Growing Places envisions a sustainable North Central Massachusetts comprised of healthy people and healthy communities.


Our mission is to inspire and connect North Central MA residents to create equitable access to healthy food through education, collaboration and sustainable practices.

We promote healthy people and healthy communities by:

  • Building school and community food gardens and supporting the gardeners who use them
  • Teaching gardening and healthy eating skills to all ages
  • Building social and community connections through volunteer and leadership opportunities
  • Managing a farmers market and promoting federal nutrition programs
  • Leading and collaborating in a regional network of providers to advance food access strategies
  • Teaching sustainable growing practices and encouraging environmental stewardship


PDF view: 2017 Annual Gratitude Report

WEB GP GratitudeReport2017


In 2001, Harvard, Massachusetts, residents Kate Deyst and Cindy Buhner heard the story of Dan Barker and were inspired to launch the Growing Places Garden Project. Dan Barker, founder of the Home Gardening Project Foundation, began donating raised-bed vegetable gardens to people in need in the Portland, Oregon area in 1984. Kate and Cindy believed they could bring the power of gardening to communities in Central Massachusetts. In their first season, they built five gardens, using their own tools and hard work. Since that modest beginning, Growing Places has created more than 450 gardens and provided technical support to more than 1,500 low-income people in North Central Massachusetts. Organizationally, GP has successfully matured beyond its founding board and unpaid volunteer staff. We are led by a dynamic, community based board of directors. Today the organization is supported by a professional staff and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.