crops.
The deadline for submitting grant proposals to the department is Sept. 14. The application can be found online at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/grants/ .
Hard copy applications and overnight deliveries should be mailed to: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 407 South Calhoun Street, Suite 209, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800. Attention: Carl Penn