We’re Putting Down Roots

Bellevue’s gardens are growing… from a pinch of herbs to bushels of fun!

Bona Fide Bellevue is thrilled to sponsor herb gardens around Bellevue as well as the Bellevue Friendship Garden.

This program began in 2016 with an herb garden located near Kuhn’s on Lincoln Avenue. Today our community herb gardens have spread to locations at Bayne Library and the Lutheran Service Society, and our Bellevue Friendship Garden launched in 2022 at 616 Cliff Avenue. The herb gardens are free and open to everyone. We welcome you to take what you need throughout the summer from these community herb beds.

The Bellevue Friendship Garden beds are available to individuals in the community based on applications — see below for more details.

The Bellevue Friendship Garden

Come grow with us! We have developed a new community garden in the vacant lot located at 616 Cliff Avenue thanks to the generosity of Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health who are leasing the land to us.

The Bellevue Friendship Garden offers a space for area residents to grow their own vegetables, herbs and flowers in an inclusive and welcoming environment that celebrates diversity and facilitates engagement regardless of culture, class, ethnicity, gender, age, or ability. We’ve partnered with Grow Pittsburgh, who are providing technical assistance and materials through their New Garden program to help us create and maintain a thriving community garden.

In addition to individual garden and compost memberships that are available for a seasonal fee, the garden will include communal herbs and flowers for all community members to harvest and enjoy at no cost. Garden members may rent only one bed. Membership includes use of the compost bins and access to finished compost. Compost members are not bed holders, but they can add their kitchen scraps and/or other acceptable material to our compost bins and have access to finished compost.

We envision the garden serving as an integral part of the local community and offering more than a space for growing food. Social, youth and educational activities will take place at the site, and we encourage all to participate and enjoy the space.

We ask all Bellevue Friendship Garden Members to adhere to the Garden Agreement and the Composting Guidelines, and apply for bed space each season. Returning gardeners will be given priority. We strive to ensure equitable access to participate and one or more plots may be made available at no cost to community members demonstrating need. 

2024 Garden Applications

2024 garden bed memberships will be available soon! Past members will be given preference to renew their bed membership before applications are open to the public. Complete the form below to make sure you are on the list to receive notifications when beds are available! All garden beds for 2024 have been assigned. Compost-only memberships are available throughout the year. Visit our secure payment page to learn more and complete your membership donation.

Check out these videos to see some of our recent progress!

Have you got thyme to join us?  

Ongoing Community Garden volunteer opportunities include assisting with community outreach and events, keeping the garden area looking nice and helping to care for communal plants. A sign-up sheet will be shared with garden members and community volunteers via Google Drive and will also be posted in the shed. In addition to volunteer activities, scheduled workdays, educational activities, and social events will also be posted both at the garden and on our website and social media. New activities may be added, so be sure to sign up for emails to get future updates! 

By completing these fields and submitting this form, you are enrolling in email and/or text message communications from Bona Fide Bellevue. We value your privacy. Your personal information will be kept confidential and will never be sold to third parties. If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from our email messages, you can do so using the link found at the bottom of every email we send to you. You may receive 1-2 text messages per month, msg & data rates may apply. To stop receiving text messages, simply reply STOP.

Bellevue Friendship Garden Agreement (2024)

Mission

Provide space for people to grow their own fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers in ways that promote community building, garden education, exercise, health, and wellness.

Vision

The Bellevue Friendship Garden provides gardening opportunities for people from a wide variety of backgrounds (age, race, culture, social class) to grow their own food, increase their physical activity, get to know their neighbors, learn from each other, and interact in a natural gathering place for the physical and social benefit of the people and neighborhoods of the North Boroughs.

Goals

  • Help combat food insecurity and increase access to fresh produce.
  • Provide communal gardening space for growing produce that can be shared with community members.
  • Donate excess harvest to community service organizations or underserved populations.
  • Provide habitat for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
  • Educate people on sustainable gardening practices and provide an opportunity for them to engage with their food system.
  • Foster community and build connections with neighbors.
  • Expose new generations to cultural traditions, promote intergenerational learning and provide the opportunity for people of diverse ethnic backgrounds to come together and share experiences and knowledge.
  • Support healthier lifestyles, physical fitness, and sense of wellbeing.

Growing practices

The Bellevue Friendship Garden is an organic garden. Please adhere to organic growing and sustainable gardening principles. Do not use chemicals, such as herbicides (weed killers), insecticides (insect killers) or chemical fertilizers in your bed or in the communal garden areas -including products like non-organic Miracle-Gro© and other brands of non-organic fertilizer or plant food. If you are not sure if something is allowed, please check with the garden coordinator.

Member Participation

Diversity, Equity + Inclusion (DEI) 

Our community garden is intended to serve people with a wide range of ages, abilities, backgrounds, family sizes, and income levels. We strive to ensure equitable access to participate and one or more plots may be made available at no cost to community members. Application for such plot should be indicated on the application form. Bona Fide Bellevue’s Gardening Committee will determine if the request can be met and notify the applicant of the decision.

Committee meetings

Community Garden committee meetings will be held two-three times per year (meeting dates and location will be announced prior to each meeting). I understand that my participation, contribution, and ideas for the gardens are highly valued, and I am encouraged to attend.

Workdays

Garden members are required to participate in at least two (2) community garden workdays each year, as ability permits.

Garden Maintenance Requirements

  • Garden beds must be planted by June 7th and maintained throughout the year. Ongoing tasks include weeding, watering, and harvesting mature produce. Beds not planted by that date will be reassigned.
  • Garden beds must be cleaned up by November 15th. Tasks include removing spent plants, garden labels, stakes, cages and temporary trellises, and covering the bed with straw to reduce weeds and help prevent soil erosion. Garden members who do not clean their beds by the date indicated will not be eligible for “returning gardener priority” if applying for membership the following year.

Caring for the Garden

Garden members are expected to help care for the garden by volunteering for ongoing maintenance tasks and sharing in other responsibilities related to garden management and activities. Information on workdays and other volunteer opportunities will be shared via email and/or posted on the shed.

Garden courtesy

Please do not plant sprawling plants or extremely tall ones that may interfere with walkways between beds and/or shade other plots. Harvest fruits and vegetables from your bed when they mature and keep insects and weeds under control. If for any reason you will be temporarily unable to weed, water or harvest your plot, please arrange for someone else to do so and inform the garden coordinator.

Harvesting

Please harvest only from your assigned bed or communal space.  Vegetables, herbs, and flowers planted in communal spaces may be harvested by any member of the community.

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