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Homegrown Edible Gardens

Gabriel Tilove | Associate Director of Adult Education and Community Outreach, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

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Phipps’ Homegrown Edible Garden program is dedicated to enhancing community health by increasing fresh produce access through gardening and promoting healthy food choices in food insecure neighborhoods. The Homegrown team installs raised-bed vegetable gardens in the backyards of residents of some of Pittsburgh’s most underserved neighborhoods, supplying free soil, seeds and plants to get recipients started. In the second year of gardening, the team comes back to provide new compost, seeds and plants, while offering mentorship throughout the experience. While some participants are experienced gardeners, they do not have the resources to maintain a garden on their own. The raised beds provide a designated space for plants to grow in clean, contaminant free soil. The program aims for educate and support the communities it serves through cooking classes and follow up visits. Some residents even choose to sell their produce at a local farmers market to encourage healthy eating to their whole community. The program currently sponsors 235 gardens across Homewood and Larimer, with 150 additional gardens planned in the coming years.

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About the Speakers

About the Speaker

Gabe Tilove is the associate director of adult education and community outreach for Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where he works to connect people more closely to the beauty of the natural world through education and outreach. Gabe directs 200+ classes annually on topics ranging from sustainable horticulture and native plant landscapes to botanical art and floral design, and now culinary arts in Phipps new teaching kitchen where students explore the intersection of food, plants, health and culture. In 2013, Gabe helped launch Phipps Homegrown program, and edible garden outreach program installing raised bed gardens for food insecure families. Over 225 backyard gardens have been installed to date.