Project Orange Thumb Seeds Community Gardens

January 15, 2015 by


Community gardens offer an opportunity to grow food collectively–great for those without their own land, and especially vital in areas where fresh produce may not be plentiful. But more importantly: community gardens improve the quality of people’s lives.


Beyond Sowing and Growing
While they promote sustainable living and the cultivation of healthy foods–and in doing so reduce food bills–the benefits of community gardens extend beyond the sowing and growing. These gardens offer opportunities for civic and community collaboration and stewardship, are venues for education and recreation, serve as outlets for creative expression and provide connection to the environment–all the while beautifying the neighborhoods in which they are planted.


Project Orange Thumb
Fiskars, a leader in the garden industry, offers grants to groups across the U.S. and Canada through Project Orange Thumb, a community gardening initiative whose mission is to celebrate and promote community gardening efforts and all that they represent.

I’m honored to serve on the Fiskars Project Orange Thumb editorial board that selects which applicants receive these grants.


Creating Communities
Since 2002, Project Orange Thumb grants have helped community groups foster their gardening spaces to create healthy and sustainable food sources. The communities provide the people and Fiskars provides the tools, materials, and resources needed to bring these community garden spaces to life.



Funding the Effort
How does it work? Fiskars awards $3,500 in cash and tools to thirty grant winnners in the U.S. and Canada to support their gardening goals. Since its inception, Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb has provided over $1.5 million to more than 150 community groups.



The average carrot travels 2,536 miles before it gets to your plate. While there is some debate as to whether reducing these food miles alone will slow climate change, a carrot you grow yourself will be fresher and tastier and in the process you’ll also be growing a community.

Seed Your Community Garden Project Now
Does your organization or group have a plan that can become a reality with one of these grants? Hurry–the deadline for application is January 31, 2015. Project Orange Thumb applications can be found on

Photos courtesy of Fiskars.

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