Here in Phoenix, spring gardens continue producing fruit despite temperatures soaring into the hundreds (F).

This year my wife and I celebrate a monumental achievement in our life together.

We have successfully grown zucchini.

For eight years, we watched beautiful yellow blossoms form,  only to wither and die before any zucchini formed.  After settling into our third home, my wife planted her spring garden in January. Her zucchini plants flourished, then sprouted. We steeled ourselves for disappointment.  But the blossoms turned into finger sized squash.  And continued growing.

We have so much zucchini and yellow squash we don’t know what to do with it.  Which is a great way to meet neighbors.

In fact, that is value model of an organization called Food is Free.

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The Food is Free Project started with one front yard garden. Less than 3 months later, the majority of neighbors on our pilot block host front yard community gardens.  We are documenting the process as we continue to expand, sharing our mistakes and successes, making the information open-source and available to anyone around the globe. Over 300 cities around the world have started Food is Free Projects and we invite you to start one in your community this season. It all starts with that first front yard garden or shared harvest. Let us know if we can offer any advice or answer questions.

Food is Free provides a platform for community interaction that opens doors to further collaboration and connection. Imagine driving down your street, where the majority of homes host a front yard community garden, neighbors come together for potlucks, establish tool-sharing and community composting programs while creating safer, more beautiful neighborhoods.

The Food is Free Project not only transforms neighborhood blocks, but has installed gardens at elementary schools, community arts spaces, farmers markets, churches and small businesses.

We are creating models for how to grow food in unused public spaces that provide opportunities for people to experience fresh, healthy, organic food, and the power of community when we come together for a cause that’s greater than ourselves. We want to learn what has worked for you so share your experiences and #foodisfree photos with us on social media.

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Thanks for sharing the vision and taking action in your community. We’re all in this together! Food is Free Project is an open-source project so we encourage you to take the first step to start a Food is Free Project in your community. It all starts with that first garden and from there things will evolve and grow. Stay in touch and let us know if we can offer advice. Plant a garden in your front yard or if you don’t have a yard grow some container veggies and set up a #foodisfree sharing table. Our actions ripple out and inspire others and this movement will grow like wildflowers. Share your #foodisfree photos with us and remember that together our ripples create waves of change.

Check out our PDF guide on “How to Start a Food is Free Project” to get started.


Photo by UU-Jackson

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