Farm & Gardens

Growing Hope grows vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers on a 1.5 acre property blocks from downtown Ypsilanti with a commitment to growing positive and healthy futures in Southeast Michigan communities.

In 2008 Growing Hope purchased a small house and adjoining 1.5 acres of land near downtown Ypsilanti. At the time, Growing Hope had started working with young people in Ypsilanti who had limited access to learn about and eat healthy food, and had few opportunities to explore the natural environment. In this house and large grassy backyard we envisioned an educational farm and garden space where people of all income-levels, ages, and backgrounds could experience first-hand how food is grown, how to cook and prepare healthy food while learning about nature and small-scale agricultural practices.

Ten years later the small house and grassy field is now the Growing Hope Urban Farm. Located on busy Michigan Avenue, adjacent to low-income housing and low-income census tracts, the Growing Hope Urban Farm is a neighborhood meeting space where people of all income levels, demographics and socio-economic backgrounds congregate over healthy food. The house itself acts as a community meeting and educational space, as well as hosts Growing Hope staff offices. For the past decade Ypsilanti residents and community members from across Southeast Michigan have visited our Urban Farm to learn, explore and be inspired about growing fresh food and engage with natural habitats. Volunteers have helped us build our two hoop houses, youth have tasted new vegetables pulled right from the ground, teenagers have spent the summer seeding plants and harvesting vegetables, and people of all ages have participated in outdoor classes, trainings, events and tours.

Your support helps us continue to improve our site so that we can serve the community in even more ways!


Home Vegetable Garden Program Basic Timeline

  • February- Growing Hope starts growing seedlings
  • February- HVGP Mentorship Applications Open
  • March- New Gardener Applications Open
  • March- Garden Mentor Orientation & New Gardener Orientations
  • April- Garden Installations
  • April- Spring seedling distribution
  • May- Summer seedling distribution
  • July- Fall seedling distributions
  • July- Summer visits to gardens by GH Staff and Teen Interns  
  • April-October- Free monthly garden workshops
  • October- Season celebration & Evaluation

The Home Vegetable Garden Program seeks to increase access to healthy food for low income Ypsilanti residents through installing free raised bed gardens and providing one on one garden support at family homes, community centers, housing facilities, apartment complexes and religious institutions. Program participants are provided free garden beds, along with seedlings, seeds, and other necessary tools and supplies. Gardens provide participants with opportunities to build resiliency through increased community engagement, opportunities for intergenerational experiences, and improvements in their health from exercise and increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

This year new participants will be paired with a garden mentor to provide extra support to help them reach their goals, whether it be help with pest management, or spending more time with their family outside

Application Deadline is Friday, March 29th 2019


If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Bee Ayer, Director of Programs, 734-786-8401.

Want to share with a friend, download a flyer Here.

HVGP Garden Mentorships

Applications are now closed for 2019. 

We are excited to announce the launch of Growing Hope’s Garden Mentorship for Home Vegetable Garden Program participants . In order to uplift the many experienced and inspirational gardeners in our community we are starting a mentorship program to connect these folks to new gardeners and strengthen our gardening community. In addition, we aim to increase inter-generational connections through prioritizing new gardeners who have children, and prioritizing senior gardeners who may have grandchildren.
Since 2009, Growing Hope has worked with over 350 families, helping Ypsilanti residents to grow their own food. This year, we will work with 25 new sites and hope to find 10 mentors to  cheer them on and provide garden support.

Mentors will assist new gardeners in setting and reaching their garden goals through one-on- one coaching and sharing resources from Growing Hope. Gardening can be a venue for achieving many personal goals, from spending time with loved ones, changing your diet, reconnecting with cultural traditions and more. Growing Hope will pair up mentees and mentors based on shared interest and skills.

Mentor Benefits:

  • Build garden leadership and teaching skills through our Mentor Orientation and workshops
  • Access to Growing Hope farm and garden staff for technical support
  • Be a part of a peer-to-peer support network
  • Learn and practice building raised beds with Growing Hope  (this is optional)
  • Receive free seeds and seedlings of vegetables, herbs and flowers for your garden during our 3 free seedling distributions
  • Gift bag of gardening tools including gloves, trowels, weeders, etc.
  • Stipend for your time and energy


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